By unlocking traditional business models within waste management, Verapark is an innovation platform in which the business sector, the public sector and universities collaborate to develop new ideas for recycling and upcycling waste.
With a vision to become the leading European centre for the circular economy, Verapark is changing the way we think about waste. Verapark is an incubator organisation for environment-related development and innovation, aiming to develop new products from waste and residual material. Companies operating in this field receive help with marketing, contacts, collaboration and establishing links with universities.
Recycling centre-based test bed
The concept is much like a test bed or ‘natural lab’, with ideas, research and physical waste recovery taking place at NSR’s recycling centre. NSR AB is a waste management company owned by six municipalities in the Skåne region of southern Sweden. The business aims to do a lot more than its core task of handling waste and recycled material. Underpinned by the research taking place at Verapark, NSR wants to lead the way to a sustainable society by finding ways to close the circular loop.
Creative ideas for commercial circularity
Verapark makes the most out of the resources already extracted by creating circular flows. One way is to find business models that focus on reuse by innovating new areas of use for waste, and/or developing brand new products. Verapark’s work within upcycling includes:
• chipboard comprising alternative fossil-free binders instead of formaldehyde;
• household plastic converted into railway ties; and
• food waste converted into biogas and the extraction of sustainable fertiliser.
Sharing know-how and expertise
Its many projects have made Verapark a virtual lab for establishing and demonstrating effective waste recycling/upcycling processes. The contact and collaboration between business, universities and public sector are an important success factor, leading to the sharing and spread of expertise and experience. Verapark is a showcase for new ideas and solutions for turning waste into new products and for a circular society.