Amsterdam is sharing publicly data on waste & resources as an important part of circular economy.
Amsterdam wants to be a circular city by 2050, where valuable materials and raw materials are reused and no waste produced. Being committed to reuse, means creating more local jobs in the repair and processing sector. At the same time the city invests in its digital position. Digitalisation offers endless opportunities in every area from improving the quality of life in the city to creating equal opportunities on issues such as the circular economy. The waste department of Amsterdam is using a digital shell where data are shared with external stakeholders. We cooperate with other departments specialized in either IT, data and customer service. With them, we try to work on a basis where Amsterdam provides data about and for Amsterdam: findable, reliable, safe and usable. For the sake of transparency, development and management of these products, we record information about the data sources. This means we publish datasets (via API’s), and share our coding –to let people know what the data means.
The aim is to:
• Empower locals: the more datasets are opened up, the more transparent and accessible the economy is, anyone can see resources available in the region;
• Foster economic development e.g. geospatial data can be used to improve private sector business models. Also jobs done by the government can easily shift to local initiatives;
• More digital commodity: it not only leads to better and more robust government decision making, but also to new functionalities

Resources needed

Current budget of the Waste & Resources department: €275.000 annually (+ significant budget from cooperating departments) to cover:
- Digital infrastructure e.g. servers, web connectors, gutters, documentation, interface
- “data” workers e.g. developers, engineers, managers

Evidence of success

Amsterdam has an open and real-time data portal for waste. We have an agreement with each supplier that the data collected belong to the public, is accessible and understandable. Stakeholders and suppliers easily derive necessary data. We achieved valuable data for our colleagues in the city: e.g. city planners, law enforcers, social workers. They all can use our data to enhance their activities.

Difficulties encountered

Opening data is the first step: the real challenge is to use them. How to encourage (local) initiatives to use data and see waste as a resource in the wrong place. We can do it by creating resource passports of products, buildings, recycling centres or other areas and derive & share (circular) data.

Potential for learning or transfer

Data and software have become the core of our organizations. It is fundamentally important to deal differently with data. A professional department specialized in Data is needed in the future waste organizations.
The Open Data vision hints more towards a philosophy than as being an activity. We believe that with open data we help the circular economy. Insights provided through open data can improve the decision-making of the efficient use of resources as data can predict certain trends (e.g. market, weather, demographics) of future supply and demand. Open data is important to empower consumers and public buyers throughout whole Europe.
It is mentioned in the European data portal that Open data helps us in management of resources and optimizing waste: Insights from (geographical) open data can improve the recycling process of waste. Especially the process of waste separate collection and using the full capacity of the recycling plants can be improved with (open) data insights.

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Main institution
Municipality of Amsterdam
Noord-Holland, Netherlands (Nederland)
Start Date
January 2017
End Date


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