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Trash for Treasure
Zero Waste Lab is the place for local social & circular innovation. Residents exchange separated waste for (recycled) value coins. Easy, fun, and valuable!
Why was this project started?

"To make Amsterdam more circular, we have to look for new ways to access resources. One of these ways is working with what's already there - our waste. If we separate our waste carefully, it can be used as an infinite and sustainable resource. The Zero Waste Lab is a physical location where people can come by to hand in waste and find out more about recycling and upcycling."

What were the experiences?

"People are generally enthusiastic and curious about how the Zero Waste Lab works. They enjoy getting information face to face, and they can actually see some of the upcycled products, which makes the process more tangible."

What is the value for the neighborhood?

"We make separating, recycling and upcycling waste accessible and valuable. People feel good about contributing to the circular economy and a better environment while supporting an initiative that is also a social workplace. Besides their contribution to the environment people receive value coins that they can spend at local stores. The coins can be used to buy a cup of coffee, fresh vegetables or even clothes and non-prescription glasses."

"What a great project! As a neighbor, I now hand in my waste here. Keep it up! We don't want this initiative to be replaced by another ice cream- or Nutella shop."
Amsterdam resident
Next step
The next step is expanding to more neighborhoods in Amsterdam to create more awareness and scale up towards a circular city. We also want to increase our cooperation with local upcycle initiatives (to boost the circular economy even more).
Partners involved in this project:
An initiative of De Gezonde Stad
Supported by Stadsdeel Oost / Amsterdam Economic Board / Cities Foundation / De Regenboog Groep / Ymere / EY
Zero Waste Lab