PVC waste is transformed into creative urban gardens in Aarhus

25 peculiar-looking sustainable growing stations spread throughout the festival area form the framework of a green festival in Aarhus. They consist of PVC plastic pipes found in the city’s recycling centers.

Sustainable development requires creative solutions. At the Langenæs Cultural Festival, which runs from September 12 to 15, the people of Aarhus will have the opportunity to get acquainted with such a solution. Construction waste, found in recycling sites around Aarhus, forms the foundation of the small urban oases where vegetables grow.

From building waste to building gardens

It is the project From Building Waste to Building Gardens that is behind the green oases. The background of the project, which is done in collaboration with the City of Aarhus, is an idea drawn up by architect Maja Sønderskov and PVC Information Council Denmark. The presentation at Langenæs Cultural Festival is the culmination of several years of project work, in which the University of Aarhus has also concluded that the idea has sustainability potential. The project is in line with the visions of the EU Waste Directive, which advocates that reuse should be prioritised before recycling.

Reuse contributes to climate savings

Architect and project manager Maja Sønderskov says: “Essentially, we try to extend the life of building materials after they have become waste. We do this by changing the function of the building product and reusing it as a plant box. This will prolong the life of the materials, thus protecting the climate. “

Maja Sønderskov adds: “It is our hope that the presentation of our idea at the Langenæs Cultural Festival will inspire people to see the sustainability potential of reusing building waste for the construction of urban gardens. There are so many benefits of city gardens that the idea should be spread as much as possible. “

In addition to the climate benefits of urban gardens, there are other obvious benefits of using waste for growing systems. For example, it is very affordable to build a garden with free building waste. The social and nutritional benefits of establishing urban gardens are also important.

The urban gardens are recycled into new construction products

As there is a well-functioning collection and recycling scheme for PVC construction waste in Denmark, WUPPI, it is easy to get rid of the waste if the city gardens are decommissioned. Then the materials are recycled into, for example, new pipes.

The project is financially supported by the PVC industry’s sustainable development programme VinylPlus®.