Date Published: July 19, 2017, 10:22 a.m.
n 2015, the State of Victoria, in Australia created in partnership with CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization), a software tool called ASPIRE that assists local businesses exchange resources for reuse. Besides fostering local economic development, it reduces the amount of waste going to the landfill, generating savings for the local councils.
The State of Victoria, in Australia, found that waste disposal in landfills for businesses had grown importantly going from $30 AUD a ton in 2010, to $58,50 AUD in 2014, and this was reducing the competitiveness of local businesses and particularly small and medium enterprises (SMEs) from the manufacturing sector. To face this challenge, a software tool called ASPIRE (Advisory System for Processing, Innovation & Resource Exchange), was created to help local businesses cut waste disposal costs by matching them with other businesses which can put the waste to good use. ASPIRE is a collaborative project developed in partnership between the State of Victoria who provided a grant to fund the project, CSIRO (Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization) who developed the tool, and the City of Kingston who led the project implementation with partner local councils and business associations. It has been active since September 2015 and is freely available to businesses within the partner regions. This match-up system is built as an online marketplace which identifies potential business to business resource exchange in order to allow waste from one company to be used as raw materials for another, by matching businesses with potential purchasers or recyclers of their waste by-products.
ASPIRE users are invited to join via their local council or business network. They create a user account and enter details about the type and quantity of their output/input needs. ASPIRE provides automatically the following personalized information according to the profile of the user:
A successful example of business match-making by ASPIRE is the partnership created between the companies Viridian, specialized glass manufacturer; and Olympic Polymers, specialized in recycling post-industrial plastic waste. Viridian identified, cleaned and segregated the various grades of usable plastic film and plastic pipe waste, and the plastic was then collected by Olympic Polymers and converted into high quality plastic resin pellets for reuse in industry. Viridian’s waste collection bill and landfill costs have been reduced by at least 30% as a result of sorting, baling and then recycling plastic film waste and plastic pipes to Olympic Polymers, which corresponds to $15.000 AUD to $20.000 AUD per year of cost savings to the business. This successful exchange has also diverted between 600?800kg/week or 36,400kg/year of plastic film from landfill. Olympic Polymers have benefited from the additional feedstock delivered by Viridian at no cost.
A match-making tool such as ASPIRE may have numerous benefits, including:
Although it is too early to tell the degree of success and challenges face by the project, it is possible that the platform only works if it is widely used and manages to have a strong database with business information. To ensure the success of the project, this clearly means that a strong communication campaign is necessary and that State government of Victoria and CSIRO will need to rely on partnerships with local councils and business associations.
State of Victoria, Australia