RREUSE ( Reuse and Recycling Social Enterprises in the European Union ) is a European non-governmental organization ( NGO ) and the first European umbrella organization of social enterprises with activities in the reuse , repair and recycling sector. The very Specialized European network puts the three pillars of sustainability at an equal level: [1] [2] [3] [4] environmental protection, social equity, and economic viability. [5]

Mission and activity

RREUSE’s mission is „to lobby at European level for better policies in favor of recovery and reuse of end-of-life products“. citation needed ] Additionally, RREUSE also „participates on social economy legislation with a specific focus on social employment and social inclusion initiatives“. citation needed ] Therefore, repair, recycling and recycling activities within Europe. [2]

According to the statutes, to reach the scope of their mission the RREUSE activities include

  • the collaboration with other EU and social NGO’s, networks and federations
  • to encourage and strengthen collaboration between the member organizations, research and development activities, new initiatives and partnership in waste management;
  • to enable member organizations to exchange information on national and local policies, legal and fiscal frameworks in relation to re-use, recycling, waste management, import and export, social provisions, social clauses, public procurement, etc .;
  • to represent and promote the network and its activities at all relevant European and international levels. [6]

RREUSE also carries out international projects in cooperation with other institutions like universities and research centers, for example the LOWaste Project or the Quali Pro Second Hand Project II (a European project on the innovation transfer of a qualification profile „second hand“).

In 2011 RREUSE received the European Week for Waste Reduction award for the Waste Watchers campaign.


RREUSE has currently 26 members in 15 European countries and one member in the USA. The members of RREUSE are the national and regional social economy networks that combines both social and environmental objectives. Within the RREUSE network 77,000 full-time equivalent jobs are provided and more than 60,000 volunteers and trainees are involved in RREUSE members‘ projects.

The activities of the members can be described with

  • collection, sorting and redistribution of textiles and clothing;
  • the collection, repair and reuse of electrical and electronic waste (WEEE), furniture and bulky waste;
  • home and community composting projects,
  • charity and second hand shops,
  • collection and recycling of paper, cardboard, wood, plastics, paints, metals, books and toys,
  • awareness raising campaigns, international projects, exchange of best practice and business support

Currently (10/09/2014) the members are:

  • RepaNet Austria
  • KOMOSIE Belgium
  • RESOURCES Belgium
  • ProsPer International Belgium
  • NetSer Finland
  • Tramel ltd. finland
  • Emmaus France
  • ENVIE France
  • Reuseful UK United Kingdom
  • Community Recycling Network for Scotland United Kingdom
  • United Kingdom Furniture Re-use Network
  • Rehab Recycle Ireland
  • Community Reuse Network Ireland
  • RECOSI Ireland
  • Asociacion Espanola de Recuperadores de Economia Social y Solidaria AERESS Spain
  • Oikologiki Etaireia Anakyklosis Ecological Recycling Society ECOREC Greece
  • Klimax Plus Greece
  • Associazione Orius Italy
  • Rete ONU Italy
  • Farsi Prossimo Italy
  • Okoljsko Raziskovalni Zavod Slovenia
  • Macken Coop Sweden
  • Humana Nova Croatia
  • Humusz Hungary
  • EKON Poland
  • Workshop Fara Frontiere Romania



Between 1999 and 2001 the interest on social enterprises working together in the environmental services has been increased and therefore a couple of events and projects by a few organizations from the social economy sector. At the same time a couple of organizations started working together on the forthcoming of the European WEEE Directive(which was adopted 2001) as they were concerned about the impact of WEEE-Directive could have on social enterprises working in the recycling and reuse sector. To create a more stable platform of discussion in the field of health and social services, and to discuss the issue of health and safety in Europe. Finally 17 networks of social enterprises elaborated the constitution in Barcelona on 26 February 2001. Representatives from the European Parliament , from the Ministry of Social Economy and from the Directorate General of the European Commission. [7]RREUSE was founded under the Belgium law with the status of a non-profit organization . The original members are [6]

  1. AERESS (Spain)
  2. AIRES (Spain)
  3. BKN (Netherlands)
  4. BAG Arbeit (Germany)
  5. Bytes Twice (UK)
  6. CRN (UK)
  7. Consorzio IDEA Ambiente (Italy)
  8. Creat UK (UK)
  9. Emmaus International (France)
  10. ENVIE (France)
  11. FRN (UK)
  12. KVK (Belgium)
  13. Recycled-it! (UK)
  14. RPG (Germany)
  15. Resources (Belgium)
  16. Community Le-paint (UK)
  17. Verband Wiener Volksbildung (Austria)

In 2003 RREUSE opened a secretariat in Brussels.

Structure of the network

RREUSE has a non-bureaucratic structure. WEEE (waste electrical and electronic equipment), textiles, bulky waste, bioswaste, resource consumption and product policies and so on. Most of the work is done by volunteer members between the meetings. The coordinating office is located in the Mundo-B house , an ecologically renovated office building in the center of Brussels for Belgium and international environmental and social NGO’s.


RREUSE is financed by the membership fees. In the first two years RREUSE also received some funding from the Belgian government to promote the launch of the organization. Later RREUSE also received some funding by DG Environment and DG Education. [8] Recently RREUSE has received funding from Fondation de France.

See also

  • Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment Directive
  • Computer recycling
  • Electronic waste
  • Planned obsolescence
  • European Ecodesign Directive
  • Life-cycle assessment
  • Waste hierarchy
  • European Waste Hierarchy
  • Restriction of Hazardous Substances Directive
  • European Employment Strategy
  • Social economy
  • Social inclusion
  • Biodegradable waste


  1. Jump up^ „Official List of Member Organizations“ (PDF) . European Commission.
  2. ^ Jump up to:c „Transparency Register: RREUSE“ . European Commission . Retrieved 17 August 2012 .
  3. Jump up^ Arold, Heike. „Proposal for a network design strengthening the professionalisation process in the Second-Hand sector“ (PDF) . ITB – Institute Technik und Bildung Universität Bremen . Retrieved 16 August 2012 .
  4. Jump up^ „The network of RREUSE“ . Retrieved 16 August 2012 .
  5. Jump up^ „Inventory of the policies and stakeholders of waste prevention in Europe“ (PDF) . Taken for the European project by RREUSE European Week for Waste Reduction (SERD – EWWR) . Retrieved 17 August 2012 .
  6. ^ Jump up to:b „RREUSE Statutes“ (PDF) . Retrieved 17 August 2012 .
  7. Jump up^ „Europäisches Netzwerk im Bereich Gebrauchtwaren und Recycling gegründet“ . BAG Arbeit . Retrieved 14 August 2012 .
  8. Jump up^ „Parliamentary question to RREUSE Halting subsidies: Answer given by Mr Potočnik on behalf of the Commission“ . EU Commission . Retrieved 14 August 2012 .