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3rd Quarter 1999 | 4th Quarter 1999 | 1st Quarter 2000

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Industrial Estates Find New Ways to Handle Waste
Get Cash from Your Trash


Industrial Estates Find New Ways to Handle Waste

What do we do with our industrial waste? Can we find a viable market for it? Is there a listing where we can advertise our by-products for sale or alternative disposal?

Such queries were raised in an awareness seminar for industrial estates on alternative waste management. The seminar series entitled Industrial Ecology and the Business of By-Product Exchange Within and Among Industrial Estates, were held in August and were given to locator companies of Carmelray Industrial Park, Lima Technology Center, Light Industry and Science Park (LISP), and Laguna International Industrial Park (LIIP).

Concepts of industrial ecology and its tools like by-product exchange were discussed and served as catalysts for the estates to look for more viable ways of disposing their waste. Industrial ecology is an emerging approach that looks at the entire systems of industrial processes and modifies them such that waste is minimized and resources are optimized. One way of applying industrial ecology is through by-product exchange. Here, a locator company can either sell or give for free its "waste" or by-product to another company needing it as raw material or substitute.

During the seminar, the locator companies were asked to fill out a survey form on their materials, water, and energy usage as well as the by-product they generate. The consolidated data would become the basis of possible matches where companies can either directly exchange by-products or find a market for these. The possible exchanges would not be limited to locators inside one estate only. If the exchange would prove viable for two companies in different estates, then a bilateral deal could be struck. Independent buyers not located in an industrial estate might also get into a deal with another company so long as the exchange would remain economically viable.

Seminar participants also raised questions on how they could go about regulations posed by the Philippine Economic Zone Authority (PEZA). Certain regulations might hamper the exchange, like transport of waste from one site to another. Here, a new set of modified policies might be needed to facilitate the exchange without violating existing rules.

Joining in the seminar was a local expert on industrial ecology, Dr. Antonio Alcantara, professor at the School of Environmental Science and Management (SESAM) at the University of the Philippines in Los Banos. Also sharing their experiences in the awareness seminars are Cecil Corloncito of Aquagem Environmental Consultants; Redd Asprer, estate manager of Lima Technology Center; Rosalito Dominguez, assistant vice president for operations at LISP; Edil Mendoza, assistant manager for environment, LISP; Gil Abaquin, estate administrator for LIIP; Nissa Suarez, PEZA manager for LIIP; and Rommel Alviar, pollution control officer of Carmelray.

The seminar series was conduced by the Industrial Ecology Module of the PRIME Project. PRIME or Private Sector Participation in Managing the Environment is a project of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) and is implemented by the Board of Investments, Department of Trade and Industry (BOI-DTI).

Get Cash from Your Trash

Yes, there is money in industrial waste.

Many companies do not realize that the by-products generated from their production processes have market value. Some industrial by-products can be sold to another firm needing it as a raw material or a substitute. Compatible industries could exchange their by-products and eventually strike a business deal. Instead of directly disposing waste, these by-products can be re-used or re-processed by another firm.

Such is the concept of by-product exchange. In a by-product exchange, the inter-plant collaboration generally improves the environmental and economic performance of the companies involved, both individually and collectively. Companies tend to gain savings from disposal costs. This transaction also helps firms avoid future liabilities that may arise from improper waste handling. Further, the company buying the by-product reduces its use of virgin materials. The one selling the by-product, in turn, reduces pollution.

A by-product exchange (BPX) can take place 1) between two or more companies within an industrial estate (proximity is an advantage when it comes to by-product transport), 2) between or among industrial estates, 2) between a locator in an estate and another not confined within an estate (outside participant), 3) between or among outside participants, or 4) regional. So long as the transaction is deemed viable and economical, and the processes of doing so do not violate any estate laws or national environmental regulations, then by-product exchange is possible.

Currently, a BPX program is being pilot-tested among five industrial estates. These are: Carmelray Industrial Park (CIP), Laguna International Industrial Park (LIIP), Light Industry and Science Park (LISP), Laguna Technopark Inc. (LTI), and LIMA Technology Center.

This program is a pilot test of industrial ecology (and its tools) in the Philippines. This is being done through the Industrial Ecology Module of the PRIME Project.