Upcyclecentrum Almere

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In the Upcyclecentrum we make the circular economy and the upcycle process visible and tangible. We don’t do this alone. Our residents provide us with raw materials by properly separating their waste, the entrepreneurs (startups) upcycle these raw materials into new products and inspiring workshops are organized in our circular designed experience center. Waste = raw material in the circular economy; this is the central theme of all our activities.

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What is the goal of the project?

Raw materials are scarce and are rapidly being depleted by the way our economy works. In our current linear economy, raw materials are converted into products that are thrown away after being used. In order to have enough in the future, it is important to convert this into a circular system, in which waste is used as a raw material to make other high-quality products.

The municipality of Almere has the ambition to become a circular (capital) city. The Upcyclecentrum is the place in Almere Haven where you can see how we achieve this together with residents, entrepreneurs and organizations on the recycling platform, in the workshops of the entrepreneurs (startups) and in the experience center. A variety of activities are developed in the Upcyclecentrum to combat the waste of valuable materials, to promote reuse and to create awareness among residents of all age categories.

What is the result of the project?

In the Upcyclecentrum we make the circular economy and the upcycle process visible and tangible. We don’t do this alone. Our residents provide us with raw materials by properly separating their waste, the entrepreneurs (startups) upcycle these raw materials into new products and inspiring workshops are organized in our circular designed experience center. Waste = raw material in the circular economy; this is the central theme of all our activities.

Not only the activities within the walls are circularly themed, also the walls themselves are built according to the principles of circularity. The building of the Upcyclecentrum is modular and made of recycled materials, for instance from the old swimming pool and sports hall of Almere Haven.

Who initiated the project and which organizations are involved?

The Upcyclecentrum is initiated by the sanitation department of the municipality of Almere. In addition, the Upcyclecentrum is closely linked to the Almere 2.0 program. With this program, the municipality of Almere, the province of Flevoland and the government are working together to strengthen Almere as a green and healthy city. The Upcyclecentrum contributes to the ambition of the municipality of Almere to be a waste-free and energy-neutral city.

Partners of the Upcyclecentrum
Upcycling refers to the process of making new products from old materials that once served a different purpose. The Upcyclecentrum offers startups the opportunity to develop their business cases by providing them with a workshop and giving them access to the flow of ‘waste’ brought in by our residents. The entrepreneurs listed below currently inhabit the workshops in the Upcyclecentrum:

  • Unravelau is a high-end fashion brand established in 2017 by the designer Laura Meijering who believes that you don’t have to sacrifice style in order to make conscious choices. While each collection is unique, they are all designed with care for the planet. Our garments are handcrafted in The Netherlands and made of natural and upcycled materials only. At Unravelau, we believe that every little step counts - together with you, we unravel the fashion industry. One garment at a time.

  • At Isolde de Ridder Sieraden, founded by Isolde de Ridder – Le Creurer in 2017, creating high-end jewellery with the greatest of care for both people and planet, is our mission. We strive to make the world more beautiful with our unique jewellery. Our unique pieces are crafted by hand in the Netherlands. Jewellery that give discarded metals and other materials a second life and that contribute to a better world for generations to come.

  • We are 3-CYCLE, a new upcycling project by Erik Fakkeldij (The Botfactory) and Joost Bosker (Oerz). We joined forces in 2019 to create new products from used pieces of plastics and metal. And... to make this a true dutch innovation, we use a setup with a bike to do the first steps of the upcycling process! But that's not all... we do this by giving workshops and presentations to kids and the public to create more awareness. Our aim is to show that waste is not only bad for the environment, but it also means missed opportunities for reusing the waste and upcycling it into new products. We believe this type of education is key for engaging the public, while making a difference at the same time.

Education is an important part of the Upcyclecentrum
Education is crucial for the transition to a circular economy. In this transition it is important that our young generation is taught a behavior, mindset and skills that are necessary within the circular economy, because they are the future after all. For this reason, education also plays an important part within the Upcyclecentrum.
In collaboration with Stad en Natuur, educational programs are developed for the age categories 4-24 years to create awareness about upcycling among young people, with the central theme waste = raw material in a circular economy.

What is the next step?

In the ideal scenario all stakeholders have a circular mindset: companies, government, educational organizations and residents.The first step is relatively easy: mobilizing the frontrunners. The next step is going to be harder: mobilizing the masses.

What can other cities learn from your project?

Our success is owed to the fact that we make the circular and upcycling process visible and tangible under one roof. Our initiative thrives on the collaboration with education and circular entrepreneurs - together, we take steps towards a circular future.

https://www.almere.nl/wonen/afval/upcyclecentrum

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