Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council and the Alboan Foundation to be finalists in the European Waste Prevention Awards


The two Basque projects competing for this year's European Week for Waste Reduction awards will be Alboan Fundazioa in the category of associations/NGOs and Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council in the category of public administration or organisations.

Alboan Fundazioa became a finalist as a result of an action it launched almost a decade ago: the ‘Mobiles for the Earth’ campaign. It consists of collecting phones and tablets, which are reconditioned so that they can be returned to the market, or sent to waste managers with the capacity to recover the materials they contain. As well as recycling and reusing the devices, the project rationalises the impact of their manufacture, extending their useful life, and funds humanitarian actions with the funds it obtains.

For its part, Vitoria-Gasteiz City Council has been selected for promoting the “Reutilizagune” centre, which gives a second life to discarded items that are still in good condition. Users can donate and collect items, and also take part in the self-repair workshop, thereby encouraging a consumption model that respects natural resources. ‘Reutilizagune’ takes to the streets several times throughout the year and organises themed events aimed at raising the profile of the service and encouraging citizens to take part by handing out toys, small items of furniture and used books.

In total, the European jury selected 3 finalists for each of the five categories: Public Administration, Business and Industry, Associations and NGOs, Educational Institutions and Citizenship. 4 criteria were prioritised for this task: communication and visibility, quality of content, originality, and the lasting impact and monitoring of activities. All of the shortlisted projects can be viewed at the following link: Jury's decision 2023.

A week of action, a year of mobilisation

European Week for Waste Reduction is coordinated in the Basque Country by the public environmental management company Ihobe, and registered 190 actions in the region, in addition to the 14,500 plus organised throughout Europe during the 15th edition in 2023.

To coordinate this week, which has become the largest waste prevention awareness campaign in Europe, Ihobe is responsible for promoting the activity and managing registrations, validating the actions proposed, and subsequently nominating the most outstanding actions in each category, alongside 35 other coordinators from all of the member countries.

Since the Basque Country has taken part in these awards, four Basque organisations have won the top prize in their category (Seur, Iparragirre Ikastola, IMQ Zorrozaurre and St George's British International School) and another six have been finalists (Banco de Alimentos de Euskadi-Basque Country Food Bank, CEIP Mendiko Eskola HLHI, Uvesco twice, Bizkaia Provincial Council, and Axular Lizeoa).

The EWWR awards ceremony will be held on June 18 at the Museum of European and Mediterranean Civilisations in Marseille. For the second year, the event will play host to Euro-Mediterranean Waste Reduction Week. These awards will be a perfect finale to the European Week for Waste Reduction, bringing together activity organisers, coordinating bodies, institutions and individuals mobilised for this cause.