Vaerdicentralen was established by the waste management company Renosyd in 2015 with the purpose of giving new life to products from their recycling stations.
The municipally owned second-hand shop called Værdicentralen was established in 2015 with the purpose of giving new life to products from the recycling stations of Renosyd, the municipal waste management company just south of Aarhus.
The products sold in Værdicentralen would otherwise be crushed, deposited or incinerated, whereas they are now being directly reused.
Cooperation with charities
All the products come from the recycling stations of Renosyd where customers can deliver items directly to reuse. They can also donate items to local charities, that also have second-hand shops. This cooperation works well as there are enough items for everyone.
Triple bottom line results
Værdicentralen has as part of Renosyd focus on three bottom line results; economy, environment and people. Can there be a sustainable economy in selling secondhand items? Yes. Værdicentralen now hold a cash register in balance.
Can a secondhand shop create jobs? Yes, Værdicentralen makes jobs and offers internship for people struggling in the job market.
Værdicentralen collaborates with the municipalities and offers citizens a process with consideration to the need of each individual while offering a meaningful and appropriately challenging job.
In order to implement this practice, you must first and foremost have access to discarded items that could potentially justify as reusable, the access could be from recycling stations.
Furthermore, you will need a start-up budget for logistics, staff and your shop to sell from.
Evidence of success
Værdicentralen became economically sustainable after three years in business, and now removes 500 ton of waste from the waste flow every year.
We have nine permanent employees! Five of those are flex positions, which includes the possibility to work in reduced hours or with other special considerations.
The quality of the many internships in Værdicentralen are being monitored through simple (and anonymous) questionnaires. To focus on quality and the goal of each internship.
Potential for learning or transfer
This practice is easy to copy as well as to scale when your customer base grows.
A direct sales channel in the form of a shop is a great way to move large amounts of waste out of the waste flow and into an even more circular flow.
And better yet – if you can take the amounts of waste from recycling stations, where you will find an almost inexhaustible pile of items that are more than suitable for reuse – then you have done good for the environment and will be able to secure your business for a long time.