This System Is Literally Garbage In, Garbage Out

With landfills overflowing and recycling programs faltering, waste disposal is a major concern--and expense--for businesses and communities. An Ohio company has one solution: an on-line market for businesses to buy and sell wastes.

Developed by Cincinnati Bell Directory (CBD) Co., a subsidiary of the telephone company, along with consultancies WasteNet and Environomics Inc., the waste exchange costs $395 a year to join. Once on the system, companies advertise reusable or recyclable wastes, from packaging to petroleum products, while others request materials. Participants communicate directly on the system.

Other waste exchanges exist around the country, but this is the first computerized system that's interactive and designed to serve a local business community. That keeps transportation costs to a minimum, says CBD Vice-President Jack Mueller. If the Cincinnati system proves successful, the company will introduce it into other local markets, says Mueller.

Before it's here, it's on the Bloomberg Terminal.