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Upcycle Your Waste - Transforming business waste flows into resources at local level.

Interreg-project“Upcycle Your Waste UYW) is an European project under the Interreg 2 Seas program with financial support from the European Union / European Regional De

Introduction of circular business cases to transform company waste into resources is a key enabler for the transition to a circular economy. Circular measures like re-design of products and processes and green procurement bring EU companies economic benefits of 3–8% of annual turnover.

SMEs in particular experience difficulties in adopting circular practices, due to limited organisational, technical and financial capacity. Only 25% of SME waste is currently repurposed. There is growing demand from SMEs for:

  • Knowledge of their waste streams and corresponding circular business cases
  • Demonstrated solutions and tools to improve resource efficiency
  • Better cooperation among companies to organise sufficient scale and develop processes to upcycle waste
  • Local authorities and business park managers can enable SMEs at local level to join this transition by facilitating SMEs to build their knowledge base, get organised & incorporate circular business cases and waste processing practices.

Overall Objective

The objective of Upcycle Your Waste is to accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs that transform waste flows into resources at local level. We aim to achieve this by developing and introducing knowledge, tools and facilities that enable SMEs and local authorities to make this transition.

The overall result of the project is an increased adoption of circular business cases by SMEs in the partner areas,
quantified as:

  • 360 SMEs adopting circular business cases
  • 20% of the pre-existing waste stream being upcycled on a structural basis.

Additionally, the project will lead to an improved capacity of local authorities, business district managers and SMEs in
other parts of the 2 Seas region to introduce circular business practices, through our capacity building and dissemination
and transfer activities.

Main outputs

  • 6 Pilots working with groups of SMEs in a specific business area, facilitating the adoption of circular business cases based on collective waste stream analysis, procurement and contracting of waste management.
  • Protocol for SMEs on procurement for upcycling – showing how SMEs can design and organise collective procurement of waste services to introduce (innovative) circular solutions at local level.
  • Training and capacity building programme for SMEs on regulation, waste stream analysis, circular business cases and procurement.
  • Upcycling Guidance for local authorities and business district managers on working with SMEs to adopt circular business cases.

Target groups

  • SMEs
  • Local authorities
  • Business district managers
  • SME support actors

We target these groups locally in our partner areas and at the whole 2 Seas level through capacity building and transfer activities.

Cross Border Approach

Local authorities and business district managers in all 2 Seas countries can play a leading role in facilitating SMEs to make the transition to a circular economy at local level.

To develop and demonstrate solutions and tools that can accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs in the 2 Seas area, we have created an ambitious partnership of actors with complementary expertise in

  • SME support to identify opportunities for circular waste management
  • Collective procurement of waste management
  • Local business cooperation and organisation models
  • Stakeholder engagement for circular economy
  • Training & capacity building for SMEs
  • An EU-wide network for dissemination and transfer

By pooling this expertise, we can create and demonstrate tools and solutions to enable the adoption of circular business cases by (groups of) SMEs, that can be applied by local authorities, business park managers and SMEs in the 2 Seas region and beyond.




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