Reuse, Remanufacture and Recycle
Broadly defined, a waste-based business is any venture that makes money from discarded materials.
Items are diverted from several waste sources, including dumps, transfer stations, businesses and individual donations. In a waste-based business the items are reused, remanufactured, or recycled for a profit.
- Reuse is using a product as-is (example: selling books online or in a retail thrift store)
- Remanufacture is taking an item and turning it into something else (example: clean materials from a discarded mattress used to make a dog or cat bed)
- Recycling is sending raw materials to a secondary market for remanufacture (example: collecting large appliances and selling the scrap metal)
What are the benefits? In addition to a cleaner environment and more responsible use of our natural resources, the overarching benefit is permanent, full-time, and stable jobs with access to healthcare for people who often struggle to find employment within the mainstream workforce. These include ex-offenders, people experiencing homelessness, victims of domestic violence, and/or people with low education and skill levels.
Cascade Alliance members are currently operating these waste-based businesses:
- Mattress recycling (SVdP is a global leader in mattress recycling. Click the link for more info.)
- Appliance repair and recycling
- CFC and propane recycling
- Mattress recycling and refurbishing
- Retail thrift stores (textiles and shoes)
- Online and retail book and media sales
- Used car sales
- Upcycling (remanufacturing discarded textiles into fashion items)
- Glass recycling and remanufacturing
- Candle wax remanufacturing