The objective of Upcycle Your Waste was to accelerate the adoption of circular business cases by SMEs that transform waste flows into resources at local level. We aimed to achieve this by developing and introducing knowledge, tools and facilities that enable SMEs and local authorities to make this transition.

Activity was started by reaching out to businesses for interviews on barriers and drivers to waste management, and waste scans in Kent and Medway. Following this, six waste matching events were organised where businesses from various networks were invited to share waste and ideas with each other to create circular business cases, this was aided by a group of expert consultants.

The overall result of the project was an increased adoption of circular business cases by SMEs with the key headlines being:

  • 127 waste scans
  • 132 barriers and drivers interviews
  • 42 waste matches
  • 6 events (one online)
  • 152 attendees at events (including light waste scans)
  • 13 local authorities assisted

The introduction of circular business cases to transform company waste into resources is a key enabler for the transition to a circular economy. Circular measures like re-design of products and processes and green procurement bring EU companies economic benefits of 3–8% of annual turnover.

SMEs in particular experience difficulties in adopting circular practices, due to limited organisational, technical and financial capacity. Only 25% of SME waste is currently repurposed. There is growing demand from SMEs for:

  • Knowledge of their waste streams and corresponding circular business cases
  • Demonstrated solutions and tools to improve resource efficiency
  • Better cooperation among companies to organise sufficient scale and develop processes to upcycle waste
  • Local authorities and business park managers can enable SMEs at local level to join this transition by facilitating SMEs to build their knowledge base, get organised & incorporate circular business cases and waste processing practices.

    Upcycle Your Waste Reports

    Interreg Upcycle your Waste poster

    More information on the project aims can be found here and for further information please email us at