Renewable Products - making the most of waste

Renewable Products Ltd has expanded its product range, safeguarded jobs and made significant cost savings with the assistance of Invest Northern Ireland’s Industrial Symbiosis (IS) service.

The company, based near Larne, produces high quality sustainable products, like animal bedding and landscaping products, from waste wood and plastics. As a result of its participation in the IS programme, Renewable Products has invested almost £200,000 in new processing equipment, which has led to cost savings, and additional sales of almost £500,000.  

The IS service is part of Invest NI’s portfolio of support for businesses that want to reduce costs while improving their sustainability.  

Renewable Products needed to identify additional sources of wood and plastic to develop innovative products.  It saw the value of applying IS principles to its processes and attended a number of workshops where it was introduced to other businesses that could potentially provide the wood and plastic. The IS team maintained regular contact with the company providing support and introducing it to other businesses.  

A recent innovation for Renewable Products came through collecting old lorry curtains which are trimmed and shipped to a company in Switzerland, where they are made into high value handbags and satchels.  Waste wood, which previously ended up in landfill sites, is

reprocessed into animal bedding and wood chip for play parks.  This product was used recently for landscaping at the Ecos Centre in Ballymena.

Olive Hill, Invest NI’s Director of Technology and Process Development, said: “This is an excellent result for Renewable Products, which has used the linkages with other companies that were facilitated by the IS service to identify sources of material that it can recycle into new products. The company is a good example of what can be achieved through industrial symbiosis.”  

Kevin Woodside, Managing Director of Renewable Products Ltd, said: “The IS service has been extremely valuable to the company, enabling us to link up with companies that can supply us with many useful resources.  This has allowed us to expand our product range, safeguard jobs and invest in the future of the business.”