Waste exchanges, also referred to as industrial recycling or beneficial reuse programs, are markets for buying and selling reusable and recyclable commodities. Some are physical warehouses that advertise available commodities through printed catalogs or websites, while others are simply printed catalogs and web sites that connect buyers with sellers.
State and local governments coordinate some waste exchanges. Others are wholly private, for-profit businesses. The exchanges also vary in terms of area of service and the types of commodities exchanged. In general, waste exchanges tend to handle all types of materials, including hazardous materials (i.e. excess solvent; not hazardous wastes), industrial raw materials, and process waste while some material exchanges handle only non-hazardous items.
Typically, the exchanges allow subscribers to post materials available or materials desired in a directory listing. Organizations interested in trading posted commodities then contact each other directly. As more and more individuals recognize the power of this unique tool, the number of internet-accessible materials exchanges continues to grow, particularly in the area of national commodity-specific exchanges.
Lists of waste exchanges throughout the United States are available on the Internet.