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Empowering Our Communities To Redesign

Succesful launch of Zero Waste Romania in Cluj Napoca

During October 19 and 20 an International Zero Waste meeting took place in Cluj Napoca, Romania. This was the first event to promote Zero Waste in the country and it succeeded in bringing together national and local stakeholders including activists, waste experts and operators, ecodesign specialists, city planners and architects, public authorities, policy-makers with the participation of international observers.

The meeting set p solid grounds for collaboration between all the main stakeholders in order to create long term sustainable change. In this context, the waste industry and policy-makers took note of the importance of moving towards a closed-loop circular economy.

Representatives of the Green Building Council showed very practical examples of how to reuse construction materials in renovations or new buildings, especially the importance of using toxic-free materials thinking about the deconstruction process.

Local organisations showed how it is possible to have a zero waste catering with products sourced from the region following also the km0and sustainable approach.

Also, other enterpreneurial activities were presented. For instance a new Romanian start-up company called trezy presented its reusable nappies locally produced and chemical and plastic-free which will save more than one ton landfills per new-born in the region.

During the meeting it was highlighted the fact that despite the low recycling rates, Romania, and especially the region of Cluj-Napoca with only 700gr of waste generate per person per day, is more sustainable than many northern countries that might recycle more in percentage but generate more than twice as much waste per person. Therefore, the challenge for Central and Eastern Europe is about increasing reuse, composting and recycling as much as it is keeping -and reducing!- the low levels of waste generation.

As a result of the meeting some Zero Waste pilot projects will be proposed for Romania and it was established good colaboration between the network of Transition Towns, Permaculture, Green Building as well as with the University of Cluj-Napoca and some pioneer companies.

The presentations of the meeting can be found here.

The association of Italian Zero Waste towns has been created

In a meeting celebrated in Capannori on October 13 representatives from 16 Italian regions agreed to formally constitute the Association of Italian Zero Waste Towns.

Currently 107 towns in Italy alone have committed to move towards Zero Waste and phase out landfilling and incineration. The latest significant city to join the network is the city of Parma which has seen a spectacular turn-around thanks to the popular mobilisation.

After an intense debate the statutes of the organisation were unanimously approved and in the next meeting the governing bodies will be elected.

During the event Pr. Paul Connett went through the story of the Zero Waste International Movement and identified California and Italy as the most important focus of development of this philosophy.

Besides Parma other new Italian towns to the sign on to Zero Waste pledge were Altavilla Milicia -PA in Sicily, Civita Castellana-VT from Lazio, Parma in Emilia Romagna region and Crescentino,Crova, Fontanetto Po, San Germano, Santhià, Tronzano Vercellese-VR in Piemonte.

For more info see Zero Waste Italy

Repair café – a project to make friends, not waste

What do you do with a chair when the leg has come loose? With a toaster that no longer works? Or a woollen jumper with moth holes? Toss it? No way! You can repair it at the Repair Café.

Repair Café is a project born in Amsterdam in 2009 with the idea of bringing people together to socialise, use their skills and reduce waste all in one.

We throw away vast amounts of stuff in Europe. Even things with almost nothing wrong, and which could get a new lease on life after a simple repair. The trouble is, lots of people have forgotten that they can repair things themselves or they no longer know how. Knowing how to make repairs is a skill quickly lost. Society doesn’t always show much appreciation for the people who still have this practical knowledge, and against their will they are often left standing on the sidelines. Their experience is never used, or hardly ever.

Repair Café is changing all that! People who might otherwise be sidelined are getting involved again. Valuable practical knowledge is getting passed on. Things are being used for longer and don’t have to be thrown away. This reduces the volume of raw materials and energy needed to make new products. It cuts CO2 emissions, for example, because manufacturing new products and recycling old ones causes CO2 to be released.

Repair Cafés are free meeting places and they’re all about repairing things (together). In the place where a Repair Café is located, you’ll find tools and materials to help you make any repairs you need. On clothes, furniture, electrical appliances, bicycles, crockery, appliances, toys, etcetera. You will also find repair specialists such as electricians, seamstresses, carpenters and bicycle mechanics.
Visitors bring their broken items from home. Together with the specialists they start making their repairs in the Repair Café. It’s an ongoing learning process. If you have nothing to repair, you can enjoy a cup of tea or coffee. Or you can lend a hand with someone else’s repair job. You can also get inspired at the reading table – by leafing through books on repairs and DIY.

Why a Repair Café?

Repair Café teaches people to see their possessions in a new light. And, once again, to appreciate their value. Repair Café helps change people’s mindset. This is essential to kindle people’s enthusiasm for a sustainable society.

But most of all, Repair Café just wants to show how much fun repairing things can be, and how easy it often is. Why don’t you give it a go?

Start a Repair Café

You can start your own Repair Café anytime!

Stichting Repair Café supports local groups in Europe to start their own Repair Café. You can visit their website for more information or contact them to set up your Repair Café.

Breaking the Barriers to Zero Waste: The Role of the Community

Join the UK Zero Waste Alliance to end waste through community action.


This conference will bring together people from across the UK to  understand how we can work together to change the way we think about “waste” and to challenge the systems that create it.   Whilst we still need to change our waste habits, it’s hard to zero our waste when many areas don’t have good kerbside collections,  there is a mountain of packaging on our food and wall-to-wall adverts urging us to buy.     Where are the main areas that the community can make a difference?   What works? And how we can make more impact by working together through community action.


Zero Waste Alliance UK Conference and AGM, 11.00- 3pm Saturday 10th November

Greenpeace, Canonbury Villas, Islington, London N1 2PN

The conference will be followed by a short AGM to which all are welcome.


Please click here to reserve your free place


Speakers from Wastewatch, Bioregional, Cwm Harry, Rubbish Diet, Transition Town Shrewsbury.

The art of Zero Waste!

Waste and art have always gone hand in hand. It was the fantastic artist Leonardo Da Vinci who 500 years ago wrote “there is no such thing as waste” and he knew what he was talking about! Artists have long been using second-hand materials, waste and reused objects to shape their creations.

In this post we want to render hommage to the relationship between artists and waste in yet another demonstration that it doesn’t make sense to burn or bury those materials that still can serve a purpose.

Picasso – Bull’s head 1943