Research

The Rediscovery Centre actively participates in research, particularly in the fields of sustainability, behavioural change, resource efficiency and waste management.

Qualifying and Quantifying the Reuse Sector in Ireland

This EPA-funded research project is undertaken by the Rediscovery Centre in collaboration with the Clean Technology Centre (CTC), Community Reuse Network Ireland (CRNI), and the Eastern Midlands Waste Region.  By developing methodologies for the quantitative and qualitative assessment of the sector, it will provide policy makers, stakeholders and practitioners with a crucial overview of the non-waste reuse sector of Ireland. The quantitative data provided by the research will allow Ireland to benchmark the reuse sector against those of other Member States and regions. It will enable bench-marking and future performance monitoring. This research is vital as Europe moves towards a Circular Economy model. More information on this project and the newest outputs can be found on the project webpage: here.

Circular Economy Action Plans and Strategies – Lessons from other countries

Circular Economy Action Plans have been developed and implemented on a national, regional and city level in different parts of Europe. To compare the different focal points and draw lessons from other countries’ work, the Rediscovery Centre team produced a webinar that can be viewed here.

Investigating methods for the expansion of paint reuse in Ireland

Building on the success of Rediscover Paint, a paint reuse project in Ballymun, this project reviewed the opportunity for paint reuse and waste prevention in Ireland. In an attempt to identify best practice, the current and past operations at Rediscover Paint were reviewed, paint reuse and remanufacturing initiatives operating across the EU and internationally were studied and similar projects operating in the UK were visited. The findings of this research are relevant to social enterprise organisations and groups interested in the reuse of surplus and leftover paint and those focussed on effective resource management and best practice reuse in support of the circular economy. The research was funded under the EPA Research Programme.

Development of a Material Reuse Framework

This project produced a high-level overarching protocol and 4 material specific protocols for reuse that will feed into an overarching framework for waste reuse in Ireland. The research clarifies the current challenges for material reuse such as waste classification, regulatory and reporting issues and sought to address them through the development of best practice protocols and document templates. The protocols are of use to anyone who wishes to participate in active reuse. determine if an item is deemed suitable for reuse or alternatively if it needs to considered as a waste and managed appropriately. The research focussed primarily on wastes in the post-consumer goods category that are currently managed by reuse organisations in Ireland, including furniture, textiles and bikes. The research was also extended to include some post-manufacturing waste streams (e.g. packaging, food, textiles, C&D, ELV’s). The final guide is available here: EPA report 1 

Developing a Sustainability Framework for the Reuse Sector

This project identified key social, economic and environmental benefits of waste reuse in a national context leading to improved impact assessment and environmental performance within the reuse sector. Sustainability indicators were identified, validated and tested which have the potential for application in SMEs and the waste sector. A sustainability framework was created to allow for data collection across the sector which supports the development of a national template for sustainability reporting and builds capacity demonstrating reuse innovation. This project was funded under the STRIVE Green Enterprise Programme. The final report is available here: Sustainability Report

Assessing the Impact of Applied Waste Related Training on Attitudes and Behaviours in Academia 

This project measured the impact that applied skills training has upon attitudes and behaviours in various sectors and provided a methodology for such impact analysis that can be replicated by other organisations. The project involved the development, piloting, assessment and redevelopment of a 5 day applied training course in resource efficiency and reuse and measured the impact of the training in terms of participant attitudes and behavioural change. This project was funded under the STRIVE Green Enterprise Programme.

Implementation of an Urban Community Composting Programme

Internationally, community-scale composting projects are both popular and effective for processing organic waste in many urban environments. They involve the cooperation of communities in the management of their own waste, supporting key environmental principles, increasing environmental awareness and enhancing social cohesion. In Ireland, only a very small number of initiatives have been undertaken and there exists a huge potential for further development. This project which assesses the potential role of community-scale in-vessel composting in Ireland and identifies the challenges associated with small-scale organic waste composting, was funded under the ERTDI Programme 2000-2006. You can download the final project reports here.

Collaborations

MA Product Design – Design for the Circular Economy

The National College of Art and Design (NCAD) hosts research scholarships focused on Design for the Circular Economy. The scholarship, which is funded by the Eastern Midlands Waste Region and supported by the Rediscovery Centre, allows a student studying Product Design to use design research to build a better understanding of the barriers of a circular economy and propose new design solutions for potential product service systems related to effective resource management. The project is based between the NCAD Product Design department and the Rediscovery Centre.

European Social Innovation Competition

As part of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition, the Rediscovery Centre has joined the judging panel under the theme ‘Challenging Plastic Waste’. The aim of the 2019 European Social Innovation Competition is to support ideas and projects that reduce plastic waste and littering through changing and improving existing processes through introducing brand-new products and initiatives.

Ellen MacArthur’s New Plastics Economy Global Commitment

In early 2019, the Rediscovery Centre joined the New Plastics Economy Global Commitment hosted by the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. Together with hundreds of other signatories from business, government, and civil society, the Rediscovery Centre has joined this common vision to address plastic waste and pollution at the source.

Ecostep Youth Erasmus+ project

The international, EU-funded Ecostep Youth project brings together young people from different countries in creative reuse projects. Participants are supported in developing innovative, sustainable products from reused materials through collaborative learning and design thinking. As an associate partner, the Rediscovery Centre shares their knowledge on creative waste reuse and waste education and provides support for the Irish team in the Design Competition.

Renew (Resource Innovation Network for European Waste)

ReNEW represents a network of organisations whose aim is to deliver innovations for the waste supply chain – promoting recovery of valuable materials from waste. ReNEW is funded by the Interreg IVB North West Europe scheme. The Rediscovery Centre acts as a dissemination partner for the network.

European Network of Living Labs (ENoLL)

The Dublin Living Lab, hosted by The Green Way is a member of ENoLL. The Rediscovery Centre WISER Life project will have capability to be a “plug-and-play” test environment of innovators of new technology or services, for energy, water and waste technologies.

Enterprise Ireland – Living Lab Cluster

The Green Way cluster programme, supported by Enterprise Ireland, will deliver discrete test-beds for clean technologies, services and processes across a number of targeted themes. More information is available here

Resource Revival

This project presents key opportunities to promote the reuse of products and reuse activities whilst offering significant environmental benefits. This project aims to increase the rates of reuse and elevate its profile in society through the dissemination workshops to encourage behaviour change and active public participation in waste reuse activities. This project is led by the Community Reuse Network Ireland, of which the Rediscovery Centre is a founder member.

Reuse It! – The Reuse Smartphone App

This project aimed to produce a smart phone app for consumers to identify reuse organisations in their area. This project is led by the Community Reuse Network Ireland of which the Rediscovery Centre is a founder member. The app is now available for download.

Community Based Learning and Research

Community based learning and research projects allow third level students to work with community organisations on real life problems. These types of projects have benefits for both the students and the organisations involved; the students gain valuable real world experience while working towards their third level qualification and the community organisation benefits from the interaction with the students and the project deliverables.

The Rediscovery Centre works with many of the third level institutions in Dublin on such projects, examples of which are given below:

Conference presentations and workshops