The City of Turku furniture reuse system improves the circulation of furniture between the city units.
The need for a clear furniture reuse system emerged already in 2011 through eco-support activities in Turku. Education sector and work centre of Turku city co-ordinated by Turku Eco-Support agency, implemented a furniture reuse pilot, where surplus furniture of schools was moved to centralized warehouse and displayed on an internet-based reuse system. There was a clear need to continue the pilot and in the next phase, a mobile application was developed to streamline product import into the system and the pilot wanted to enable the tracking of furniture and the integration of other movable property into the system as well as the development of an existing website. In autumn 2018, the ownership of the reuse system was transferred to the Employment Service Centre of the City of Turku. During 2018, the system was further developed in a more user-friendly direction and preparations were made to extend its use to the entire city level. Furniture reuse responds to the challenge of the circular economy by enabling intra-city material cycling, increasing the visibility of available material across unit boundaries, improving decision-making and reducing unnecessary external purchases. In addition to moving furniture, other products and materials can be introduced into the system. The aim has been to build a reuse system in a way that the end result is a tested, replicable operating model and concept that can be used by other parties in the future.
A loading dock or other reception area is required to receive the products. As for the fleet, two large vans are needed. The number of staff is estimated to be 11 persons. The estimated budget for developing the system was 35 500€.
Evidence of success
The model has been widely adopted by the city organization and the number of orders is constantly increasing. In addition the reuse system brings meaningful work tasks to rehabilitative work. It has been a great success that the model created by the city of Turku has spread to other municipalities of Finland such as Jyväskylä, Helsinki, Vantaa and Ii.
When introducing the system, one must be prepared for resistance to change and strong prejudices. An example of the attitude problem is the difficulty in getting rid of extra movable property and many units showed a desire to store furniture for their own use or for emergency purposes.
Potential for learning or transfer
The system is open source and therefore replicable to any organization. It still has many development needs and opportunities that will be addressed in cooperation with cities and municipalities interested in the reuse system. This makes it easy to extend the system to each entity as they see fit. The purpose of the co-development is to continue developing the reuse system in cooperation with the cities, municipalities and organizations interested in the system. By working together, the features of the system and its functionality will be improved as effectively as possible, and the system will get exactly the features that each collaborator needs.