Overview

The Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership and Warwick Township engaged The Delphi Group, in partnership with Reclay StewardEdge, to undertake research in order to identify opportunities for developing a circular economy cluster in the region (at the 40-acre Warwick Industrial Park site) to serve the province of Ontario, with a focus on the reuse, remanufacturing, recycling, and waste management sectors. The Warwick Industrial Park site includes the Warwick Real-Flex Facility offering low-cost flexible units for lease or purchase ideal for commercial, professional, administrative, light-industrial, light manufacturing, and/or storage and warehousing activities. The purpose of the feasibility study was to gain a better understanding of regional strengths, gaps, and opportunities for growing commercial activities in the circular economy and how to attract new investment and support local businesses in this space.

What We Did

The analysis considered both waste/resource diversion opportunities from the Twin Creeks landfill (e.g., potential future opportunities due to upcoming landfill bans and policy implications), as well as high-level opportunities identified through the analysis of key industry sectors and companies in the Southwestern Ontario region that may be able to turn current waste streams into resource opportunities. Secondary research for the study, in support of the Strategic Plan, included:

  • Undertaking a broad sweep of relevant websites, reports, and articles;
  • Collecting and analyzing relevant industry, policy and regulatory drivers and trends;
  • Aggregating relevant business/economic and workforce data;
  • Profiling examples of circular economy and cluster development activities; and
  • Assessing existing strengths, capabilities, and weaknesses of the regional circular economy supply chain.

 

We also lead consultation through 17 key informant interviews and a virtual focus group webinar with local and provincial experts and stakeholders from government, business, and non-government organizations to gather insights on the regional opportunities and challenges. From this research, we developed a strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats (i.e., SWOT) analysis and an Opportunities Evaluation Matrix was developed to help prioritize and score the opportunities across key criteria.

Results

In total, 14 specific opportunity areas were evaluated against the criteria, including pre-commercial/research initiatives, the concept of launching a clean energy hub and a maker space, and various segments of both municipal solid waste (MSW) and institutional, commercial, and industrial (IC&I) waste streams (e.g., mattress and carpet recycling). Delphi developed a strategic plan to help guide the Township of Warwick and the Sarnia-Lambton Economic Partnership to prioritize next steps with respect to investment attraction and cluster development. This strategic plan laid out a roadmap for action. Read more.

For more information on how we can help, please contact Paul Shorthouse