Current Project phase:

  • 1 1: Initiate Phase
  • 2 2: Nominate Phase
  • 3 3: Improve Phase
  • 4 4: Triumph Phase
  • 5 5: Accelerate Phase
  • 6 6: Make it Happen Phase
Track: Creative Professional
Topics: Water, Food, Health
Location: Amsterdam-Noord, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Approach: Services



By acting locally, we provide a way to tackle global environmental challenges and instigate circularity ground-up. Technological solutions are there, what’s missing is a behavioural change. That’s why WASTED is a locally-rooted community initiative that adds value to the act of recycling while strengthening social ties between neighbours & entrepreneurs. The novelty of WASTED lies in its people-focused attitude, which is realized through our reward system and educational activities. The reward scheme revolves around the generation of currency valued on waste, where the act of waste separation is rewarded with digital coins that provide discounts & benefits at local stores & businesses. The project was initiated in Amsterdam, and we aim to enter the next phase – internationalization – application of the scheme in different localities and building a global community of citizens & entrepreneurs co-creating future where no waste is wasted.

Long Description

Plastic was thought to be a solution. It was created as a cheap material to produce and package. This came with multiple benefits. However, the solution to accelerate affordability turned to be the premises of an environmental crisis.

Driven by its pursuit to break away from linearity and accelerate the transition to circular city making, in 2015 CITIES Foundation developed WASTED. We believe that the real value of an effective solution is deeply entrenched in social factors and public acceptance. That said, since the beginning, we have been working with communities to incentivize them to recycle and increase awareness on waste separation and the environmental & social benefits that come with it.

We envision the creation of a more conscious waste disposal culture among the community of users the world around. Our ambition goes hand-in-hand with tackling social inclusion, generating environmental consciousness, and encouraging multi-actor, cross-sector collaboration. Currently, 1.000 members have joined our reward system and 60+ businesses are offering discounts & benefits. It’s estimated that an additional 8400 kilograms of plastic have already been separated thanks to the system. Furthermore, we developed an educational package that is offered to schools, businesses to increase awareness on plastic consumption. Since its initiation, over 1.000 people have participated in our workshops.

WASTED is a very small scale solution that has already proven to be successful locally. We participate in the Climate Challenge to generate more leverage internationally and prototype the project in other localities, which requires interdisciplinary competences, knowledge, techniques and networks.

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