Industrial Symbiosis

Industrial Symbiosis is the sharing or re-using of resources and materials between organisations and industries, mimicking the way organisms work together within an ecosystem. Through management of the SISP programme for the Scottish Executive, SEPA and Scottish Enterprise, Thirdwave helps Scottish businesses implement this concept to deliver mutual commercial benefits.
Industrial Speed-dating Events

Thirdwave regularly hosts free Industrial 'Speed-dating' events around Scotland to enable organisations to meet potential future business partners, to identify opportunities and to put Industrial Symbiosis into practice. Events regularly attract 30 to 40 businesses, whose representatives openly discuss resources, problems and ideas.

Comments received from recent events:

"A big thank-you and congratulations for an excellent event; the work of SISP is pivotal to a sustainable Scotland." DSM Nutritional Products

"An absolutely excellent way to spend half a day; I especially liked the enthusiasm that everybody had for the subject despite the diversity of their respective backgrounds." Cyrill Sweett

"A more intimate and effective networking experience than offered at other events." Scottish Water Waste Services


Real Results

Industrial Symbiosis is not just a concept but delivers real commercial benefits to business. The following three examples highlight the diversity of Industrial Symbiosis.

For further examples see SISP >>

Aggregates recycling

One of the simplest and most effective synergies facilitated by Thirdwave through SISP involves the re-use of over 20,000 tonnes of material excavated by Falkirk Council. The material is reprocessed by Tarmac Recycling at a neighbouring site to a specification which allows the Council to use the output as secondary aggregates in development projects and road construction. This synergy comes as a result of Falkirk Council meeting Encore
Environmental Aggregates at a SISP Industrial Speed-dating Event in January 2004. These initial discussions explored the potential for recycling existing excavation waste, which has led to on-going trials to achieve this goal.



Scallop Shells

Based on our earlier success, Scottish Enterprise Dumfries and Galloway employed Thirdwave to investigate unique re-use options for the many shellfish processors in the region. Introduction of the Animal By Products Regulations has banned the disposal of shellfish waste in landfill. Whilst some of the more innovative possibilities are still being investigated, 5,000 tonnes of scallop shells are currently being used by the Forestry Commission as an alternative to virgin aggregate for forest path
construction. In addition to the £25,000 annual savings realised by the shellfish processor, there have been significant ecological improvements in the forests the calcium carbonate in the shells is de-acidifying the soil!

Municipal waste generates energy

Thirdwave has been active in the promotion of the Swedish technology reCulture, which converts Municipal Solid Waste (MSW) to clean burning fuel for many years. Specific research undertaken by Thirdwave has made every council in the UK aware of the system and it's benefits. Whilst some Local Authorities were interested in this innovative system, it has been waste management firms that have


recognised its potential. reCulture is now in the process of signing a deal with a prominent Scottish recycling company, after Thirdwave initiated a meeting between the two parties. Once up and running, 100,000 tonnes of waste will be converted into 60,000 tonnes of fuel. This will also provide councils with a sustainable method to meet their landfill avoidance targets.

Examples of work in Industrial Symbiosis by Thirdwave >>