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Scotland to launch remanufacturing institute

Richard Lochhead, Scotland’s environment secretary, has announced funding of £1.3m for a new research centre into remanufacturing.

The Scottish Institute of Remanufacture will be housed at the University of Strathclyde and will focus on realising the value in the materials and components of products being recycled.

Lochhead said: “It is astounding that an estimated £50m 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 channelling expertise into better remanufacturing, we can ensure that valuable components can be recovered and reused.”

The funding will be granted over three years, £1m from the Scottish Funding Council and £300,000 from Zero Waste Scotland. Companies based in Scotland have already pledged over £800,000 of funding, or in-kind support, for potential research projects for the Institute.

Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “The launch of the remanufacturing centre is excellent news for Scotland. The institute can become a centre of excellence and expertise for a sector which has exiting potential to develop a sustainable manufacturing industry in Scotland.

Lochhead also announced the creation of a materials brokerage service that will match supply and demand for recyclate. The minister said it will help to grow Scotland’s reprocessing sector, and help the public sector to get a better deal for the recycled materials collected from their communities.

He said: “Scotland’s public sector handles almost three million tonnes of waste materials per year. We need to ensure these materials get to the right place and the brokerage service will enable the resources collected by councils to be channelled into higher value use, while providing a good deal for the public sector and improving our recycling rates.”

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