Strengthen waste objectives with benefits for the social domain – Closed

The demand for raw materials has increased tremendously over the past 100 years: the global population now uses 34 times more material resources, 27 times more minerals, 12 times more fossil fuels, and 3.6 times more biomass. This practice is not sustainable. By designing products more intelligently, extending their lifetime and reusing components, a circular economy that contributes significantly to future-proofing the Dutch economy can be created.
There is much to be done in Amsterdam as well. On 13 July 2016, the municipal council adopted the Uitvoeringsplan Afval (Waste Implementation Plan). This plan calls for 65% percent of domestic waste to be separated by 2020. In 2013, the percentage was 19%; it has now increased to 27%. Separating waste is not always easy, especially for those without a garden or with limited space indoors, or for people who aren’t fully mobile.

The circularity approach also has effects for consumers’ purchase and use of products. Extending the lifetime of goods (think domestic appliances, electronic appliances and furniture) will create more demand for work in the domain of maintenance, repairs and disassembly. These activities are largely low-skilled work and have a local aspect (collection, pre-sorting and simple disassembly).

Aside from contributing to sustainability, this plan (Uitvoeringsplan Afval) offers opportunities to create jobs in the waste management chain for people with some degree of disability while also providing a meaningful day’s work for vulnerable groups.
Developing systems of product reuse (and repair) may also create opportunities to contribute to the municipal poverty policy, whose principle is that ‘everyone should be able to participate’.

The issue:
Help us find a smart approach to strengthening the objective regarding waste prevention and separation (e.g. through the increased reuse of products) that also benefits the social domain (creating jobs for vulnerable groups and addressing the poverty policy).

Specific criteria that the startup should take into account in devising its bid:

  • Show how additional jobs can be created for people or increase the number of work placements. Where and for whom (according to skillset) have extra job opportunities been realised so far? Is this (partly) paid work, or is it a daytime activity?;
  • Describe the current use of recycling centres, repair cafés and give-away shops, as well as who uses them. How can Amsterdam citizens living below the poverty line make optimum use of these facilities?;
  • Work with municipal staff and chain partners in the waste management chain (e.g. a bulk waste collection service and recycle pilot project, or the use of a ‘Werkbrigade’, or work crew);
  • Describe and explain a potential business case that shows costs and revenue in the physical and social domain.

Issued by: Ruimte en Duurzaamheid

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