Patina is a recycling centre, a second-hand store, and offers on-the-job training programs, which promotes citizen involvement in sharing economy.
Unemployed or low-income citizens receive training and introduction to work-life from entry-level and rehabilitative work at Patina recycling centre. The government of Finland supports the practice with wage subsidies, thus creating the possibility of a flourishing well-being system. Patina provides rehabilitation for citizens who have fallen from the path of employment.

The Patina recycling centre collects, recycles, and resells intact and clean goods as donations from private households and companies. The Patina recycling centre and a second-hand shop was funded in 1999, purchased in 2020 by Harjula Settlement in Lahti, a multidisciplinary company engaged in cultural and social work founded in 1941. Lahti municipality promotes the business and supports the welfare program. Furthermore, Patina runs on funds from Lahti municipality, the government, and revenues from the sustainable second-hand store that promotes active citizen involvement in sharing economy. Patina's desired outcome is promoting welfare, employment, and rehabilitative work for Lahti citizens.

Resources needed

Around 50-60% of the funds required come from revenues off the second-hand store. Other funds come from the Government that accounts for 15-20% of the costs and the municipality of Hollola 10%, and Lahti city 10%. Patina has ten permanent employees.

Evidence of success

The environmental benefit is the extended life cycle of the donations by reselling them in the second-hand shop. Results of social sustainability measures are that Patina helped 160 people in 2020, who were on welfare and on-the-job training programs. Patina's goal for the year 2021 is to help 200 people with employment. After Patina's employment services, the goal is employment outside of Patina or enrolment in a degree program to receive an education, thus improving further employment chances.

Difficulties encountered

Lahti has one of the worst unemployment situations in Finland. Patina's recycling centre has faced economic difficulties from lack of revenue due to low prices and high operational costs. Thus, the practice runs heavily on financial support from the Municipality of Lahti and other external funds.

Potential for learning or transfer

Patina is the official recycling station for electrical and electronic equipment; citizens may bring both intact and broken equipment. Tested and functional e-waste is resold. Broken e-waste is dismantled and prepared for material recycling.
In Lahti, there are advanced trash recycling and material recovery programs in place. Patina is not a dumping ground for any other trash than electronics; unfortunately, the number of poor-quality donations increases. The citizen can choose to leave the poor conditioned item, pay the handling fee, or take them to the waste station themselves.

Patina recycles and resells donations like furniture, electrical and electronic equipment, household items, clothes, books, and more. However, Patina does not refurnish. Upholstering furniture is expensive and unfeasible for the second-hand shop, mainly because there is a lack of know-how. However, most of the donated goods are ideal and in good condition, perfect for the purpose of reuse.

Main institution
Patina recycling centre, in Lahti, Finland
Etelä-Suomi, Finland (Suomi)
Start Date
December 2020
End Date


Katerina Medkova Please login to contact the author.