Home Back Issues October 2010 Group turns trash into treasure

Group turns trash into treasure

| Print |  Email
Articles - October 2010
Tuesday, September 28, 2010

 

ResourceFull Use
ResourceFull Use holds "speed dating" meetings with business leaders to talk about how companies can recycle their waste. // PHOTO COURTESY OF ZERO WASTE ALLIANCE

A group of Portland-area business strategists are encouraging companies to dump their waste on others as a way to save money.

ResourceFull Use, founded in 2007, is a pilot resource exchange project that looks for ways to make one business’ trash another business’ gain instead of disposing of it at financial and environmental cost. Metro estimates more than 575,000 tons of waste are produced annually by Metro-area businesses.

The idea of resource exchanging in the Northwest isn’t new. Imex.com, based in Washington, is a sort of Craigslist for businesses searching for materials that would otherwise go to the dump. But “passive exchanging does not work as well as active exchanges,” says Dorothy Atwood, co-founder of ResourceFull Use and an employee of the Zero Waste Alliance. She values a more active approach, like her group organizes.

“It’s like speed dating,” Atwood says of ResourceFull Use’s workshops that bring together area business leaders. “You talk to one person for one minute and then switch. In 20 minutes you’ve talked to 20 people.”

Past workshops in the Portland area have led to ripped hotel sheets turned into prison linens and airport runway paint transferred to an auto body shop for use in a parking lot. A similar program in Seattle  has led to over $390,000 in annual savings for participating businesses and 3,663 tons of material diverted annually.

But there are obstacles. ResourceFull currently has a limited scope. “You have to have critical mass and you need a way to track it to make it really work,” Atwood says. Atwood hopes to increase the number of these workshops in the future to get out the word that there is value in what businesses are tossing.

PETER BELAND
 

More Articles

College Hacker

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KLINT FINLEY

Treehouse CEO Ryan Carson builds a 21st-century trade school.


Read more...

What I'm Reading

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Kim Ierian, President of Concorde Career Colleges, and Deborah Edward, Executive Director of Business for Culture & the Arts, share their recent reads.


Read more...

Green Endeavor cleans up

News
Wednesday, August 06, 2014
080614 ULnew greenendeavorBY LINDA BAKER | OB EDITOR

Portland startup Green Endeavor strikes gold, inking a partnership with Underwriters Laboratories, an Illinois-based consulting and certification company with offices in 46 countries.


Read more...

Register for 100 Best Companies survey

News
Wednesday, August 20, 2014
OBM-100-best-logo-2015 150pxwBy Kim Moore | OB Editor

The 2015 survey launched this week. It is open to for-profit private and public companies that have at least 15 full- or part-time employees in Oregon.


Read more...

Powerlist: Colleges and Universities

September 2014
Wednesday, August 27, 2014
BY KIM MOORE

A conversation about higher education with the presidents of the University of Oregon and Clackamas Community College, followed by September's powerlist.


Read more...

Buyer's Remorse

September 2014
Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Parents and students paying for college today are like homeowners who bought a house just before the housing bubble burst.


Read more...

Risks & rewards of owning triple net investments

Contributed Blogs
Thursday, July 24, 2014
NNNinvestmentBY CLIFF HOCKLEY | OB GUEST CONTRIBUTOR

With the increasing retirements of Baby Boomers, a massive real estate shift has created a significant increase in demand for NNN properties. The result? Increased demand has triggered higher prices and lower yields.


Read more...
Oregon Business magazinetitle-sponsored-links-02
SPONSORED LINKS