The Re-Use Box is a new collection system for reusable small goods which often end up in the residual waste containers or the material is only recycled.
Households often contain objects no longer used by the residents. These items often end up in the residual waste bin or are recycled. On the other hand, the Reuse Shops complain about a too small amount of Reuse goods, because they could sell significantly more of them. As part of the Interreg Central Europe project CERREC, which promoted the formalisation of the accredited Reuse and Repair Centres proposed by the European Waste Framework Directive, the partner ARGE - Association for Waste Prevention set up a stakeholder group on Reuse both in the city of Graz and in the province of Styria. Within these stakeholder groups, the idea of a new collecting tool for Reuse goods was implemented. Reusable items such as books, crockery, tools, toys, sports equipment, electrical appliances etc. are collected in this box. The re-use box is similar to a moving box, but its size has been optimised so that the filled boxes do not become too heavy. During the introduction of the Reuse Box, several serviced issue and return points were published. In the beginning, 40,000 boxes were produced with the support of the CERREC project and the city of Graz, which soon found their users. Later on additional boxes were produced. As a result, an additional 500 tonnes of useful items could be collected and sold in the Reuse Shops. This not only made a significant contribution to waste avoidance, but also helped the socio-economic operators of the Reuse Shops to preserve jobs and create new ones.

Resources needed

The production of a box costs about EUR one. Information sheets must be provided to inform households about correct filling and that no residual waste nor incomplete or dirty Reuse goods can be put in it to ensure their actual reusability. The introduction of the Reuse Box cost approx. EUR 50,000.

Evidence of success

In the introductory phase, 500 tons of additional cage goods were collected. The system has established itself and has been used in numerous other regions of Austria, but also in Europe (Vicenza, Herford, Kempten). Due to the good information work, the proportion of residual waste is negligibly small and the quality of the goods is very good.

Difficulties encountered

It was very well received by consumers. However, the folded box is too big to be carried home without problems and the filled box is difficult to carry. So most users transport it in their cars. Thus, Reuse Bag were created to increase the wearing comfort and to reach the delivery points on foot.

Potential for learning or transfer

The Reuse Box can be produced by all waste management facilities or by operators of Reuse Shops. In addition, a durable and reusable carrying bag can be produced.
Reuse boxes are often used to move a household. One might think that this is an abuse of the original purpose, but experience shows that many boxes are filled for the Reuse Shop when moving. In addition, the box is a good advertising medium, so that the reuse measure, which is important for climate protection, finds its way into people's minds.
More information:

Please login to see the expert opinion of this good practice.

Main institution
ARGE – Association for Waste Prevention
Steiermark, Austria (Österreich)
Start Date
January 2014
End Date


Please login to contact the author.

Good Practices being followed by