Project budget3 622 609 €
ERDF amount2 173 565 €
Introduction of circular business cases to transform company waste into resources is a key enabler for the transition to a circular economy. Circular measures like re-design of products and processes and green procurement bring EU companies economic benefits of 3–8% of annual turnover.
SMEs in particular experience difficulties in adopting circular practices, due to limited organisational, technical and financial capacity. Only 25% of SME waste is currently repurposed. There is growing demand from SMEs for:
- Knowledge of their waste streams and corresponding circular business cases
- Demonstrated solutions and tools to improve resource efficiency
- Better cooperation among companies to organise sufficient scale and develop processes to upcycle waste
Local authorities and business park managers can enable SMEs at local level to join this transition by facilitating SMEs to build their knowledge base, get organised & incorporate circular business cases and waste processing practices.
The objective of Upcycle Your Waste is to accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs that transform waste flows into resources at local level. We aim to achieve this by developing and introducing knowledge, tools and facilities that enable SMEs and local authorities to make this transition.
The overall result of the project is an increased adoption of circular business cases by SMEs in the partner areas,
- 360 SMEs adopting circular business cases
- 20% of the pre-existing waste stream being upcycled on a structural basis.
Additionally, the project will lead to an improved capacity of local authorities, business district managers and SMEs in
other parts of the 2 Seas region to introduce circular business practices, through our capacity building and dissemination
and transfer activities.
- 6 Pilots working with groups of SMEs in a specific business area, facilitating the adoption of circular business cases based on collective waste stream analysis, procurement and contracting of waste management.
- Protocol for SMEs on procurement for upcycling – showing how SMEs can design and organise collective procurement of waste services to introduce (innovative) circular solutions at local level.
- Training and capacity building programme for SMEs on regulation, waste stream analysis, circular business cases and procurement.
- Upcycling Guidance for local authorities and business district managers on working with SMEs to adopt circular business cases.
- Local authorities
- Business district managers
- SME support actors
We target these groups locally in our partner areas and at the whole 2 Seas level through capacity building and transfer
Cross border approach
Local authorities and business district managers in all 2 Seas countries can play a leading role in facilitating SMEs to make the transition to a circular economy at local level.
To develop and demonstrate solutions and tools that can accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs in the 2 Seas area, we have created an ambitious partnership of actors with complementary expertise in
- SME support to identify opportunities for circular waste management
- Collective procurement of waste management
- Local business cooperation and organisation models
- Stakeholder engagement for circular economy
- Training & capacity building for SMEs
- An EU-wide network for dissemination and transfer
By pooling this expertise, we can create and demonstrate tools and solutions to enable the adoption of circular business cases by (groups of) SMEs, that can be applied by local authorities, business park managers and SMEs in the 2 Seas region and beyond.
Upcycle Your Waste is a project dedicated to accelerating the adoption by SMEs of circular business cases that transform company waste flows into resources. The project brings together 8 partners from 4 countries: local authorities, business district managers and universities. The project runs from 1/2020 – 9/2022 with support from the EU programme Interreg 2 Seas.
UYW specifically targets the adoption of circular solutions for company waste at local level, to combine resource efficiency with local economic development while avoiding transportation of waste. The project targets 6 specific business districts with diverse companies and waste flows in Den Haag (NL), Norwich (UK), Oostende (BE), IJmond (NL), Roubaix (FR) and Kent (UK). On each of these sites, the partners will set up a pilot project with SMEs to introduce solutions for the collective upcycling of their combined waste streams.
To understand the context and conditions for SMEs to transition to upcycling of their business waste, the partners have made an analysis of the regulatory context in the participating 4 countries. They also engaged with individual SMEs to document the barriers and drivers they experience to make this transition. The project also embarked on a detailed analysis of the existing business waste streams in the 6 business districts, to understand the types and volumes of waste found in each pilot site.
The project investigated circular solutions for turning business waste into resource from around the world. This resulted in a longlist of suitable solutions for a wide range of waste material types that can be applied in the pilot projects.
Preparations for the pilots also included a review of examples and success factors for collective waste upcycling. This will be presented in a Protocol for ucpcyling for SMEs to inform the approaches taken in each pilot area to putting the waste streams in the market as resources. And it will identify organisational arrangements for SMEs to collectively manage the upcycling of their waste materials in the long term.
The analysis of the existing SME waste streams in the 6 pilot sites, and the Protocol for Upcycling will be wrapped up in the first half of 2021. After this the pilot projects will start, testing different methods to put waste materials in the market as resources.
Finally, an on-line learning platform is under construction offering training on upcycling of business waste. It will go live in summer 2021.