#1 - June 2019


News on SURFACE project


SURFACE – a Central Europe Project fosters a sustainable lifestyle 

In July 2017 ten partners from nine (central) European countries started the Interreg Project SURFACE (Smart Urban Re-Use Flagship Alliances in Central Europe). In a three year lasting period, the partners want to provide solutions against today's throwaway society. Therein the aim is to create and set up multi-stakeholder based Smart Re-Use Parks in the participating functional urban areas.
A Smart Re-Use Park is located in visible and liveable urban areas and consists of a flexible and modular combination of re-use oriented services. Services like collection and selling of re-useable goods, repair cafes, repair and upcycling workshops, rental services, fab-labs, sharing platforms etc. aiming in prolonging product life-time and foster waste prevention.
SURFACE’s approach to reach the projects goal is to:

  • integrate reuse & waste prevention options into environmental management strategies & action plans,
  • share decisions with urban stakeholders and decision makers,
  • multi-stakeholder cooperation schemes and Smart ReUse Parks Action Plans can be shared and used,
  • test and validate pilot Smart Re-Use Parks, and
  • provide tools and instruments that can be transferred to twinning partners of other functional urban areas.

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The Smart Reuse Park in Vicenza (Italy)


The Smart Reuse Park of Vicenza is a network of structures, services and relationships between social enterprises, public sector, private profit companies, associations, citizenship that cooperate for the reduction of waste and optimization of resources through Reuse and Preparation for Reuse, strongly linked to recycling, in a circular economy perspective.
The Smart Reuse Park is a physical and virtual space, comprehending and involving second-hand shops, workshops, public events and exhibitions, a local network of subjects engaged in reuse and repair, Repair Cafés, educational labs, online market placement of reuse items. All this together with the R&D of innovative business models for the cooperation between the public and social-private sector for the management of waste oriented to reduction through reuse. Pilot actions of the SRP involve primarily Municipality of Vicenza, the city waste management company and an environmental association in the role of "Advisory Board", a group of experts and stakeholders supporting the initiatives of the SRP. Every activity of our SRP is aimed to reach the targets of Reuse and Preparation for Reuse that will be dictated by Europe in line with the European package on the Circular Economy (Directive 2018/851).
The SRP of Vicenza is the base for the development of the local waste reduction plan through Smart Reuse Parks, above all engaging citizenship. In the SRP both economic, environmental and social aspects have to be balanced and sustainable.

Read more on SURFACE website


Repair Café

Saturday, June 8th we inaugurated the first repair cafe in Vicenza, within the Smart Reuse Park of Cooperativa Sociale Insieme. The cooperative, after some experiments done in the past, has chosen to bring stably this project in the city of Vicenza, starting to repair bicycles with the citizens, sharing for free knowledge and experience of its trusted mechanics.
Space is equipped with a work station, a real workshop, perfectly inserted in the ethics of reuse, from the point of view of the repair "do it yourself".
It is possible to book via email and, for now, it is open every Saturday afternoon.

Read more on SURFACE website goes online
at the end of June 2019

In addition to the ZAK ReUse collection box and the construction and development of second-hand department stores in the FUA, the "ZAK marketplace" is a new activity of ZAK Abfallwirtschaft GmbH to promote reuse and waste prevention and thus another component of the "Smart Reuse Park", which is being set up by the ZAK as part of the SURFACE project.
The interactive Internet platform offers citizens and companies concrete options for action to bring or receive used things in the reuse cycle and includes the following areas:
Swap & give away, repair & lend, second hand, flea markets, repair cafes, bazaars, etc., as well as more information on second-hand department stores and repair cafés in our region. A "News" section will also provide information on current and future waste prevention and reuse activities.
This additional service of the ZAK waste management is regional, free, ad-free and serious with controlled content of the advertisements (by external experts).

Read more on SURFACE website


The Re-Use-Box

The Re-Use-Box is a very practical tool for the collection of reusable items in households. If one wanted to get rid of these, then these still usable objects were very often disposed of in the residual waste bin. The re-use box was developed as part of the CERREC project - a predecessor project of SURFACE - and first used in the city of Graz in April 2014. The re-use box is similar to a settlement carton and can be obtained free of charge at numerous distribution points and handed in filled at numerous collection points. The contents of a box usually consist of books, crockery and small household items, tools, shoes, clothes, children's toys, sports equipment, etc. The box can also be used as a storage box. The filled boxes are mostly processed by social enterprises and the processed, cleaned and sometimes repaired items are sold in their own re-use shops. So some bargain hunters find a sought-after item and people on a tight budget spare their wallets.  In addition, this form of reuse is a contribution to the protection of resources and also reduces the burden on waste management. The re-use box has now been successfully introduced in numerous other European regions. This success story would not have been possible without EU funding.

Read more on SURFACE website

Picture credit: Urban Agenda for the EU

SURFACE is not alone: Urban Agenda for the EU mapping of ‘Urban Resource Centres’ in Europe

Early on in the project, SURFACE established a regular exchange with the Urban Agenda for the EU, a partnership that promotes cooperation between countries, cities, the European Commission and other stakeholders to tackle pivotal environmental and social challenges in European cities. We are delighted to share the results of our colleagues’ work, the recently published report based on 12 in-depth interviews and case studies of different local ‘Urban Resource Centres’ in Europe.

‘Urban Resource Centres’ and ‘Smart Re-use parks’? You guessed right, despite using different wording we have a lot in common, above all the objective to promote waste prevention, re-use and recycling in urban areas. What is more, you will find the re-use centre of CPU Ljubljana, a SURFACE project partner, among the case studies.
The report, carried out by the Urban Agenda’s group dedicated to the Circular Economy and coordinated by the city of Oslo, shows both examples from the public, public-private and private centres and provides an insight into the different approaches to a circular economy on a local level. View the report and infographic here.

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