By-Product Synergy Northwest Project

The Motivation

Many different industries send way too much waste to landfills, at home and abroad. By-Product Synergy NW (BPS NW) is a Northwest public-private partnership that takes a closed-loop and regional approach to materials and resources. Outputs become inputs, and they don’t travel far to do so.

The Program

Member companies work in facilitated sessions to identify opportunities to reuse waste materials or optimize the use of input materials. Technical experts and regulatory representatives support the program and help participants develop innovative approaches to save money and reduce waste.

Starting in 2013, PPRC will assist these programs by facilitating workgroups focused on chemical trades. These Chemical Workgroups aim to identify  opportunities for mutually beneficial uses for chemical wastes.

Since 2007, BPS NW has engaged a core group of companies, including heavy industries like Shell Oil and Nucor Steel, and Northwest-based manufacturers such as Genie Industries and Canyon Creek Cabinet Company.

By-Product Synergy NW is managed by NBIS (Network for Business Innovation and Sustainability) in collaboration with PPRC, Washington State Department of Ecology, the US Business Council for Sustainable Development, and other partners.


Additional Resources

Materials Innovation Exchange Online Toolbox (MAIX)

During 2011, development began on a first-class resource for materials exchange. The unique Materials Innovation Exchange website is in beta right now. The website aims to include a public facing marketplace for materials exchange (alongside a members only space) plus an innovation center offering resources and solutions for dealing with challenging materials.

The site is both a materials marketplace and a global knowledge bank supporting innovation in materials management and waste reduction. Seed funding was provided by the Washington State Department of Ecology and Rhizome Design. Rhizome is an NBIS member company, contributing web development and design expertise to the project.

Working Groups and Examples of Materials Innovation

  • Heavy Industry Working Group – addressing common problems and materials.
  • Sheet Plastic Roundtable – collaboration for converting plastic waste to building materials.
  • Mattress Disassembly – Correctional Industries: job training, revenue, and materials reclamation.
  • Acetone Redistilling – Canyon Creek Cabinet Company: hazardous waste reduction and cost savings.
  • Steel Shot Blast – Nucor Steel, Genie Industries: feedstock supply; diversion of waste from landfill.
  • Rags Repurpose – Canyon Creek Cabinet Company: diversion of waste from landfill, cost savings, extending the use life of local resources.



For more information on these projects, please contact:

Mary Rose, Co-Executive Director, NBIS