As discussed at the ECOS Spring Meeting, Ohio Environmental Protection Agency (Ohio EPA) Director Craig Butler has announced the launch of a new online platform whereby Ohio businesses, nonprofits, and government organizations can advertise and acquire scrap and byproduct materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace is a free online platform allowing these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs, thereby facilitating the shift towards a circular, closed-loop economy.
Examples of materials posted on the marketplace include common items such as bulk wooden pallets or used bricks. Other items reflect materials from industrial processes such as spent foundry sand and specialized items such as spent hydro-treating catalyst. Along with browsing for materials, users of the marketplace can post “wanted” items, thereby seeking items that may serve as substitutes for raw materials or other items they currently purchase. Examples of such requests that have been posted thus far include bulk alumina oxide (for metals harvesting/recovery) and bulk food waste in packaging (to be used for anaerobic digestion/energy recovery).
In the circular economy, products and byproducts recirculate productively through reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and maintenance. Users of the Ohio Materials Marketplace can make or save money by finding a market for their unwanted materials and avoiding landfill tipping fees; buyers save money by having access to sellers’ discounted or free materials; and Ohio’s environment benefits by having more material removed from the waste stream.
Ohio is the first state to adopt a circular economy program of this scope and scale. The leadership of Ohio EPA is paving the way for other states – through a new public-private partnership between the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development and ECOS – to launch state-level programs modeled on the Ohio Materials Marketplace over the next few years.