The Zero Waste Labs are intended to encourage recycling and raise awareness of the fact that waste has value. Recycling dropped off at the Zero Waste Labs is being reused as much as possible – think urban furniture made from plastic or textiles being put to good use in community centres. In turn, residents dropping off their recycling receive tokens for discounts at local shops, including bakeries, greengrocers, clothes shops and coffee places. Another anti-waste initiative is the Biking Bin, a cargo bike collecting rubbish in the Red Light District.
More recycling for Amsterdam
The City of Amsterdam is campaigning to increase recycling rates in the city. At the moment, Amsterdam is lagging behind the rest of the Netherlands: 27% of all household waste is being recycled, compared to 51% in the rest of the country. But by 2020, the City hopes to get this percentage up to 65%. The Zero Waste Labs are one of the initiatives being brought in on the way to this goal; eventually, there should be one in each Amsterdam neighbourhood.