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What is industrial symbiosis?

The Pacific Northwest is positioned to become a North American leader in clean manufacturing and production by adopting an innovative concept called industrial symbiosis.

Industrial symbiosis is when the waste from one industry becomes the resource for another industry. This simple yet powerful idea will not only help industry reduce waste and pollution – but also spur job creation and economic development in the clean economy. This benefits communities of all shapes and sizes throughout the PNW Northwest-- rural, suburban and urban on both sides of Washington and Oregon.

Successful examples from Denmark prove that industrial symbiosis can create tremendous economic value. One of the world's earliest adopters, a city of only about 17,000 residents called Kalundborg is estimated to generate $28 million in annual economic value by capturing and reusing waste resources like materials, heat, and energy. In addition they are reducing climate pollution by over 600,000 tons annually.

Although the idea is new to our region, Northwest examples of industrial symbiosis projects are already emerging. CSI has been particularly focused on a few projects under development in Washington State.

Legislative action in WA

Since 2017, CSI has partnered with i-SUSTAIN to support sustainable infrastructure learning tours of Denmark for Washington elected officials.

Over the past few years many of these state legislators, inspired by Denmark's examples, have worked together across party lines to help advance industrial symbiosis here at home:

  • A WA Dept. of Commerce study was funded during the 2019 session that resulted in a 191-page report containing industrial symbiosis program recommendations.

  • In 2020 a bipartisan bill, SB 6430 was introduced by WA Sen. Sharon Brown that would result in a new Dept. of Commerce program that would support statewide industrial symbiosis projects on the ground. Sen. Brown produced the following video with CSI Executive Director Rhys Roth to help explain the bill and concept:

Learn More About Industrial Symbiosis



CSI is Identifying + Helping Potential Pilot Communities. We're working with communities across the Northwest to help identify the most promising Industrial Symbiosis sites and bring innovative ideas and partners to the table. Already, we're exploring opportunities with Spokane, Kennewick, Port Angeles, Centralia, Raymond, Goldendale, Tacoma, Portland and Tenino. 


CSI is supporting a bipartisan (6 Democrats and 6 Republicans) coalition of Washington State legislators to collaborate on policies that can bring infrastructure excellence and jobs to communities throughout the state.  Following trips CSI helped lead, bringing legislators to Kalundborg, Denmark, the initial pioneer of industrial symbiosis, Sen. Brown and Rep. Doglio, introduced legislation in 2019 to create an Industrial Symbiosis program here to re-use waste and help address our recycling crisis. There's more to come. 

For more information

Contact: info@centerforsi.org

or call 

(360) 867-8819


Our Mailing Address: 

120 State Ave NE #303

Olympia, WA 98501

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©2019 by Center for Sustainable Infrastructure