A pioneer from the green heart of austria: in Styria, waste is seen as an economic opportunity with a bright future.
Recycling, re-using, recovery and modern resource management – waste is not just waste anymore. In an age of globally increasing population numbers and associated demand for resources, it is becoming ever more important to increase the reusable material potential of wastes.
Ecological and social responsibility
60 million tons of waste in total are produced across Austria every year. “We need to extract the valuable resources of waste instead of just dumping or burning it,” Provincial Councillor Johann Seitinger underlines the associated ecological and social responsibility. A responsibility that many companies in the Green Tech Cluster are helping to shape. Some 20% of all cluster partners are active in the field of waste and recourse management and are growing twice as fast as the world’s markets. “Thanks to waste, we are able to unleash sustainable regional economic strength with great social involvement in Styria,” Seitinger continues.
New resource Parks
The innovative design of Resource Parks – the recycling centres of the future – is supposed to help make this a reality. In Styria, waste recycling is currently being taken care of by some 420 so-called recycling and hazardous waste collection centres whose local structures have long been far from adequate to cope with the industry’s current requirements.
That’s why the Province of Styria has commissioned the development of models that meet altered demands. Among others, supplementary programmes such as re-use and repair shops as well as awareness-building measures will be considered in the future. Also, these facilities’ future locations will be more carefully chosen. The Resource Parks will – contrary to smaller, decentralised units – guarantee highly specialised and competent staff, citizen-friendly opening hours and compliance with maximum safety standards.
Our society’s consumption behaviour has changed significantly over the course of the past twenty year. Oftentimes, functional devices or devices that could easily be repaired, are disposed of. Considering the extremely high levels of resource consumption in Austria, more emphasis will have to be put on value-retaining repairs and re-use of reusable items in the future.
The plans for Smart City Graz exemplify the relevance of the re-use topic in a big way. Smart City Graz stands for an energy-efficient, resource-preserving and low-emitting city in which new energy technologies are being used. The current Smart-up project in the south of Graz is supposed to establish a resource and energy network through the intelligent linking of existing businesses that focus on re-use, upcycling and recycling.