Industrial symbiosis is the use by one company or sector of waste resources broadly defined—including waste, by-products, residues, energy, water, logistics, capacity, expertise, equipment and materials—from another. Examples of industrial symbiosis include Kalundborg, Denmark's eco-industrial park, a National Industrial Symbiosis Program (NISP) pilot project in the Vancouver and Edmonton areas in Canada, the original NISP in the United Kingdom, and various adaptations of the NISP model deployed in more than 30 countries globally.
In the 2019-21 biennial operating budget, the Department of Commerce (commerce) was directed to produce a proposal and recommendations for setting up an industrial waste coordination program by December 1, 2019. The report presents six key recommendations for a proposed Washington program:
An industrial waste coordination program is established to provide expertise, technical assistance, and best practices to support local industrial symbiosis projects. The program is to be administered regionally by commerce, with each region providing a dedicated facilitator, and technical and administrative support. The program must facilitate waste exchange by:
No entity is required to disclose material flow data. In generating the material flow data collection system, commerce may only use publicly available date or data voluntarily provided by program participants. Commerce must keep any proprietary business information confidential and such information is exempt from public disclosure.
Subject to appropriation, a competitive industrial symbiosis grant program is established to provide grants for the research, development, and deployment of local waste coordination projects. Grants may go towards several project types, including:
Commerce must develop a method and criteria for allocating grants, subject to the following:
PRO: How wonderful to have a bill that does not go along partisan lines. Industrial symbiosis is a simple process that requires advanced planning. It is the intentional colocation of companies such that generation of waste is used and converted to energy and materials for use by another company downstream. Unfortunately, the Governor vetoed the bill last year for fiscal reasons. However, ultimately, this program will save the state millions of dollars.
We are all accustomed to advocates for industry and environment to be at odds, and assume solutions for urban and rural communities differ, but this concept brings industry and environment together, and is applicable in all communities. We have held study tours in Denmark to see industrial symbiosis in action, including with several Washington legislators, and visited working symbiosis in a variety of contexts and scales, including the original, Kalundborg, where a dozen major industrial facilities are connected by resource sharing agreements.
Industrial symbiosis generates $28 million annually in economic value for the eco park, and also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, and conserves water. Washington has discussed potential pilot projects with a number of communities in Raymond, Pasco, Spokane, Tacoma, and many communities across all parts of the state.
Pasco is home to an aging water use facility that provides reuse of water, including for irrigation. Improvements to the facility will help retain food processors and recruit new processors. The city is seeking funds to establish a value planning process for a new facility and the state could potentially use this model for other communities.
On one of the tours it was remarked that it pains them to see smoke coming out of smoke stacks, which is largely steam, rather than being used. We need stream treatment of organic waste to address the state apply maggot problem, to allow the waste for reuse. We would like to see some social equity components. The bill is scalable to address any fiscal concerns.