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创意赋予工业垃圾新生命

2014-02-21    来源:fortunechina    【      美国外教 在线口语培训

Repurposed Materials公司不是拆解、回收工业垃圾的有用部分,而是致力于探寻这些工业废弃物的创新用途。比如,废弃集装箱改造成狩猎用的帐篷,废弃电缆变身为楼梯扶手,淘汰的人工草皮成为时尚秀场的地毯等等。相对于回收,它做的是减少资源消耗总量和再利用的文章。

Weston Ault is a part-time rancher with a problem. His 40 cows and bulls in Cedar Fort, Utah, are so itchy that they've been pushing over fence posts scratching their backs. So when he heard about a novel solution from Repurposed Materials, a Denver company that specializes in figuring out ways to reuse old industrial equipment, he decided to take a chance, spending $150 for two old industrial street-sweeper brushes. He will mount them vertically in the cattle's pen as backscratchers. The Bronx Zoo has already bought several. "I just picked them up," he says, chuckling. "They're in my truck as we speak."
利用业余时间在犹他州雪松堡经营牧场的韦斯顿•奥尔特最近碰到了一个新问题:他的40头奶牛和公牛瘙痒难忍,不断地推翻用来搔背的栅栏柱。所以,当他听说致力于研究重新利用工业旧设备的荷兰公司Repurposed Materials(意为改变用途的材料)有一个新颖的解决方案时,他决定冒险一试,随后花费150美元购买了两个旧的街道清扫车刷。奥尔特打算将它们垂直摆放在牛栏中,用以帮助他的牛解除瘙痒之苦。布朗克斯动物园(The Bronx Zoo)已经买了好几个。“我刚选好,”他咯咯地笑道。“我们说话这工夫,它们已经装上我的卡车了。”

He heard about the street sweepers from another rancher, who had seen them in founder Damon Carson's quirky e-newsletter, sent to some 25,000 readers. The weekly advertises everything from used ski lift cables to -- this week -- "two 800 ton, fiberglass cooling towers being disconnected and removed in the next 30-60 days." Unlike most companies in the reclamation business, which recycle items by breaking them down into their component parts, Repurposed Materials is all about finding innovative new uses for existing products. "We are looking for the castoffs of industry that can get a very different second life," Carson says.
他从另一个牧场主那里听说了这种街道清扫车刷。这位牧场主是那家公司创始人达蒙•卡森的电子通讯订户之一。这份周刊拥有大约2.5万名读者,致力于宣传各种古怪的产品,比如使用过的滑雪缆车电缆。本周的产品名录包括“两座800吨重、用玻璃纤维制造的冷却塔。它们即将在未来30到60天内断线拆除。”在回收利用行业,大多数企业往往选择把旧物分解成零部件的回收方式,但Repurposed Materials公司一直致力于探寻现有产品的创新用途。卡森说:“我们热切地寻找各种工业废弃物,希望为它们带来完全不同的第二次生命。”

Carson has a background in waste -- he ran a successful garbage business in Vail and Breckenridge and sold it in 2002 -- but had moved on to other entrepreneurial endeavors when a conversation with a painter led him to his next act. "He said, 'If you ever get a chance to buy an advertising billboard, buy it, because [the vinyl covering] makes a great dropcloth for painting.'" Carson bought a bunch and resold them. "I started to wonder if there's enough byproducts and waste in industry to make a whole business out of this," he says.
卡森拥有垃圾处理业务的背景。他曾经在韦尔和布雷肯里奇经营过一家成功的垃圾处理企业,但在2002年卖掉了公司,转而寻求其他创业机会。就在这时候,与一位画家的谈话促使他展开了下一个行动。“他说,‘要是你有机会买一个广告牌的话,就买下来吧,因为乙烯塑料罩是非常好的绘画罩布。”卡森买了一堆,随后转售给他们。他说:“于是我开始琢磨,工业界的副产品和废弃物是不是足以支撑起这样一门生意。”

And so was born Repurposed Materials, which is not a recycler at all but rather what a friend of Carson's christened "an industrial Cupid." The company's 1.5-acre space in Denver wasn't even fenced in until recently, because people didn't think anything was worth stealing.
Repurposed Materials由此诞生。用卡森一位朋友的话说,这并不是一家回收企业,而是“工业界的丘比特。”直到最近,这家公司位于丹佛的1.5英亩厂区甚至没有围栏,因为人们并不认为厂区内有什么值得偷的东西。

But they were wrong. Cable from a ski resort in Vail? It's now owned by a dredging contractor in Minnesota. (Other cable is made into handrails for residential stairways.) Commercial fishing nets with holes in them? They're now used for batting cages. Burlap sacks from the coffee industry? Crawfish farmers in New Orleans use them for temperature control on the way to the market. Old billboards? The U.S. Army Rangers are saving taxpayers money by using the rigid parts to build a training maze.
但他们错了。韦尔滑雪场的电缆?它现在归明尼苏达州一家疏浚承包商所有。(其他电缆被用作住宅楼梯的扶手。)破旧的商业渔网?它们现在被用作击球练习的挡网。咖啡业用过的粗麻袋?向市场运送小龙虾的途中,新奥尔良农民使用它们来控制温度。旧广告牌?美国陆军游骑兵使用它的刚性部件来建造迷宫一样的训练设施,从而为纳税人省了不少钱。

While it's hard to scale a business like Repurposed Materials, environmental experts see a crying need for more such middlemen. (The company, with about $1 million in revenues, is expanding to Chicago.) "The three Rs are reduce, reuse, and recycle," says English Bird, executive director of the New Mexico Recycling Commission. "But we often forget the reduce, reuse part. It's goodwill on a big scale."
虽然Repurposed Materials这类企业很难扩大规模,但环保专家声称,市场亟需更多类似的中间商。(这家公司目前的年收入约为100万美元,眼下正准备向芝加哥扩展。)“所谓3R理念是减少总量(reduce),再利用( reuse)和回收( recycle),”新墨西哥州回收委员会(New Mexico Recycling Commission)执行董事英格力士•伯德说。“但我们常常忘了减少和再利用这两个方面。这里面蕴含着莫大的善意。”

Not only is the process good for the buyer and the environment; it's often helpful to manufacturers, too, especially if they would otherwise have to pay to remove their junk. Over at Rayner Covering Systems, a South Elgin, Ill.-based manufacturer of plastic pool covers that lets customers send back ripped or unusable covers, a lot behind the building had become what operations manager Judy VanVactor called "the cover graveyard." Every so often, she'd pay a hauler to put a truckload of them into a landfill.
这个过程不仅对买家和环境有好处,通常还能给制造商帮上忙,特别是,如果它们原本要花钱移除废弃物的话。位于伊利诺伊州南埃尔金市的塑料泳池盖生产商雷纳覆盖系统(Rayner Covering Systems)让客户寄回撕开的或无法使用的盖子,大楼后面的一块地已经变成了公司营运经理朱迪•万瓦科特所称的“盖子墓地”。几乎每隔一段时间,她就得雇一位搬运工把一卡车盖子运往垃圾填埋场。

Then she connected with Repurposed Materials, which picked up two semi loads of covers -- probably at least 1,000 of them, she estimates. Today, those covers are being used to provide shade for goats grazing in the hot summer sun, plant nurseries, and, at the Albuquerque Zoo, catch poop under the vulture exhibit. "I just saved two things," VanVactor says, "paying for the labor to get it all thrown away and the cost of hauling it off. Plus we're not filling up a landfill." Anyone need 600 square feet of used synthetic turf? You know where to go.
随后,她联系了Repurposed Materials公司。后者挑选的盖子装满了两个半挂车——她估计至少有1,000个盖子。今天,这些盖子正在被用来为吃草的山羊以及苗圃遮挡炎炎夏日,而阿尔伯克基动物园(Albuquerque Zoo)则使用它们来收集秃鹫展的粪便。“我省下了两笔费用,”万瓦科特说。“一是全部扔掉这些盖子需要支付的劳务费,二是把这些盖子拖走的成本。另外,我们也不用占垃圾填埋场的地方了。”有人需要600平方英尺(约合56平方米)的二手合成草皮吗?你知道该上哪儿去找。(财富中文网)



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