An East of England materials 'dating' website, which has already diverted nearly 4,000 tonnes of material from landfill and saved businesses over £400,000, has been so successful that it has gone national.
The online tool, branded 'Eastex', works like a free online dating agency, matching businesses, organisations and individuals and allowing them to exchange their unwanted materials. And it has been so well received that it is now extending its services to Yorkshire, meaning that it will be available in 11 counties to more than 10.3 million people.
If the success continues as expected, the model could well go on to be used in every region in the UK.
Businesses, organisations or individuals that use the service can view or place adverts about redundant stock and surplus raw materials and then find a 'match', saving businesses money, and keeping useful materials in circulation and out of landfill. By increasing the numbers of counties that are involved, there is now be a much higher chance of businesses finding a suitable match.
Richard Ellis, chair of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA), a major funder of the scheme, said: 'Encouraging businesses to view resource efficiency as an opportunity and not a threat is essential, so it is excellent news that the scheme is being replicated in other parts of the country. By expanding the reach of the website more businesses will not only save money, but also be made aware of the resources they use and environmental damage that landfill can cause.'
So far, the website has received four million hits, and this is set to grow further as it expands into Yorkshire.