Avoiding waste

The issue of waste production in Europe is a growing one. Statistics indicate that the European community generates around 2,000 million tonnes of waste each year, of which over 40 million tonnes is classified as hazardous. Over the last six years, the amount of waste generated grew by 10 % a year.

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Europe is not only generating vast amounts of waste however, it is at the same time wasting rich and valuable resources – material and non-material – which encompass food, people, knowledge & skills, housing, public spaces, everyday items/commodities, and more. This is at a time when unemployment levels are unsustainably high, when people are going hungry or have been forced to live on the streets.

The issue of waste therefore, is multi-dimensional and needs to be approached as thus: while it is imperative that people “reduce, re-use & recycle” waste, it is also important to consider new, alternative ways in which (unused or less used) resources could be better utilised, thus avoiding them being waste.

  • Below are some examples of the types of actions (in orange) and policies (in green) that aim to avoid waste.
  • These projects provide an insight into how waste production can be reduced as well as the ways in which the many resources available can be used in order to avoid waste.

Image Picture by Alan Cleaver

Co-operatives/shared spaces

A co-operative ("co-op") is an autonomous association of persons who voluntarily co-operate for their mutual, social, economic, and cultural benefit. Co-operatives may include non-profit community initiatives or businesses owned and managed by: the people who use its services (a consumer cooperative); by the people who work there (co-working spaces) or; by the people who live there (a housing co-operative).

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Co-operatives are typically based on the co-operative values of “self-help, self-responsibility, democracy and equality, equity and solidarity” and the seven co-operative principles:

  • 1. Voluntary and open membership
  • 2. Democratic member control
  • 3. Economic participation by members
  • 4. Autonomy and independence
  • 5. Education, training and information
  • 6. Co-operation among co-operatives
  • 7. Concern for community
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Use of public spaces

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Systems of exchange

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Recovery of goods

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All Examples of Actions and Policies

Manifatture Knos

Auteur : Alessandra Sciurba - Publié le : 2013-08-01 09:50 -

Transformation of an abandoned space of approx. 400 square metres (including a park) into a multi-functional centre of research, training and cultural production. Also a member of the network "Trans Europe Halles" for independent European spaces.

Ex Fadda

Auteur : Alessandra Sciurba - Publié le : 2013-08-01 08:26 -

Transformation of an abandoned space into one that is multi-purpose, encompassing the production of an alternative economy, art and culture that is accessible, and providing opportunities for social collectives.

ViviBalon Flea Market

Auteur : Alessandra Sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-31 14:50 -

Based on principles of solidarity and sharing: organisation and management of an old, important flea market that is run by a cultural association composed of Italian, migrant and Roma workers (about 300).


Auteur : Anne-Iris Romens - Publié le : 2013-07-31 14:07 -

Provide autonomy to people who use bicycle, so that it becomes a eco-sustainable form of mobility accessible to a growing community of citizens.

Associazione Culturale Rete ONU

Auteur : Alessandra Sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-31 13:38 -

Rete Onu is a network of profit and non-profit associations working within the field of reuse in Italy. Its aim is to represent the main actors of reuse and flea markets, and to promote the sector in a way that builds job opportunities within a framework of positive environmental impact and social inclusion

I Food Share

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-24 10:01 -

Free web-based system for online sharing of food for social and humanitarian purposes. I Food Share enables the donation of surplus food that is produced by both individuals and the small and large retailers and farms.

Released Ex-colorificio /Project Rebeldia

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-22 11:03 -

The Project Rebeldia, a social center which was for two years without a space to carry out its activities, together with the Municipality of the Commons (consisting of groups and citizens' associations that have always worked with the Project Rebeldia) occupied a former paint factory (Ex Colorificio), located in an industrial area of a multinational of about 14,000 metres, and which had been abandoned for 5 years. The main purpose of the occupation was to return it to the associations and citizen groups as a shared and common good; a place for the provision of many different activities and services to the city.

Favara Urban Network - F.U.N.

Auteur : alessandra sciurba - Publié le : 2013-07-16 13:44 -

The non-profit Association Favara Urban Network is the laboratory for development of the City of Favara (AG). F.U.N. has the task of supporting, from a scientific and cultural point of view, the transformation processes of Favara and the metropolitan area.

Pretty Vacant Dublin

Auteur : Louise Marlborough/ Lorna Muddiman - Publié le : 2013-07-15 09:48 -

Pretty Vacant Dublin is an arts initiative repurposing vacant properties as temporary art exhibitions spaces.

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Dernière modification de la page : Lundi 10 juin 2013 16:22:40 UTC
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