Northern Tasmanian businesses will be the first in the state to test out what has been described as the "Tinder for waste" in a bid to divert tonnes of waste from landfill in the region.
The digital platform ASPIRE, started by the CSIRO, uses an algorithm to match waste producers with those who can reuse, recycle, repair and remake, to create what is known as a circular economy.
Soon businesses in the region will be able to access the platform to link up people who want materials and people who have it but consider it a waste product.
Under the 12-month trial, businesses in the seven municipalities with less than 20 employees will be able to use the platform for free. Those with more than 20 employees will be required to pay a small fee.
Businesses in seven Northern municipalities will be eligible to sign up to the platform including those in:
- George Town;
- City of Launceston;
- Meander Valley;
- Break O'Day;
- Flinders Island;
- West Tamar; and
- Northern Midlands.
The trial is in partnership with Northern Tasmania Development Corporation and the Northern Tasmania Waste Management Group.
NTDC chief executive Mark Baker said the initiative was the first step in proving the benefits of a circular economy approach.
"Increasingly, the world is moving away from a take it, make it, break it and throw it out mentally to a reuse, repurpose, repair, recycle," he said.
"For generations we have been putting hundreds of thousands of tonnes of waste into landfill without fully recognising its potential."
In other news:
One example was a yeast manufacturer who, through the platform, diverted more than 160,000 tonnes from landfill to livestock, saving the company more than $40,000 per year.
NTWMG chairperson Shane Power agreed consumers were becoming more environmentally aware, which was reflected in their buying decisions.
"We expect existing businesses will benefit through reducing costs associated with landfill but also add new revenue streams ... from their business processes from large manufacturing to small niche industries," he said.
"It not only contributes to a sustainable environment, but makes great business sense also."
City of Launceston mayor Albert van Zetten agreed and said he thought businesses would jump at the opportunity.
"The more that we can recycle, the better it's going to be for our landfill and for our community," he said.
"There's so much waste that goes on that people don't realise, it just makes sense, it's common sense and it's a great initiative."
West Tamar mayor Christina Holmdahl agreed it would be a successful program.
"This is a perfect opportunity to get into recycling but ... we need to be focusing on products that we will use and the economic benefits will be ongoing," Northern Midland's mayor Mary Knowles said.
To sign up or learn more visit aspiresme.com or contact NTDC.
Sign up to one of our newsletters: