Kredsløb has been dedicated to enhancing circular economy policies in Aarhus, Denmark. Their Action Plan focuses on improving the Waste Plan Aarhus 2021-2026, with a shift in focus from recycling to re-use and repair.
The plan encompasses four themes, each with ambitious targets such as increasing re-use by threefold, introducing ten new material streams, achieving a 55% recycling rate, and reducing CO2 emissions by 7,000 tons.
Two major actions under Kredsløb's Action Plan are the development of a REUSE Rolling Repair Van and the initiation of a project to re-use building materials in Aarhus.
The Repair Van allows for repair events across the city, promoting awareness and collaboration with external partners and volunteers. The building materials re-use project is located at the new recycling station in Lisbjerg, and there are plans to expand the concept to six other recycling stations in Aarhus.
The Waste Plan Aarhus 2021-2026 was shaped through an extensive citizen participatory process, with more than 3,700 citizens participating in surveys, interviews, and public consultations. This plan, approved in November 2021, puts re-use and repair at the forefront, aligning with the principles promoted by the 2LIFES project.
The implementation of Kredsløb's Action Plan has seen significant progress. The REUSE Rolling Repair Van has been successfully launched, participating in over 30 events throughout the city, including the Ocean Race and the NorthSide rock festival. The van has become a symbol of Aarhus' commitment to circular economy principles and has also inspired community groups to establish their own repair initiatives.
However, Kredsløb has highlighted the paradox of using an old diesel van to promote repair and sustainability. Therefore, it has been decided to downscale the external repair activities in the autumn of 2023, and instead prioritize the establishing and staffing of a permanent repair café at the REUSE recycling station.
Similarly, the re-use of building components and materials at the Lisbjerg Recycling Centre has been warmly received, with more than 800 tonnes of materials recycled in the first half of 2022. This success has led to plans for introducing similar re-use areas at two other recycling stations in Aarhus in the near future.
Despite these achievements, Kredsløb has encountered some challenges with the Repair Van's coordination and volunteer staffing. To address this, the project will transition towards establishing a permanent Repair Café at the REUSE recycling station to enhance sustainability efforts and community engagement.
Overall, Kredsløb's Action Plan has demonstrated its effectiveness in encouraging citizens and organisations to actively participate in the circular economy. By focusing on repair, re-use, and material recycling, Aarhus moves closer to its vision of becoming a CO2-neutral city by 2030, fostering a more sustainable and resource-efficient city.
The valuable insights and experiences gained from the 2LIFES project have played a pivotal role in shaping these initiatives.