Michelin is a large corporate with production plants all over the world. Waste streams of tyre production are several and of different nature, such as for example carbon black, talcum powder, etc. With the help of the National Industrial Symbiosis Programme (NISP) the UK plant in Ballymena (Northern Ireland) approached the waste management issue including an Industrial Symbiosis perspective.
The challenge that led the company to implement Industrial Symbiosis was to reduce its environmental impact. In fact, the corporate itself has a target to completely eliminate waste sent to landfill.
The main barrier faced by the company was to find resources to allow the generation of creative and cost effective solutions for waste reuse. In addition, some of the waste materials can be difficult to recycle, as at the end of the production process they are contaminated with other substances.
The approach used to overcome this barrier was to contact the facilitator (NISP) and to seek for their help. The facilitator also helped the dialogue between the company and potential partners regarding needed waste treatment and related responsibilities.
The discovery process, conducted by the company with the help of the facilitator, started with the identification and mapping of the different waste streams. After that, alternative solutions to landfill were identified for each of them. Benchmarking within different Michelin plants was used to this purpose as well as advices from external experts.
Source: Laybourn, P., 2013, “Opportunities through Industrial Symbiosis: UK NISP and Global Experience”. Presented at the Industrial Symbiosis workshop for development agencies and regional plans, Ankara, 31st January 2013.
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