The city of Joensuu is following the example of Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Center by creating a recycled material center for teachers and educators like the craft supplies service Näprä. The idea of the recycled material center is to intensify recycling of the Taitamo reuse center but also to offer material for artworks and handicrafts for schools, kindergartens and other hobby groups. There are no fees for using the service. The material collected in the center would otherwise be considered as waste. The users are happy because the schools and kindergartens often deal with increasing cost with decreasing appropriation for procurements. 

The center has been created by an initiative of Environment Online ENO arising from the need to find recycled or upcycled material for ENO Art campaigns for local partner schools. Luckily Taitamo got excited about the idea too. The establishment of the center gained momentum when we took part in a national reuse network RENET as a part of the huge EU’s circular economy Circwaste -project. 

Opening of the center was held during the Energy Awareness Week 13.10.2023. School groups were invited for the morning and teachers and educators for the afternoon to visit the center. The program included making handicrafts under guidance with the staff using recycled material from the center. Climate Joensuu and Regional Council of North-Karelia participated in organizing the opening ceremony by keeping workshops and stands. Environment Online ENO was represented by introducing its activity but also to exhibit the FOLK CREATURES upcycled art contest works made by Reijola school students.

The opening event went well and spreading the word about the existence of the center started. Also YLE news service was present and the center was noted in the media. The center is getting its own special name – there was a name competition at the opening!

Read the YLE article (in Finnish) from here

Text and images: Maire Turunen, Environment Online ENO

Photos from the opening: