Fast Co. Design: Companies spend a fortune sending waste materials to landfill – an estimated US$22 billion per year according to the US EPA – but a new endeavour aims to act as an online go-between, matching businesses creating waste streams with businesses who wanted to reuse materials.
RecycleMatch entrepreneurs Brooke Betts Farrell and Chad Farrell were inspired by IBM’s decision tosell the silicon wafers used to make its computer chips to the solar energy industry, which saved IBM around US$1.5 million in the first year.
The site acts a bit like a dating agency, carefully vetting companies to ensure that the waste they want to dispose of does have value. It is free to list on the site and once a match is made, business pay a one-off matching fee of $1500 to RecycleMatch, plus a fee of $10 per ton of waste. The idea is to deter householders from using the site to dispose of household waste, but the per ton fee is still far cheaper than the typical landfill disposal fees.
RecycleMatch finds users for a range of waste, including concrete, textiles and even food waste, which often goes to zoos. Read more.