Formally constituted in 1999, the Ressources network federates all the social economy actors in the Walloon and Brussels-Capital regions of Belgium. Ressource’s members collect, sort, repair, recycle and resell products at the end of their lifetime. The network aims at bringing together enterprises by activity sectors and geographical areas, by developing common projects and campaigns. Ressources has developed activities in waste prevention and recycling, including textiles, electrical and electronic equipment, furniture, metals, wood, paper & cardboard, books, cork, plastics, cartridges, cycles and bio-waste. Some Ressources members are very well known and established like Les Petits Riens, Oxfam, Terre, Salvation Army Belgium. Finally, Ressources has also developed and deployed re-use standards such as electroREV (for WEEE), Solid’R (for textiles) or Rec’Up (for organizational functioning).
Let’s do it
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Ruke (Hands) is the association responsible for the campaign “Let’s Do It“ in Bosnia and Herzegovina which started in 2012 and by now it involves more than 125 000 volunteers in its actions of cleaning illegal landfills and planting trees. In 2014 they cleaned around 11.500 tons of waste and planted 314.886 of seeds of different trees. Volunteer actions „Let’s Do It- clean up the country in 1 day” and “Let’s Do It- million seedlings in 1 day” were organized in 113 municipalities until now and the aim is to involve all municipalities in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “Let’s Do It” in Bosnia and Herzegovina is a part of a global “Let’s Do It World” movement, which includes 111 countries and which has more than 10.000.000 volunteers. Official organizers of “Let’s Do It” volunteer actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina are Association of Citizens “Ruke” from Sarajevo and Association of Citizens “Mosaic of Friendship” from Banja Luka. “Let’s Do It” is driving force of many positive social changes in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The organization has 3 shops and last year had around 11.000 clients.
Social Cooperative Humana Nova encourages the employment of the disabled and other socially-excluded persons through the production and selling of quality and innovative textile products made from ecological and recycled fabrics for the needs of the domestic and the foreign markets. In 2019, Humana Nova’s shop had around 3.000 unique clients. Social Cooperative Humana Nova is a leader of the social entrepreneurship and has been recognized in the wider regional scope. The work of the cooperative has actively and directly contributed to the establishing of a tolerant society and has in turn helped the socially excluded persons and their families in enhancing their self-reliability and the quality of life.
Uuskasutuskeskus is a non-profit organization established in 2004 by the Good Deed Foundation, the Estonian Fund for Nature, the Caritas Foundation and two individuals: Rasmus Rask and Priit Mikelsaar. Its objective is to put used things back in circulation and to make re-use and re-design easily accessible and commonplace for everyone in Estonia. The main goals are to increase the number of customers making re-use the obvious choice. It also runs an Online Shop.
Kierrätyskeskus is a non-profit company founded in 1990 with the aim of reduce resource consumption, increase environmental awareness, and increase employment opportunities. The center has nine stores in the Helsinki metropolitan area and a nationwide online store. It also offers environmental training and consulting for residents of the Helsinki metropolitan area, professional educators, and companies and communities. Kierrätyskeskus’ income is not distributed to the owners but directly to the charitable work in line with its mission. It has received the Ekokompassi certificate, the Social Label by the Finnish Labor Union and uses WWF’s Green Office environmental system.
Tramel Oy is a social enterprise founded in 2008 and registered under the Finnish law of social enterprises. It has six different plants for recycling and reuse of electric and electronic goods. Hence, Tramel Oy offers expert recycling and reuse services to companies and households, as well as socially positive responsibilities such as recruiting people with disabilities or people that have undergone long-term unemployment.
Emmaüs France is one of the best known social economy networks in Europe. The Emmaüs movement was created in 1949, when people opposing social and economic positions decided to join forces and create an original and unique solidarity movement to fight poverty and minimise the effects of exclusion. Since 2003, Emmaüs France has organised itself around three main areas: Communities, social action and housing, and professional inclusion within social economy organisations. Textiles, furniture and electrical and electronic equipment are the product streams in which Emmaüs operates. Linked networks include Emmaüs International and Emmaüs Europe, which also work closely with RREUSE. Emmaus members collect some 220.000 tonnes of materials each year.
Since 1984, Envie, the Federation of social inclusion enterprises, has helped marginalised groups back to work through an economic activity which specialises in the collection, repair and sale (with a one year guarantee) of second-hand electric and electronic appliances. The organisation contributes to environmental protection and preservation of resources through the re-use and recycling of WEEE. Goods are sold at affordable prices to households in 45 shops around France. The Envie concept has been successfully exported to the UK, Germany Belgium and Italy where it has brought its know-how to local organisations. Envie collect today 25% of the total WEEE produced in France ie 191.000 tons (125.000 of which are prepared for reuse and/or recycling) and has developed agreements with Eco-Systèmes one of the four WEEE producer responsibility schemes operating in France. Envie put back into the market of reused products some 65.000 items per year.
FairWertung is an association of non-profit collectors of used clothes in Germany. The umbrella organization itself does not collect or recycle any used textiles, but it has developed and implemented a binding code of conduct for non-profit clothing collections. Those collectors who follow the code of conduct are allowed to advertise their used clothes collections with the name and symbol of it. This means that if the laber is shown on a collection or container, the collection is carried out in accordance with the Code of Conduct for non-profit clothing collections. For consumers, this is an orientation aid if they want to donate their rejected textiles responsibly and for a good cause.
Through its online platforms, FairWertung also makes it easy for consumers to find information about collections of used clothes. The members of FairWertung collect overall over 42.000 tonnes of clothing a year.
WIRDis the German nationwide umbrella brand for cooperation and guaranteed quality in resource conservation through re-use, repair and upcycling (upgrading of a material) in second-hand stores. It is the label for socially oriented re-use and repair facilities and for cooperating public recycling centres, manufacturers and dealers. It counts 16 members handling approximately 15.000 tonnes a year.
Oikologiki Etaireia Anakyklosis is a Greek non-profit organisation whose main objective is the promotion of re-use, recycling and waste reduction, through educational programmes in schools, publications (books and quarterly magazines) and information/awareness-raising programmes and campaigns. The organisation is especially active in the public debate in Greece around waste prevention issues. In the course of the last few years ERS has developed initiatives on home-composting and launched awareness campaigns like the “Klimax Plus” project, which offers working opportunities to people with psychosocial disadvantages including ex-offenders, drug addicts and mentally ill individuals as well as the homeless, refugees and settlers.
Klimax plus was established in 2005 as the continuation of the Klimax cooperative (established in 1996) engaged in work integration for people with mental health and psychosocial problems. Klimax plus is a social cooperative and it aims to develop sustainable and evolving business activities in the insertion of social and green economy, by improving the quality of life, support the socio-economic rehabilitation and enhancing the social participation of socially excluded persons. The combination of social economy and green economy, serves as an advantage for Klimax plus which has proved that differentiates Klimax plus over the current practice and adds multiplied benefits for our purposes. The engagement of the beneficiaries – employees is also at high level in the decision making process whereas persons with different backgrounds and social exclusions experiences (e.g. people with mental disorders, homeless, ex-prisoners, Rama) are forming the specific dynamic of Klimax plus.
Humusz is an Hungarian NGO which for many years has been actively involved in waste prevention education and awareness raising campaign to reduce the impact of waste on the environment. Humusz is presently trying to set up a pilot network of social enterprise which will become a pioneer reuse centre in Hungary. The objective of Humusz is to make sustainable production and consumption an everyday practice in Hungary. Humusz work in order to create the will, to disseminate the knowledge required and to develop the social, economic and environmental framework of conditions needed. Finally, Humusz started off in 2008 its “Zero Waste Program” (Nulla Hulladék Programját) which brings together more than 40 hungarian organizations.
The Community Reuse Network is the all-Island representative body for community based reuse, recycling and waste prevention organisations. It promotes reuse and social inclusion at national and local authority level through networking, campaigning and events. CRNI supports their member organisations through the publication and dissemination of best practice guidance and related information. It also conducts research on reuse best on its members experiences and daily activity, and supports the development of a nation-wirde quality standard (ReMark) to certify excellence thus addressing consumer concerns regarding the quality of second hand products.
RECOSI (Regional and European Co-Operative for Social Industry) based in Ireland is a not for profit organisation. It was formed in early 2014 by a group of like-minded individuals, who want to help to develop social enterprises, which operate mainly in the area of reuse of IT equipment and WEEE.
Recosi’s main objective is to develop the commercial activity of social enterprises in a meaningful and sustainable way by combining the resources and expertise of both the social enterprises and commercial sector. The aim is to create a commercially unified model between social enterprises and commercial bodies in the IT reuse and WEEE market, which is directly delivering social value, commercial revenue and environmental protection. In its short period, RECOSI has developed into a successful multi-national company providing a renge of innovative reuse services across Ireland, UK, USA and Europe.
Rehab Recycle was established in 1984, primarily to create employment opportunities for people with disabilities. The organisation has since grown to become an Irish success story and a major force in Ireland’s recycling industry, with facilities in Dublin, Cork, Galway, Navan and in Eindhoven in the Netherlands. Rehab Recycle covers many waste streams including the collection, sorting and processing of glass, WEEE, paper, expanded polystyrene, mobile phones, aluminium cans and computer components. Rehab Recycle joined the RREUSE network in June 2009. It has recently opened a state of the art plant for the treatment of ICT equipment in Dublin.
Rete 14 Luglio
Rete 14 Luglio is a network working across seven different Italian regions, with a turnover of about 91 million, employing around 2.140 people, more than a third of whom belong to the category of disadvantaged workers. The network works on several aspects to make the effort made by social cooperatives more viable, such as overcoming the practice of bidding at the lowest price.
Cooperative Sociale Insieme is an organization with more than 100 workers and 30 trainees, as well as 20 job positions of public utility and more than 30 volunteers. All of them are gathered around the same notion: give a second opportunity to people and things that seem not to have it. The organisation was born in 1979 as a citizen initiative looking forward for a better quality of life with a strong focus on the labour situation and exclusion.
This organisation, located in the Vilnius region, was established to help promote production and lifestyle in Lithuania without waste and to popularise the principles of circular economy among business and government institutions. Žiedinè ekonomika shares its accumulated knowledge and passes on the experience of other non-governmental European environmental networks. Žiedinè ekonomika organizes volunteer work in re-use centres to treat particular waste streams and repair items. Pictures of all reusable items are published online, making it accessible to a wide-ranging audience.
The first kringloopshop (re-use shop) was established in the Netherlands in 1980. Nowadays, the sector employs 4800 people. BKN, founded in 1994, supports the development of the branch by sharing knowledge and educating its members. BKN cooperates with several organizations: like NVRD, Wecycle, Greenchoice and Stibat. In 1999 on of its members “Het Goed” set up www.marktplaats.nl an online platform for selling secondhand items. It was sold to ebay in 2004 for 225 mln euro. The network is composed of 62 members and 214 stores.
Ekon was founded in 2003 and soon became one of the first and leading social enterprise in Poland. It operates in 16 places and has created 800 stable workplaces mainly for disadvantaged people. The social advantages generated by EKON’s operation are assessed at 2.1 million euro per year. EKON Association started its economic activity in the field of environment protection in the sector of packaging waste management in January 2004, and it started collecting recyclable waste in Ursynów district of Warsaw on March 9th, 2004. It started recruitment of disabled workers in Warsaw in January 2004. At the beginning they were sent to training courses and professional workshops after accomplishment of which they could start work in the sector of packaging waste management according to the agreement signed with EKON Association. Ekon is is a member of Workability International and was awarded the CERTIFICATE of Quality Management System PNEN ISO 9001:2001. Since April 2008, Ekon is officially recognized as a Polish social enterprise.
Ateliere fārā frontiere
Ateliere Fără Frontiere Association (AFF) is a Romanian non-profit organisation, founded in 2008, for the social, professional and civic insertion of vulnerable, excluded and marginalized people, part of SOS Group – International action, a global network working to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals. Ateliere Fără Frontiere has created 3 social insertion enterprises – the reconnect workshop, the remesh workshop and the bio farm. Through these economic activities, it offers personalized social support services, insertion counseling, psychotherapy and pedagogical support for skills training for people with multiple difficulties.
Eko Cooperative Dobrote z.b.o. was founded in 2010 with an aim to create and run rural development and social entrepreneurial projects in the Slovenian region of Koroška. The vision of the cooperative’s start-up activities was to open up new opportunities and development possibilities in areas not (enough) covered by the public or commercial sector. Dobrote operates in the field of recycling, reuse and goods-processing with the focus on “green jobs” creation and self-sustainability. Currently the main activity of Dobrote consists of collecting, sorting and processing old textiles and clothing. The cooperative currently owns 100 textile collection bins. In 2018 the company collected around 800 tons of garments and textile.
AERESS, the Spanish Association of recovery entities of social and supportive economy in Spain, is a non profit organisation in function since 1994. It is constituted as a state platform of solidarity entities (associations, foundations, cooperatives and insertion enterprises) that are dedicated to reducing, reusing and recycling of waste, with the aims of social transformation and promotion of socio labour insertion of people is situation, or in risk of, social exclusion. At the moment, AERESS represents 54 organisations, specialized in the socio labour insertion and waste management, presents in 13 Spanish regions. The ideological principles of AERESS are based in the achievement of a model of ecologic economy that encourages the utilization and former equilibrated use of natural resources, based in the employment of clean technologies that do not harm the environment and/or the human health. In the work field we pledge for the modification of the current concepts of labour productivity in change of a bigger social profitability, in which, over the economical benefit will be the human and social solidarity. Because of this, we defend the role of the social and supportive enterprise.
The Community Resources Network Scotland is the network of community recycling organisations in Scotland. It provides information, advice and support to both existing and emerging community recyclers. The organisation aims to build a stronger community recycling sector in Scotland which can create real social, environmental and economic benefit within the local communities. The work of CRNS covers an array of different activities including recycling, re-use, refurbishment, reprocessing, remanufacturing, community and home composting, waste prevention, waste education and awareness-raising.
Now! Charity is a community-led charity dedicated to providing essential re-used household items and life-changing community experiences to help deprived and marginalised people across the South East of England escape poverty. Collecting about 580 tonnes a year, the organisation fights for two main causes: to inspire an environmentally responsible living culture to reduce household waste and to eradicate economic inequality, improving accessibility for the most vulnerable in our society.
United States of America
DonateNYC is a membership-based association of New York City nonprofits that accept and redistribute donated goods. The mission of DonateNYC is to support the work of member organizations as well as promote the social, environmental, and economic benefits reuse provides local communities. DonateNYC members vary widely in mission and size – from large national organizations to smaller local nonprofits, from thrift stores to deconstruction companies, from social service providers to creative arts programs, from charitable book drives to clothing banks; DonateNYC members provide a wide spectrum of services to New Yorkers. Members are non-profit organizations that accept and redistribute donated goods in New York City. DoanteNYC is a program of the NYC Center for Materials Reuse which is fully funded by the NYC Department of Sanitation’s Bureau of Waste Prevention, Reuse and Recycling.
The federation of all Emmaüs structures in Europe brings together 309 groups from 20 European countries and represents one of the four continental regions of the Emmaüs movement. Thanks to the their membership RREUSE now has wider representation in six additional countries including Germany, Portugal, Denmark, Switzerland, Albania, Georgia, Latvia, and Ukraine. The Emmaüs movement is driven by solidarity and stands up for the most vulnerable groups of society. The Emmaüs communities respond to the needs of these groups by providing housing, jobs and fighting all kinds of social injustice. Collection and sale of second-hand goods brings them economic means to sustain the social mission. With over 60 years of activity in waste treatment Emmaüs has become a strong player in waste prevention and waste management in Europe. Emmaüs Europe is actively engaged in the advocacy work on the circular economy since a supportive waste legislation is a necessity for sustaining their social activities. RREUSE is looking forward to working close together and sharing know-how across Europe.
Become a member
Why join RREUSE?
- Access to a wide range of leading social economy actors and stakeholders involved in reuse, repair and recycling
- Direct contribution to advocacy campaigns to help promote reuse and recycling activities as well as the social economy in EU legislation.
- RREUSE has policy working groups bringing together experts from the network on current topics such as circular economy, WEEE, textiles and standardisation.
- Help and advice with transposition/implementation of relevant EU legislation into national law
- Advice and expertise on how to set up, manage and improve reuse and recycling activities based on a social economy model. For example cooperation among members in Scotland and Flanders, Belgium has allowed the transfer of the Flemish reuse model into Scotland
- Attend tri-annual meetings with site visits, hosted by a different RREUSE member every time in order to meet and discuss new experiences, understand better the development of the social economy in different member states as well as discover new reuse/recycling initiatives across Europe.
- Information about potential funding and project opportunities with possibilities of direct partnership
Funders and sponsors
RREUSE is grateful for financial support from
- RREUSE member organisations
- European Commission‘s Directorate-General for Employment, Social Affairs and Inclusion
- Interreg Central Europe programme
- LIFE+ programme