The SMILE Resource Exchange has just launched a new national environmental support programme available in Ireland for businesses interested in finding efficiencies or new opportunities within their current wastes and by-product streams.

This new addition to the SMILE service offering means that members can avail of free expert environmental assistance to identify potential resource efficiencies within their processes, alternatives to recycling or landfill, new product opportunities, linkages with other companies and associated savings.

Based in Cork, SMILE Resource Exchange is a national programme that connects businesses throughout Ireland that can reuse each other’s surplus materials, offcuts and waste. The programme, run by Macroom E Enterprise Centre (a wholly owned subsidiary of Cork County Council) now has over 1,500 business members nationally and over 454 successful synergies recorded to date. This equates to an estimated 35,000 tonnes of material diverted from landfill or recycling and a combined cost saving for businesses of over €6.4m million.

“SMILE’s new hotline and technical support offering fits neatly with the Local Enterprise Office’s mission, positively supporting and inspiring those with an idea for a product or service, using a waste or by-product. We encourage businesses to think about sustainability at the design stage of their enterprise development. We are proud to support the SMILE Resource Exchange and are delighted to see it grow like this,” says Sean O’Sullivan, Head of Enterprise, Local Enterprise Office South Cork and Chairperson of the SMILE Resource Exchange.

SMILE was established in 2010 by Macroom E Enterprise Centre, with the support of the Environmental Protection Agency, Cork County and City Councils, the Local Enterprise Offices and Ireland’s Waste Management Regions.

Since its inception, members of SMILE have created lots of positive stories with their exchanges: for example there are a number of hotels that have linked with charities to find good homes for furniture following refurbishments; building contractors linked with playgrounds and outdoor activity centres to reuse no longer required Astro Turf; hospitals linked with retirement homes to reuse beds; label liners that were previously sent to landfill are now being recycled; waste food generators connected with anaerobic digester sites to generate biogas; waste glass reprocessed for use in the manufacture of eco construction products, and many more.

Keiron Phillips, Project Manager, EPA, is also keen to spread the word about the SMILE project, noting the EPA is here to help businesses in Ireland become more resource efficient and in turn save money. “Programmes like the SMILE Resource Exchange help effect those changes on the ground. This new technical support offering goes one step further in walking companies through the necessary steps to make those savings.”

Becoming a member of the SMILE Resource Exchange is free at www.smileexchange.ie Businesses with an interest in availing of SMILE technical support can contact the team on 026 20520 or info@smileexchange.ie

SMILE is supported by the Environmental Protection Agency, Southern Region Waste Management Office, Eastern Midlands Waste Management Office, Connacht Ulster Waste Management Office, Local Enterprise Offices, Cork County Council and Cork City Council.

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