How to foster the circular economy through citizen participation: pilot project in district of La Victoria (Valladolid)

Citizen participation: a key tool in the successful implementation of actions designed to foster the circular economy in municipalities.

The 15M movement brought about a change in the way of doing politics. The philosophy that decisions come unilaterally from government bodies has started to be questioned and it is now felt that account must be taken of what citizens consider should be done and how. Thus, many decisions taken by governments have their origins in the proposals of civil society, which demands to play an active role in the policies that influence their way of life.

This is where citizen participation and open government policies vigorously enter the fray, for example, in the case of participative budgets. The United Nations has echoed this trend and promotes citizen participation platforms as a tool for the drawing up of strategies to enhance the provision of public services and the formulation of policies.

Such platforms contribute to greater consensus in selecting the policies to be implemented. Thanks to these platforms, decisions will come from citizens, making it more difficult for them to be questioned, be it by other citizens or political parties. Thus, it will be far easier for citizens to participate, join forces and feel that projects belong to them.

On this premise, at the end of 2017, Valladolid City Council, in collaboration with Ecoembes, the non-profit organisation that coordinates packaging recycling in Spain, decided to put a pilot project into operation. The goal was to foster the circular economy through a citizen participation process.

Isabel Tennenbaum Casado,Waste Management Specialist, ECOEMBES

Published in: FuturENVIRO Nº 70 May-June 2020