Scotland launches remanufacturing research hub
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- Pollution & Waste Management
Scotland is to set up a dedicated remanufacturing research centre and materials brokerage service to help manufacturers harness the value from used materials and components, environment secretary Richard Lochhead announced today.
The Scottish Institute of Remanufacture will be hosted by the University of Strathclyde, which already runs a research group on the issue, in partnership with Heriot Watt University.
The institute will receive £1.3 million in funding over three years, with £1 million from the Scottish Funding Council and £300,000 from government body Zero Waste Scotland. Scottish businesses have also pledged over £800,000 or "in-kind" support for potential research projects.
Lochhead also confirmed the creation of a Scottish materials brokerage service, a one-stop shop to help the public sector get a better deal for the recycled materials they collect.
"It is astounding that an estimated £50 million worth of gold will potentially be wasted in Scotland in the next five years through disposal of electronics like computers and phones. By channelling expertise into better remanufacturing, we can ensure that valuable components can be recovered and reused," he said.
Products need to be redesigned to make it easier to take them apart and transform them into new products, Lochhead added.
He said the brokerage service would provide certainty of supply for investors and certainty of demand for local authorities, which handle almost 3 million tonnes of waste material a year.
Over 60 companies in Scotland are already active in remanufacturing, including firms in the automotive, electronics, energy infrastructure, aerospace, and marine service sectors, according to the Scottish government.
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: "Our current make-and-dispose economic model cannot continue and by focusing on remanufacture and reuse, Scotland can develop a circular economy which makes better use of resources and creates jobs."
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