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ResourceFull Use

The Motivation

Industries and manufacturers commonly produce wastes that other businesses could use. A lack of inter-business communication prevents efficient use of resources. The ResourceFull Use program was started to help turn one business’ trash into another’s treasure.

What is ResourceFull Use?

ResourceFull Use provides manufacturers and industry with workshops and a website-based mechanism to assess resource needs and actively exchange resources (e.g., use the waste of one organization as an input for another). The result is the creation of a sustainable eco-industrial community.

Benefits are improved economic viability through reduced waste, improved resource efficiencies and cost savings, and a reduced environmental footprint achieved through decreased emissions (CO2 and other greenhouse gases) and pollution.

About the Project

The ResourceFull Use program is different from traditional passive web-based exchanges (such as IMEX in Kent, Washington) in these important ways:

  • It does not rely only on a passive database.  Facilitated workshops and convened business association events provide venues for organizations to actively explore potential exchanges.
  • It looks holistically at all resource flows.  Participating organizations map their resource inputs and outputs through the whole organization rather than just focusing on individual waste streams or input needs.
  • It leverages local business associations and government programs.  The exchange uses existing programs and relationships to build awareness and expand the use.
  • It is local, which reduces transportation costs and promotes community.
  • It is flexible.  The program encompasses more than material resources, allowing for exchanges involving space, equipment, energy, and transportation.

The ResourceFull Use Project started in 2006 as the result of collaboration between Zero Waste Alliance, a Portland-based nonprofit organization and Columbia Corridor Association.   The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center (PPRC) joined as a co-facilitator of the program in 2008 and continued through 2012.

The program has benefited from advisory, funding, and in-kind support from a wide cross-section of organizations including The Pacific Northwest Pollution Prevention Resource Center, The Boeing Foundation, Cadmus Group (formerly Quantec, LLC), Oregon Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), Portland Development Commission (PDC), City of Portland’s Recycle at Work Program, Portland General Electric (PGE), City of Gresham, Portland Water Bureau, Columbia Corridor Association (CCA), Zero Waste Alliance (ZWA), Portland Metro, and Portland Office of Sustainable Development.

 Addditional Resources: Presentations and Articles

  • GreenBiz (May 2013) – “Public-Private Partnerships Turn Waste into Cash” (VIEW ARTICLE)
  • Sustainable Business Oregon (June 2011) – “One Company’s Trash…” (VIEW ARTICLE)
  • London Financial Times (November 2010) – “Alliances that Lead to Creative Industrial Symbiosis” (VIEW ARTICLE)
  • Oregon Business (October 2010) – “Group turns trash into treasure” (VIEW ARTICLE)
  • Association of Oregon Recyclers (August 2010) – “ResourceFull Use Program Turns Waste into Revenue” (VIEW ARTICLE)
  • NBIS Presentation (August 2012) – “Accelerating Profitable Sustainability” (VIEW PRESENTATION)
  • Dr. Jennifer Howard-Greenville  (November 2011) – “Industrial Symbiosis” (VIEW PRESENTATION)
  • International Synergies (February 2011) – “Breakthrough year for Industrial Symbiosis” (VIEW REPORT)
  • Debra Taevs/Dorothy Atwood (December 2010) – “Building a Zero Waste Supply Chain” (VIEW PRESENTATION)
  • Debra Taevs/Dorothy Atwood (June 2009) – “ResourceFull Use Pilot Program” (VIEW PRESENTATION)

For more information about the project, please call or email:

Debra Taevs,
ResourceFull Use

Corky Collier,
Columbia Corridor Association

Made possible by grants from

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