Few months after its inauguration, the brand new repair and reuse centre for bulky waste in Nice attracts big attention across Europe. A perfect proof is the recent visit they had from Krakow, Porto and Cordoba.
These three cities are part of the core of the INTHERWASTE project, a European Interreg project, similar to URBAN-WASTE but focusing on UNESCO heritage cities only. The study visit was a part of the INTHERWASTE’s current phase – bilateral meetings and visiting existing good practices across Europe. As this visit was focused on giving bulky waste a second life – the circular economy initiative, which was launched just a few months ago in the recycling center in the Les Moulins district, it enriched the three cities knowledge of exiting solutions for this particular waste stream.
Jerome Taverne, the director of Galice – the association responsible for a technical management of the site, showed around the most important parts of the reuse center and explained how it works. Bulky waste, which are collected in the district, are sorted to separate reusable and non-reusable waste. Next, a process of conditioning and repairing is providing to give the waste a new life. Manufactured products made from the waste are put on a second-hand market for the citizens, who are able to buy them for low prizes or exchange for brought items. Since the beginning of the functioning of the recycling center, 80 tonnes of bulky waste have been collected, of which 5 tonnes (900 products) have been transformed into products from and sold or exchanged then.
The recycling center is not only focused on the bulky waste repairing, but also it has a wider social issue. The site employs people, who have difficulties on the labor market. 9 out of 12 workers of the site are employed temporarily from the integration programme, which gives them an opportunity to believe in their capabilities in finding a better job. The center integrates the citizens also. The facility has an on site botanical and pedagogic garden, where all the people can bring their plants and collect fruits or herbs. The plants grow on natural compost from nearby composters, so they are 100% organic. Volunteers are responsible for the maintenance of the garden.
The center has also the educational function – it spreads awareness for environmental issues. Nature lessons are conducted on site, so pupils have an opportunity to see the process of planting. Workshops for kids are conducted in the atelier of the center as well. They can found out what the recycling is and prepare some items from waste, e.g. robots.
The 1st phase of the INTHERWASTE project is now coming to the end. The next INTHERWASTE meeting will be in Tallinn on 7-8 November, during which project partners will work on preparing action plans for implementation of innovative measures in their own local settings.