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The need - The City of Austin’s ambition to reach zero waste by 2040 has generated a need to find value in discarded materials. This led to the creation of the Austin Materials Marketplace, an online exchange platform.
The solution - The principle that one company's byproducts can be another's raw materials is the driver behind the Austin Materials Marketplace. The initiative is a business-to-business reuse platform coordinated by the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development with support from Austin Resource Recovery.
The outcomes - The Austin Materials Marketplace provides an additional way for businesses to address their disposal needs and realise a revenue stream in the process. By mid 2019, the trades had resulted in over 400 tonnes of material diverted from landfill and avoided more than 950 million tonnes of CO2 emissions.
How does the initiative support the transition to a circular economy? - The Austin Materials Marketplace brings together businesses of all sizes and entrepreneurs to create closed-loop systems in which one company’s waste is another company’s raw material.
Explore more about Circular Economy in Cities
This case study belongs to the Ellen MacArthur Foundation’s Circular Economy in Cities suite of online resources, which acts as a reference point for urban policymakers on the circular economy. It draws out opportunities in three key urban systems - buildings, mobility, and products - and looks at how city governments can enable a circular economy transition.
Five modules aim to answer the critical questions on this topic:
- Vision: What will the implementation of circular economy principles in cities look like?
- Factsheets: What are the circular economy opportunities in key urban systems and what benefits can a circular economy transition bring?
- Policy levers: What can urban policymakers do to accelerate this transition?
- Case studies: What examples are there of urban policymakers already putting this into action?
- Other networks & resources: What are other organisations doing on the topic of circular economy and cities?