On the 06.12 Circular Berlin together with the CURE project partners (TU Berlin – Chair for Circular Economy and Recycling Technologies, Material Mafia, and OMA e.V.) hosted a workshop on the topic of Berlin Center for Urban REmanufacture. Already during the preparation phase, we were more than excited to receive more than 100 registrations from local NGOs, initiatives involved in reuse or remanufacture, open workshop spaces, academia, design, housing companies, funding institutions, and the public sector. The outreach and interest in the topic were extraordinary. It confirmed the assumption Berlin needs more centers for Circular Economy.
Among others, we wanted to discuss what type of materials are mostly possible to reuse and remanufacture locally in Berlin, how to engage the local community in Berlin in this process, what are the existing skills and potentials already there and what is necessary to develop, how to professionalise work in waste prevention, and use waste as resources..
Centre for Urban Re-manufacture (CURE), is a meeting place for anybody interested in engaging in improvised re-manufacturing. It is a place for experimentation, where locally available secondary materials are sorted, stored and prepared to be reused and/or re-manufactured. With a creative approach CUREs aim to find uses for materials that are currently not recovered, focusing on specific industrial and commercial waste (e.g. resources discarded from events, theatre plays, films, construction sites, large commercial houses, etc) as well as consumer products that are not covered by the current extended producer responsibility regulations (e.g. furniture, textiles). These centres aim to become a matchmaking arena to connect existing secondary materials to local needs, recovering in that way material resources locally. The key four elements for its realisation are:
- Use of secondary material
- Open workshop spaces
- Capacity Building
Together with the participants we generated large amounts of input to what they would like to see in a Berlin Center for Urban Remanufacture and suggested what they or their organizations could concretely do. This material will serve for the base of future co-creation meetings.
Some result highlights were that there is high interest to focus on reuse / remanufacture of wood, textile, and fair-waste. The centers have to be open and generate knowledge for the internal community about materials but also serve as a multiplier for circular economy in the city. Also as the interesting result was discussed around warehouse and logistics. The creation of a physical warehouse with pick-up area for companies is a key aspect a central objective. The physical warehouse would serve for
initiative and material bundling, sorting and inventory.
The quality assurance of used materials is also one of the main steps. Testing and evaluation of materials for safety and harmless use is important for storing materials. Such approach may be serve as a companies’ label that always have high quality used materials.