“You can buy and sell almost anything on eBay” might as well be eBay’s unofficial tag line, but another site has taken it literally and dedicated themselves to selling rubbish. Waste Producer Exchange (WPE) have set up an auction site specifically to trade in waste between buyers and sellers in the South East of England.
The European Pathway to Zero Waste (EPOW) is a three-year European demonstration programme running until 31 March 2013. The South East of England was chosen as a research area as it has the highest landfill incidences of construction, demolition, commercial and industrial waste in England.
The idea is that anyone with waste to dispose of can list it on the WPE site making it available to buyers. Interested buyers pay for the waste and when they pick up they give a collection number to the seller. This collection number releases the funds from WPE into the buyers bank account. Cost is a flat 2.5% of the sale price.
It’s a neat idea, and certainly makes a difference from the regular marketplaces we’re used to trading on. It also meets my long held belief that there’s no point trying to out-eBay eBay. If you want to compete with eBay then it needs to be niche and non-competitive marketplace and certainly WPE meet these criteria for success.
If you’re generating a lot of waste and want to learn how to make money from it, as opposed to paying for it to be disposed of, then WPE have a number of training days across the South East in the first half of July.