17 Eco-Industrial Parks Take Shape

There are 17 eco-industrial projects underway in the U.S., Canada and Denmark, taking a variety of forms. For example:

A Computer and Electronics Disposition Eco-Industrial Park in Austin, Texas is being positioned as a leader in the emerging field of electronics recovery and recycling. The businesses in the park will use the latest industrial ecology techniques for wide-scale energy, resource and waste efficiency. The plan calls for reuse, sale of parts and units, recycling, remanufacturing, and ultimate disposition of all computer and electronic equipment. Tenants will benefit from shared social services such as job-training, transportation, public space, child-care and technology research.

The anchor business will be a computer and electronics disposition facility. There will be a Research & Development Center, a business incubator (Innovation Center), and the non-profit managing partner of the park. Future resident companies will feed off the product streams of the anchor facility.

The Industrial Ecosystem Development Project, in Research Triangle, North Carolina, completed a two year, EPA-funded research project to match company wastestreams in a six-county region. The challenges of industrial waste matchmaking and the specific industry inputs and byproducts they found offer a useful guide for implementing such programs elsewhere.

182 facilities furnished information on byproducts that might prove useful to other businesses and the inputs they used that might be supplied from another facility’s byproducts. Potential partnerships were then identified for the reuse of materials, water, and energy. Matches were made for 97 companies. Of the 49 materials examined, 12 materials including methanol, packing materials, plastic bags, sawdust, and wood chips, resulted in an immediate match; 24 additional materials have long term potential.

The Alameda County Waste Management Authority & Recycling Board, Market Development Assistance/Eco-Industrial Park Project conducted a waste characterization study to decipher actions needed to meet its State-mandated 50 percent landfill diversion rate by 2000. The agency is aggressively recruiting resource recovery-based businesses that can use the hundreds of thousands of tons of materials they found that can be diverted from the landfill.

They are also narrowing in on a location for an eco-industrial park. Potential targeted tenants include: electronics/computer disassembly, no-emission plywood manufacturer, plastic pallet remanufacturer, recycled-content ceiling tiles manufacturer, recycled-content carpet or carpet padding manufacturer, and building materials reuse.

Alameda County Waste Management Authority: Rory Bakke; or Economic Development Alliance for Business: Mary Ortendahl

Computer and Electronics Disposition Eco-Industrial Park: Liz Pleshette

Research Triangle: Judy Kincaid, Triangle J Council of Governments. Read the report: [sorry this link is no longer available]

Read about the other 14 eco-industrial parkes: [sorry this link is no longer available]

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