City of Chicago restarts Waste to Profit Network

The City of Chicago has issued a grant to the United States Business Council for Sustainable Development (US BCSD) for the re-launch of the Chicago Waste to Profit (WTP) Network, a by-product synergy project in which wastes and under-valued resources at one facility are matched with users at another, resulting in cost savings for the participating businesses while diverting waste from landfills, reducing energy use and CO2 emissions and helping create and retain jobs.

The highly successful network was started in 2006 by the Chicago Manufacturing Center and the US BCSD in partnership with the City of Chicago Department of Environment, the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5.

When the network was launched in 2006 it had the objective of identifying and facilitating waste exchanges that would result in cost savings to participating businesses. The US BCSD has expanded upon the former model by proposing integration of an innovative private sector financing model for viable energy-saving synergies and collaboration beyond waste reduction and reuse to include a broad spectrum of sustainability-related issues that directly impact the Chicago Climate Change Action Plan. The US BCSD intends to create a forum for this collaboration that will meet both in person and on-line, which will link the Chicago Network to other US BCSD BPS projects throughout the United States and world.

The WTP Network addresses Chicago’s sustainability needs by working together with Chicago area companies, institutions and City of Chicago departments to identify and implement by-product synergies that reduce waste and greenhouse gas emissions and deliver economic impact.

“The re-launch of the Waste to Profit Network will allow Chicago and the region to improve upon our waste diversion strategies, reduce green house gas emissions, and just as importantly maintain jobs during these rough economic times,” said Karen Weigert, Chicago chief sustainability office. “We can’t ignore the many success stories that have taken place as a result of the Network. The foundation is in place and we must continue to build on those accomplishments and explore ways to improve the process.”