Munich creates nucleus for circular economy



Policy type

Capacity building

Sector focus

Waste, consumption of goods

Circular principle

Encourage learning and experimentation


Munich has one of the best waste management systems in Europe, with kerb-side waste collections, almost 1000 banks for bottles, metals, plastics and used clothes and 12 recycling centres. Conscious that many things taken to these centres could be reused, and keen to achieve this second step in the European waste hierarchy, in 2011 the city set up a prototype second-hand store. When the original location was to be demolished, a new vision was created for a larger, better-equipped and more consumer-friendly store that would also act as a testbed for new ways to divert even more items away from waste and strengthen citizens’ environmental awareness.



The new store, Halle 2, opened in October 2016 in a 1,400 square metre space that was once a shoe shop. The €1,000,000 budget for renovating and marketing the store came directly from the fee paid to AWM by every Munich household for collecting and managing their waste. AWM aims to increase the volume of re-sold items by 100% through information campaigns and stronger cooperation with local companies so that it can eventually cover the annual rent and staff costs of €900,000 through sales revenue.

As well as offering the city’s inhabitants a wide and constantly changing range of affordable used products, from toys to electronics and furniture, Halle 2 has become a hub for stakeholders of the city’s sharing and circular economies. Here they can test new services, exchange knowledge, inspire citizens and try out new ideas to improve the processes involved in collecting, evaluating and selling used goods. From sustainability seminars to Saturday auctions, the store shows what the circular economy looks like in action and how good it feels to be part of it.



The Munich Waste Management Cooperation (AWM), which is owned by the municipality set up a multi-disciplinary working group of 15 people to deliver the project. It established cooperation agreements with local social enterprises and educational and community organisations to create activities that would encourage people to be more environmentally aware and active.



Munich creates nucleus for circular economy



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