Kredsløb, the Danish partner of the 2LIFES project, has recently published two inspirational guidelines, the first focused on promoting the re-use of building components, and the second focused on fostering volunteers’ engagement.
With these two guidelines, Kredsløb aims to inspire other organisations to learn from their experience, replicate initiatives, and engage more actively engage in re-use policies.
Guideline on the re-use of building components
The first guideline, titled "An Inspirational Guideline to Direct Recycling", highlights the experiences and data collected during the period between 2022 and 2023 at the new recycling station in Lisbjerg. The objective of this initiative is threefold: creating a dialogue about recycling and re-use of building materials, reducing construction waste, and ensuring that materials and components are directly put back into circulation.
To achieve these goals, the recycling station employs several key actions and strategies.
• Firstly, all products and materials entering the facility are weighed on a scale, allowing for precise tracking of materials in circulation.
• Secondly, a Swop Box, an exchange locker where citizens can drop off products that others could use for free, has proven to be a huge success.
• Thirdly, Kredsløb used a number of strategies to make the Lisbjerg facility more attractive and welcoming to residents, creating eye-catching displays, using music to enhance the atmosphere, and providing informative signs.
Although challenges like confusion among citizens and limited access during rush hours exist, the facility's design encourages visitors to explore and find materials they can re-use for their projects.
The success stories from Lisbjerg further exemplify the positive impact of re-use. One such story features a construction company emptying their stock of building components and matrials, encouraging their colleagues to follow suit and contribute to the efforts. Another heartwarming story revolves around a young boy finding a racing bike at the Swop Box, allowing him to achieve his fitness goals through direct re-use.
Guideline on engaging volunteers
Another vital aspect of Kredsløb's mission involves encouraging active citizen engagement through volunteering. To achieve this, Kredsløb has compiled an inspirational guideline, titled "An inspirational guideline: Volunteers at REUSE“ that presents valuable experiences and knowledge from their successful volunteer initiatives.
At REUSE, recruitment efforts have led to 25 dedicated volunteers who are passionate about the organization's mission.
The guideline emphasizes creating a structure for the volunteer effort, providing easy registration for tasks, and fostering external collaborations with other organisations such as housing associations, libraries, festivals, and more.
Motivation plays a crucial role in retaining volunteers at REUSE. In this sense, ensuring that the volunteers' passions align with the tasks they undertake is key. The organization's positive reputation, engaged leadership, and appreciation for volunteers contribute to a welcoming atmosphere. Clear communication regarding the time and content of tasks, along with strong relationships among volunteers, further enhance their sense of identity and belonging.
The results of these volunteer efforts have been significant. REUSE has successfully collaborated with various community partners, including Aarhus Festival Week, The Ocean Race, Det Finurlige Flyselskab, North Side Festival, and Aarhus Bike Repair.
The guideline also highlights the importance of expanding recruitment platforms, utilizing various channels to attract new volunteers. Providing a welcoming reception, with coffee offered at REUSE, contributes to a positive initial experience for new volunteers. The guideline emphasizes the importance of a simple and concrete interest and registration procedure for volunteers, making it easy to join and leave when necessary.
However, one challenge highlighted in the guideline is the difference between voluntary logic and corporate logic when volunteers engage with companies. The impulsive and pleasure-oriented approach of volunteers may clash with a company's structured systems, emphasizing the need for patience and openness in accommodating these differences.
Continuing to focus on recruitment, retention, and care efforts in collaboration with volunteers, will ensure REUSE's volunteer initiatives remain impactful and sustainable.
In conclusion, Kredsløb's inspirational guideline about volunteers at REUSE serves as a blueprint for creating a thriving volunteer environment, fostering active community participation in the circular economy.