EDINBURGH: The Scottish government has launched a remanufacturing hub based at the University of Strathclyde in a bid to leverage the country's burgeoning circular economy.
In making the announcement environment secretary Richard Lochhead commented: "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 bringing a more circular approach to the way we manage our resources, we can change that. And by channeling expertise into better remanufacturing, we can ensure that valuable components can be recovered and reused."
The government will also set up a materials brokerage service – apparently the first of its kind in the UK – to match supply and demand for high value recycling. Currently Scotland's public sector handles almost three million tonnes of waste materials per year.
According to a report by the UK Parliament's cross-party sustainable resource group, the potential value of remanufacturing to the UK economy is £2.4-5.6 billion per annum. In Scotland, over 60 companies are already active in remanufacturing across a variety of sectors including automotive, electronics, energy infrastructure, aerospace and marine services.
Professor Scott MacGregor, vice-principal at the University of Strathclyde, said the school was "well-positioned to ensure Scotland is at the forefront of supporting remanufacturing and we are delighted to be hosting the new institute".
In a related move, the World Economic Forum will announce in January 2015 winners of its first annual 'Circular Economy Awards' - already dubbed ' The Circulars' - to "recognize individuals and enterprises from commerce, civil society and academia that have made a notable contribution to driving circular economy principles".
Winners will be chosen from five categories: leader, entrepreneur, pioneer, digital disruptor and city or region. The awards will have been recycled.