NAME OF BEST PRACTICE:
Reuse Center Cremona
Contact: Cinzia Vuoto
Address: Piazza del Comune, 8 (entrance from SpazioComune, piazza Stradivari, 7), 26100 Cremona
Address of the Reuse Center: Via dell’Annona, 11, 26100 Cremona
WHEN: Ongoing since October 2016
WASTE MANAGEMENT HIERARCHY: Prevention: Replacement – Reduction, Recycling: Reuse – Reprocessing
TYPE OF INSTRUMENT: Education, information, awareness raising
WASTE STREAMS: Municipal waste, Plastics, Paper, Textiles, Bulky waste
About: RI-USO Center has been activated in collaboration with a social cooperative with the aim of promoting the direct reuse of goods that are thrown away and that can be directly reused and favoring initiatives to support the weaker sections of the population. The Association „Amici di Emmaus” manages since 1994, second-hand markets where people bring objects they do not use, like books, furniture, clothes, household items, sports equipment, various accessories, etc..
The initiative aim is to change the citizens’ habit of throwing away reusable objects.
Material resources: weight scales for objects brought by citizens, implemented by the foundation
Human resources: The „Amici di Emmaus” staff, involved in the management of second-hand market, is present twice a week from 9 to 12 for the opening to the public.
According to the official reports, for the first period of activity from October 2016 to March 2018, the Center collected nearly 24.500 kg of goods. In the following table the conferred goods are listed according to the typology an a total of 24.430 kg: A – DIFFERENT OBJECTS: 5.415kg, B – BOOKS: 3.777 kg, C – FURNITURES: 5.444,5 kg, E – VARIOUS: 767,5 kg, F – CLOTHES: 5.363,4kg, L – ELECTRIC: 2.068 kg, N – SPORT & LEISURE: 1.594,8 kg. Regarding the sold goods in the 151 days of opening, the center registered 101 kg of purchases with € 181,57 of sales for every single day of public opening and a total amount of 27 417 euros: A – DIFFERENT OBJECTS: 8.304,90 eur, B – BOOKS: 2.926,60 eur, C – FURNITURES : 10.549,90 eur, E – VARIOUS: 134,60eur, F – CLOTHES: 1.258,60 eur, L – ELECTRIC: 2.475,10 eur, N – SPORT & LEISURE: 1.767,20.
Various initiatives to promote and disseminate the opportunities offered by the Center are prepared during the year thanks to the valuable contribution, in terms of skills and creativity of a group of volunteers in Civil Service and European Voluntary Service, who take care of the graphics and contents of the Facebook page and the Center’s promotional materials.
Urban metabolism relevance
The opening of the Center is part of a more complex project for the Municipality of Cremona, which concerns on one hand the initiatives for the development and support of the circular and solidarity economy, on the other the commitment to environmental protection policies and waste treatment.
Many objects that we normally buy for our home, for our entertainment, are not used, often the purchase of the good does not correspond to a need, or is old, however it is no longer necessary, so we throw it. “Centro del Riuso” ” is an opportunity for the citizens of Cremona to reduce their waste, to donate a reusable good helping people in need and also to support the reception and solidarity activities of the „Amici di Emmaus” Association.
Engaged participatory processes
Partners and supporting parties:
- Community Foundation of the Province of Cremona: co-financing partner for the Center’s internal equipment
- Lombardy Region: co-financing partner for the redevelopment of the former fruit and vegetable market
- Friends of Emmaus: voluntary association, partner of the Emmaus International Movement – host community – flea markets volunteers of: Civil Service and European Voluntary Service
The municipality of Cremona, starting door-to-door waste collection throughout the city, with the aim of preventing and reducing waste, and in the perspective of the circular economy with the support of the association “Amici di Emmaus” participated to the “Call for regional support for the awarding of contributions to public bodies for the creation of “Re-use Centers” the Lombardy Region.
“The Reuse center can be included in a major project of the Municipality for improving the citizens’ lifestyles towards more sustainable consumption patterns and to support a network of circular and solidarity activities. Together with other initiatives in schools and neighborhoods of the city, the Reuse center has an important role in making the citizens aware to act for waste reduction and increasing the reuse of still usable goods through their donation” (Cinzia Vuoto, Municipality of Cremona)
The innovation of the „Centers of the Riuso” consists in the commitment of the citizens, to actively participate as donors, as costumers, as volunteers, as operators to change the concept of waste “waste is a resource”. Without a strong involvement from citizens and several stakeholders, this project would not be successful.
Sustainability and replicability
The Reuse Centers becomes a spaces for circular culture. The re-use centers arises from the need to meet the weaker social classes, while reinforcing the waste reduction policies. Their operation is simple: citizens can bring you disused products and goods, from bicycles to washing machines, which offered on the market at affordable prices. Many Italian region moved with calls for proposals to implement the presence of reuse centers in the territory, to support the spread of a culture of reuse of goods, against disposable, with the aim of environmental protection and social solidarity, prolonging the life cycle of goods and reducing, consequently, the amount of waste to be sent for treatment and disposal.
These spaces, also in synergy with environmental, social, voluntary associations, can become the center of the other economy, with a great social value and in the name of sustainability. Brownfield sites are reborn in the city and can become a real citadel of social and solidarity economy, headquarters of companies that produce work in the name of a new economy which focuses on sustainability and the community.
Preparation of the site in an appropriate manner for the delivery, collection and sale of used but still usable goods, outside the waste collection and assimilated circuits.
Management of the center made by an already experienced association of second-hand markets. The staff has to be able to receive only consumer goods that are still in good condition (even from a hygienic point of view) and that can be effectively re-used for their original uses, purposes and purposes.
- the reluctance of some citizens to reduce waste and re-use things
- the permanent supply of the Center
- expanding the Center to other locations
- attracting other institutions/organisations to support the project