Some months ago, following the completion of the first phase of the 2LIFES project, EMULSA approved its Action Plan. This plan was split in two actions: first, improving the re-use centre and Reusapp through green and social employment and the creation of swapping sites for citizens, and second, developing mobile Repair Cafes.

The progress made in regards to the Action Plan approved some months ago is remarkable.

In the first action, EMULSA is currently in the bidding process for the whole infrastructure of the swapping sites for citizens to be implemented around the city center. Swapping sites are spaces with a pleasant aesthetic that allow citizens who want to get rid of an object still in good condition to donate it there, thus allowing any interested person to take it free of charge. Their design protects donated goods from harm that could affect their re-use potential.

For the refurbishment of the current Reusapp area, efforts are being made by EMULSA to refurbish and give new visibility to the space. A contract was tendered and awarded to the social enterprise Emaús Riquirraque who have been working on the space, extending opening hours and running awareness workshops. These monthly workshops cover themes such as making furniture with pallets, refurbishing furniture, re-using costumes, techniques to avoid food waste, repairing bicycles, and more. Over a hundred people have attended so far.

Carrying out tenders using a reserved contract to award it to social enterprises authorized for the treatment of waste is a key strategy to create green jobs for people at risk of social exclusion, but also to benefit from social enterprises’ expertise in the collection, transport, and treatment of second-hand products. Reserved contracts have the potential to recognise and safeguard the vital role of social enterprises in the circular economy.

With respect to the second action, the development of mobile Repair Cafes, the first steps to locate the appropriate vehicles are taken. It will first be necessary, in fact, to find vehicles that could be adapted and meet specific specifications to become a Rolling Repair Van. In this regard, EMULSA is benefitting from the fact that this was a measure already developed by 2LIFES partner Kredslob in Aarhus, Denmark. On the one hand, a Rolling Repair Van serves as an advertising tool to promote re-use and repair. On the other hand, it can be used as a mobile Repair Café that connect with citizens by going to events, green markets, etc. This initiative will provide a service to citizens for the repair of small household products.

In addition to the actions foreseen in the Action Plan, there is a new interactive map of 141 sustainable businesses in the city, such as second-hand stores, repairers, fair trade or organic products. Various campaigns have also been carried out with different NGOs to distribute orthopedic material such as wheelchairs or accessibility accessories, to donate sports equipment and to promote the donation of toys for Christmas.