EMULSA, Municipal Company of Urban Environment Services of Gijon
Europe needs to accelerate its entry into the era of re-use. The old linear economy equation “produce, use and throw away” is not valid anymore. However, a significant portion of reusable home appliances including books, clothes, WEEEs, furniture and food are still being wasted and landfilled.
Despite the waste hierarchy in force – Reduce, Re-use and Recycle – and the fact that cities and regions are backing some re-use initiatives, re-use could be much further developed. Waste management programmes include re-use but prioritise recycling, even though re-use is more environmentally and socially friendly.
Thus, the project is meant to be an instrument to help boost re-use through public policies. Based on experience, 2LIFES partners have identitied that re-use is often marginally and partially explored. However, when properly managed, re-use promotes environmental sustainability as well as employment and solidarity.
Unlike previous waste prevention projects, 2LIFES focuses exclusively on re-use and more specifically on re-use activities promoted by public administrations – something pending as it is usually promoted by the third sector.
The project brings together advanced cities and regions in the political backing of re-use, in addition to others that are in the process of doing so. The problem of masses of reusable goods being prematurely recycled or even landfilled is cross-cutting in the whole of Europe.
The main expected results are the development of new channels, infrastructures and protocols for re-use through instruments in force as well as the awareness-raising of households, businesses and administrations regarding the need to change the consumption patterns. Green jobs around re-use initiatives are also expected.
Interreg Europe framework for stakeholders’ involvement is excellent for 2LIFES, since re-use initiatives require the collaboration of municipal waste services with SMEs, civil society, NGOs, social enterprises and training and employment services.