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Ohio Materials Marketplace to find reuse and recycle solutions

• Updated Apr 4, 2017 at 3:49 PM

Ohio EPA Director Craig W. Butler was in Sandusky Tuesday to announce the launch of 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. The new Ohio Materials Marketplace (OMM) is a free online platform allowing these organizations to connect and find solutions to material reuse and recycling needs.

“With statewide access to thousands of Ohio’s businesses, communities and other organizations, Ohio EPA’s Division of Environmental & Financial Assistance (DEFA) is well positioned to bring members together in this modern online marketplace,” Director Butler said. “This new service positions Ohio as a leader in the circular economy, helping remove materials from the waste stream, promoting jobs and allowing for better efficiency and savings in the processes of creating goods and services.”

Examples of materials posted on OMM (and their potential re-uses) might include common items such as bulk wooden pallets (mulch base) or used bricks (building materials). Other items might reflect materials from industrial processes such as spent foundry sand (to be mixed with potting soil), or specialized items such as spent hydro-treating catalyst (metals recovery).

Along with browsing for materials, users of OMM can post “wanted” items that might substitute for raw materials or other items members currently purchase. Examples of such requests that have been posted thus far include bulk alumina oxide (for metals harvesting/recovery) and bulk food waste in packaging (to be used for anaerobic digestion/energy recovery).

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 is being 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.

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