The Pop-up Reuse, – a mobile reuse station developed in Stockholm Royal Seaport, has been a success for residents and the environment alike. Now, Pop-up Reuse is being made available at around 20 sites across Stockholm. In 2019, approximately 70,000 people visited the Pop-up Reuse and almost 80,000 items went to new owners.
Today, far too many things that could be used and give pleasure to others are thrown out. Plans to establish a reuse station were therefore included in Stockholm Royal Seaport’s very first policy documents.
Between 2013 and 2015, the City Development Administration and Stockholm Vatten och Avfall, with support from Sweden’s innovation agency Vinnova, conducted an innovation procurement on how the reuse station would look. Two promising proposals were granted funding to develop their respective prototypes. One of these was submitted by White Arkitekter, who suggested testing a mobile pop-up solution.
For four days in 2015, three containers were placed in Stockholm Royal Seaport – one where residents could leave clothes, furniture, and possessions they no longer needed; one where items were sorted and potentially repaired; and one where residents could take items for reuse. A key element of the initiative was to find out how much of what was handed in could be reused. The pilot project was a success. In the first few days of the trial alone, 4,000 people visited the mobile recycling station and more than 70 per cent of what was handed in could be used again.
“Permanent temporary” recycling stations
The success of the trial resulted in Stockholm Vatten och Avfall providing two of its own sets of permanent mobile reuse stations in the form of two shipping containers – one container to receive items and one from where items could be taken and reused. In the period between April and October, Pop-up Reuse was positioned in some 20 locations across the city close to pedestrian paths and cycle paths to avoid increased car traffic. This also means that people are unable to leave items at the stations that are too large to carry.
Items that were handed in for reuse were primarily clothes and children’s clothes, toys, books, household utensils, carpets, and smaller items of furniture. Stockholm Vatten och Avfall works closely with recycling contractors Stadsmissionen and Myrorna, allowing them to take the bulk of the items that can be sold in their sales outlets.
In 2019, approximately 70,000 people visited Pop-up Reuse and almost 80,000 items went to new owners. This amounted to some 23 tonnes of objects being reused.
The success has resulted in a duplication of the Pop-up Reuse station in 2020, bringing the service to some thirty locations across the city.