Upcycle Your Waste - Transforming business waste flows into resources at local level | 2 Mers Seas Zeeën

Upcycle Your Waste

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Upcycle Your Waste - Transforming business waste flows into resources at local level

Priority Axis

Resource Efficient Economy

Specific objective

Circular Economy

Lead partner

Gemeente Den Haag






Project budget

3 368 065

ERDF amount

2 020 839

ERDF rate



    Common challenge

    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 the 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 was repurposed at the time of project approval. There was growing demand from SMEs for knowledge of their waste streams and corresponding circular business cases, demonstrated solutions and tools to improve resource efficiency, and better cooperation among companies to organise sufficient scale and develop processes to upcycle waste. Local authorities and business park managers identified 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 project was driven by the demand of SMEs (represented by partners and observers) who wanted to transition to circular solutions. Partners wanted develop tools for SMEs to participate in the circular economy and increase viability and cost-efficiency of upcycling solutions, through local SME collaboration and procurement of waste upcycling.

    Main Achievements

    The Upcycle Your Waste project gathered 8 partners and 14 observer partners from The Netherlands, France, Belgium (Flanders) and the United Kingdom. The main objective of the project was to accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs to upcycle company waste into (secondary) resources at local level. Partners have jointly developed 3 different and complementary tools: a guide to waste management opportunities for SMEs, the UYW academy with different online modules to learn about upcycling and a guidance on best practice and lessons learnt that targets local authorities and business district managers. The partners are proud to confirm that 453 persons participated in the Academy. The guidance on best practice was developed at the end of the project and builds on the monitoring and evaluation activity that was undertaken throughout the project. There were 6 different pilot areas, each presenting different and complementary results regarding SME engagement in upcycling and facilitating of locally built circular initiatives.

    The pilots in The Hague and Kent have both gathered strong interest from the SMEs towards the end of the project. In The Hague, the project managers have opted for a more individual approach as the collective approach appeared less successful. Several successful events were hosted by Kent CC to facilitate the local connections between businesses regarding waste treatment and upcycling solutions. Both The Hague as Kent have evaluated their pilot and identified ways to continue their exchanges with the interested SMEs. In Norwich, a collective tendering approach was tested with the local businesses. This has yielded several circular business cases and structural cooperation between parties involved. The main achievement of the “Economisch Huis Ostend” pilot is that various circular initiatives were developed and supported. The success of this pilot has caused the City of Ostend to fully commit to the circular economy. In Roubaix, the project proved an opportunity to upscale small existing initiatives and launch a competition for locally implemented upcycling solutions. Roubaix has integrated the upcycle challenges in their new circular hub. OD IJmond initiated a local waste hub collecting the plastic and paper waste of 50 businesses.


    The Upcycle Your Waste delivered various, lasting achievements in its project area and beyond. It laid the ground for local businesses to evaluate their waste management, having been offered the tools and customised advice to do so through the Guide and the Academy.



    Norwich Business Improvement District Ltd

    OD IJmond

    Economisch Huis Oostende

    Ville de Roubaix

    Kent County Council

    Technische Universiteit Delft

    Katholieke Hogeschool Vives Zuid


    Output title
    URL / Download

    Upcycle Your Waste

    Thema: Circular economyServices to SMEs

    Training and capacity building programme for SMEs

    Type: Method/service
    Target: SMEs /enterprises

    Upcycle Your Waste

    Thema: Circular economyServices to SMEs

    Guidance for upcycling for local authorities and business district managers

    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: Local, regional and national authorities

    Upcycle Your Waste

    Thema: Circular economyServices to SMEs

    Pilots introducing upcycling of business waste streams at local business area level

    Type: Pilot and demonstration action
    Target: SMEs /enterprises

    Upcycle Your Waste

    Thema: Circular economyServices to SMEs

    Guide to waste management opportunities

    Type: Strategy/action plan
    Target: SMEs /enterprises