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Ohio EPA Announces First Transaction Via Ohio Materials Marketplace
Columbus recycler & Heath thermoplastics processor connect through new state website
Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler today announced the first transaction through a new online service whereby Ohio businesses, not-for-profits and government organizations can advertise and acquire potentially useful products and materials that might otherwise be destined for disposal in landfills. Columbus based Weisenbach Recycled Products posted the availability of 4.68 tons of polypropylene (plastic bottle caps) to the Ohio Materials Marketplace (OMM) in May. Representatives from Heath based Polymer Technologies Inc. saw the posting and identified the material as useful for producing polypropylene pellets, which can then be sold on the open market for the manufacture of common household products. Ohio EPA staff facilitated the connection between the two companies.
“This first transaction serves as the beginning of what is a new way of thinking when it comes to the millions of tons of materials that our state buries in landfills each year,” Director Butler said. “Applying technology to the axiom, a waste is nothing but a resource out of place, Ohio is taking the lead in leveraging the internet to help remove materials from the waste stream, promote jobs and allow for better efficiency and savings in the processes of creating goods and services.”
Launched by Ohio EPA this spring, OMM serves as a free online platform allowing organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs. More than 260 Ohio organizations have signed up for the service, and the website has already been visited more than 5,000 times. More than 50 items are presently listed as available; more than 25 items are listed as wanted. With statewide access to thousands of Ohio’s businesses, communities and other organizations, Ohio EPA is well positioned to bring members together in this modern online marketplace.
What differentiates the Ohio Materials Marketplace from other online markets is that the platform is active in design and functionality rather than passive. Previous models (such as the Ohio Materials Exchange) and similar services in other states worked as a simple bulletin board with little or no engagement by the host. The new OMM is maintained by Ohio EPA which markets the site to potential users, verifies that users (and items posted) meet qualifications to participate, and actively works to facilitate connections between users. The site is specifically designed as a business-to-business or business-to-community exchange for recyclables and reusable materials.
In the circular economy, products and by-products recirculate productively through reuse, remanufacturing, recycling and maintenance. Users of OMM can make or save money by finding a market for their unwanted materials and avoiding landfill tipping fees; buyers save money by having access to sellers’ discounted (or free) materials; Ohio’s environment benefits by having more material removed from the waste stream.
The program was launched with support from the not-for-profit United States Business Council for Sustainable Development. More information about OMM is available online: ohio.materialsmarketplace.org.
The Ohio Environmental Protection Agency was created in 1972 to consolidate efforts to protect and improve air quality, water quality and waste management in Ohio. Since then, air pollutants dropped by as much as 90 percent; large rivers meeting standards improved from 21 percent to 89 percent; and hundreds of polluting, open dumps were replaced with engineered landfills and an increased emphasis on waste reduction and recycling.