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Initiative turning trash into treasure

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Coffee cups are just one of the things businesses could offer for exchange

Coffee cups are just one of the things businesses could offer for exchange

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Coffee cups are just one of the things businesses could offer for exchange

IT has been billed as being "a bit like a dating agency but without the kissing".

A novel recycling initiative designed to help businesses with waste material hook up with others who can use it to produce goods has been rolled out nationally.

The SMILE Resource Exchange - which started as a pilot project in Cork in 2011 - has already received over 200,000 'clicks' on its website and was launched by Taoiseach Enda Kenny yesterday in Dublin.

Visitors to the site are offered a mixed bag of resources - from 70,000 used coffee capsules and 300 zipped plastic storage bags to 200 cardboard folders and 60 mattress springs of various sizes offered by the exchange's 1,000 members.

The scheme operates on the 'one man's trash is another man's treasure' principle - and even some of the more mysterious items are eagerly snapped up by companies who will give them a new life.

The Taoiseach said he hoped "200,000 clicks will translate to 500,000 interested groups".

"It sends out another message about Ireland being a pioneering country," he said.

Irish Independent