The Spanish Chambers of Commerce have set up a regional waste exchange scheme (Bolsa de residuos) that allows companies to easily exchange waste as byproducts.
Regional Chambers of Commerce of Spain created an instrument called “Bolsa de subproductos” or waste exchange scheme where companies can offer their wastes as by-products for other companies. The market was recently extended to other unwanted products such as used machinery and excess of raw material.
Any offer/demand of a waste from a company (being a “provider” or “user”) of waste/byproducts. is privately coded and has to be identified by :
The Bolsa is considered as a “passive instrument”: it only provides information about the company that generates the waste, without analysing the wastes or playing a role in the exchange. Offers and demands are promoted by the Chambers of Commerce amongst its associates and the rest of the companies, having no responsibility in the advertised by-product.
The exchange service is offered free of charge through the platforms set up.
This exchange service is acknowledged and accepted by the Ministry of Environment and the different regional ministries as an exchange of byproducts and not residuals.
Hence, benefits include:
Easier circulation of waste, with less administrative burden.
Lower management costs and cheaper "raw" materials.
Implication of authorised transporters and waste managers (both treatment and transport are usually needed).
Exchange of information between companies in a regional level.
Implication of Stakeholders:
Regional Chambers of Commerce
Companies that have valuable wastes (providers)
Companies that want use the wastes as a raw materials (users).
Acknowledgement of regional authorities in charge of waste management.
Evidence of success
In 2017, 19 regional waste exchange programs are active under this scheme in Spain.
As per 2017, 1250 offers and some 400 demands have been processed by these programs only in Valencian Community. An estimate of a 40% of such waste exchange possibilities have ended up as successful transactions.
Wastes have specific legislation, so the inclusion of the waste in the “exchange market” doesn’t exempt companies from legal responsibility.
Variable composition of the waste
Continuity of supply
Potential for learning or transfer
Being waste treatment issues a main barrier for circular economy and Industrial Symbiosys, the waste exchange scheme has so far succesfully linked companies of several sectors, therefore being a good example of how wastes can be valorised as a raw material for different sectors.
Expansion of the model is currently on the way, through the project www.wasteresource.eu, where a open platform is made available to the different administrations who want to set up such waste exchange program.
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