Cowan Bros Ltd

Cowan Bros Ltd
July 28, 2016 Fionnuala cullen

Cowan Bros Ltd

The Company


From its origins in Eglinton, Co Londonderry, Cowan Bros Ltd has nearly 40 years of experience in the sale of construction and agricultural machinery.

As the company has grown and developed it identified an opportunity to invest in a strategic site near Belfast and local transport routes.


The Challenge

Cowan Bros identified a suitable site in Mallusk on the outskirts of Belfast but was concerned that the site contained quantities of waste that had been deposited by previous occupants. Cowan Bros approached the Industrial Symbiosis service for advice as development of the site would require the removal of over 70,000t of non-hazardous waste to landfill at a cost that would have rendered the development unfeasible.


The Solution

The Industrial Symbiosis Practitioner visited the site at Mallusk and provided advice on how to sort and segregate the waste materials ready for removal. The practitioner introduced Cowan Bros to other businesses in the Industrial Symbiosis network. Cowan Bros engaged both a soil remediation consultancy and a transport company to carry out the work that was necessary to clear the site ready for the new premises. The transport company also had an on-going requirement for licenced infilling and remediation at a former quarry site.


The Benefits

This synergy illustrates how the Industrial Symbiosis service can bring mutual benefit to companies across sectors and within financial constraints and regulation.

In the absence of engagement with the Industrial Symbiosis service the materials from the site would have all been destined for landfill at a gate fee with Landfill Tax, a considerable cost to Cowan Bros.


“The Industrial Symbiosis service provided excellent introductions when we needed to know if the site at Mallusk was going to be suitable and financially viable for our new showroom. This was going to be a very costly process if the material went to landfill but through the Industrial Symbiosis service we were introduced to companies that could not only help us clear the site but save us money too.”

David Cowan Cowan Bros Ltd



The Industrial Symbiosis Service is funded by Invest Northern Ireland and delivered by International Synergies NI Ltd