Resource recovery (R2) is a process through which either products, materials and energy values are captured from the waste or residual streams and reused in other or future production-consumption cycles.
It is the second line of defense – an ecosystem housekeeping function that comes in to play only after the P2 strategy has left any pollution still to be managed.
It is an effective ‘getting more from same’ strategy.
Companies use Resource recovery in 3 ways: Remanufacturing, Reconditioning and Repairing.
Caterpillar, the heavy equipment maker, has been remanufacturing its old and used engines since 20 years, to turn them in to new with similar warranties as new ones made from virgin resources. They are known by “CAT REMAN PRODUCTS”. This is only possible when the new engines/products are designed in such a way that they can either be completely re-manufactured or recycled to keep any waste from going into landfills.
Terracycles, a US based recycling company is another classic example of resource recovery strategy. It uses curb side collection centers all over the US to collect household waste – pens, aluminum cans, and used clothing to convert them into new and entirely different line of products. It even pays people to get them to collect and drop the waste in the collection centers.
Even, General Motors having learnt its lesson has saved millions of dollars by diverting their waste streams back into the loop which otherwise would have ended up in the landfills. Out of its 76 factories worldwide, more than half are landfill free.
Resource recovery extends the life of the manufactured resources, but the newly formed product must not only be competitive in terms of cost of recovery and price but also must deliver either the same of improved performance in terms of quality.
Putting used resources to work is not a default action. It must have stable supply continuity and the necessary infrastructure within the channel networks to ensure its use.
Someone aptly said, “There is no waste – only wasted resources” – only if we could put them to use.
Which other companies do you think are effectively employing R2 strategy?
- 2 companies using “P2″ as a Proactive Marketing Strategy
- Caterpillar Announces Expansion Plans for Remanufacturing Facility in West Fargo, ND to Support Mining Industry
- What Green Marketing will achieve that Traditional Marketing won’t?
- Life cycle thinking at 3M
- Designer’s Toolkit: From Planned Obsolescence to Design for Environment (DfE) – I: Biomimicry
(Picture credit: Image by G A R N E T via Flickr)