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Introducing the Austin Materials Marketplace

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Introducing the Austin Materials Marketplace

Alden Larrick

In addition to the major progress at Circle Acres this year, a model for remediation that we hope to replicate in other brownfields around Austin, Ecology Action has also played a big part in another exciting, city-wide reuse and recycling initiative known as the Austin Materials Marketplace (AMM).

Made public earlier this year by the City of Austin and the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD), the AMM is an online database of waste materials generated by local businesses (brewers, granite and textile manufacturers, restaurants, auto service companies and contractors are just a few examples of participating industries) and waste materials wanted by other business who are able to use them in their own manufacturing processes (some examples include composters, insect breeders, and granite and textile re-manufacturers). Through the AMM, one company’s waste can become another company’s raw material. This reimagining of materials flows effectively closes the loop on the manufacturing process for participants and not only helps the environment by drastically cutting down on landfill waste disposal and associated CO2 emissions, but also provides many benefits to participating businesses. Some of these benefits include reduced waste disposal costs, networking opportunities, progress toward sustainability goals and a show of support for the implementation of universal recycling in Austin.

The AMM is currently being sponsored by the City of Austin in an effort to reach its zero waste goal of 90% landfill diversion by 2040. Over the course of the last year, Ecology Action has been working in partnership with the US BCSD to get the AMM off of the ground by identifying potential synergies between local businesses that are able to use each others’ waste material. We hope that 2015 will see new opportunities to bring even more businesses together in the name of reuse and recycling as knowledge and participation in the AMM continues to expand throughout the city.

To learn more about the AMM, check out this recent GreenBiz article.