Center for Garbage Studies

Educating, connecting and changing our relationship with garbage in Belgrade, Serbia

The Idea

Belgrade is a city with many opportunities for new ideas. That is how we saw actual problems we face daily. We realized that any initiative would have to take into account all levels, from micro to macro level, so that the outcome would be constructive. We chose waste and recycling because it’s a quite unknown field for citizens and the system itself still seems to struggle with implementing solutions.

Hence the idea of a place that would be a center for education and knowledge sharing, connecting stakeholders and encouraging and inspiring them to take an action for change. We named this place The Center for Garbage Studies.

This center would be a starting point not only for creating and acquiring ideas but also for their practical implementation. A possible place for this center was found in an old industrial building which used to be a first paper factory in our country.

The Big Picture

Inside the Center


Through Rethinking we want people to reconsider wasted resources and potentials for local growth and change. Realizing that wasting waste isn’t sustainable is not something that is done just through education, but that is where we have to begin. City spaces should also be reconsidered, as there are lots of ways for citizens to use them as it is as well a resource being wasted.


We would reconnect, through this Center, various social actors and initiatives that already exist but are sometimes unaware and isolated of each other. There are many good ideas that could function better if not left atomized and could influence citizens if only they would be more visible. So there would be days of introduction, lecture days, sharing experiences days...


By Reducing we have in mind raising awareness and changing consumerist patterns. Giving inputs on how to by smart, organizing competitions for eco packages... Other similar programs would also be a part of it. Our main goal is to support minimization in the quantities of materials used to make the products, that will later become waste.


Reuse concept would consider workshops that would include learning by doing and skill sharing about how to transform old objects, put them back to work as well as reuse waste by giving it another purpose. Creatively redesigned and repaired objects would represent potential that we have found in waste.


Finally we would have recycling equipment for paper so that citizens could bring paper, see and participate in recycling process and then have a new product in a form of a notebook. These notebooks would afterwards be shared in schools as a Center for Garbage studies product that would help us spread the idea and show how waste could have another life.



Various discussions, exhibitions, presentations, lectures, dialogs and workshops for kids and adults held by experts and other stakeholders influential in the field of waste management would take place in the Center.


The Center will gather all available and useful knowledge about the waste in order to raise awareness about benefits and problems considering garbage. By producing useful toolkits and magazines, various helpful information are going to reach citizens and educate them.


Starter kit presents a way to get in touch with citizens and offer them simple solution driven means of smarter life. Starter kits with specially designed devices for house or urban gardens enable citizens to enter into the field of sustainable culture.


is a workspace where visitors and members share resources and knowledge, develop DIY projects, make and create new objects with tools, machines and other equipment provided by Garbage Center. Special attention is put on a craftsman skills and  abilities  to use garbage resources like glass, metal, plastic, paper available in our city, in their daily work.


are for boosting your skills of old objects reparation and transformation, old artistry that is being  forgotten lately.  These ingenuity skills are collected and upgraded through collective effort and knowledge with the aim to revive them, spread and share through workshops. The workshops are improving perspectives for informal learning and technique of tryout solutions, open for all interested individuals from academic and non-academic field. Everyone is welcome!


is a space for the reparation of broken devices where you can do it on your own, but we also offer our service making your device usable again.


As a first center of this kind, such a special space  attracts tourists willing to help Belgrade to grow as a more sustainable place with the opportunity to sneak in and see a small piece of industrial heritage and listen to its story.


There plenty of organizations and initiatives, sometimes isolated or unaware of each other existence that are able to grow faster or work better if connected. We want to meet them, offer collaboration and create umbrella of organizations of mutual satisfaction and respect for  sustainable living.


is a nice place for ideas exchange and ”recycling” of thoughts over the warm tea and cookies from local producers.


Center has an equipment for paper recycling. Citizens are welcome to participate and see the whole process, how old paper transforms into a new paper. At the same time it is a recycle and learning unit!


The last step of recycling process is a production of notebooks so that the people who brought the old paper go out with a ”fresh” notebook and witness the results of the recycling benefits with their own eyes.


Aim to spread Center for Garbage Studies idea so the actions of old paper collection will be organized in schools, including dissemination of recycled notebooks and visits to Center.


is a unique call for competition and a way of involving citizens in creation of products and ideas of various items such as recycle bins, which will be adaptable to the present design of the apartments, vehicles for waste transport design, recycled notebooks design...


are made at Garbage center from recycled paper and are given to the people who bring old paper in return.


Redesigned waste and old objects, repaired devices and other recycled products can be purchased here.

About the Project

SLC team is one of three international teams which participated in Smart Living Challenge 2015 program. Our team is a multidisciplinary team of seven people guided by our mentor from Nova Iskra, which in cooperation with Hyperisland, Swedish institute and the Swedish Association of incubators and science park, gathered us all for a period of three months, to think, work and create. It wasn’t an easy task, although it seems so. Belgrade team had a task to create an idea about how to live and improve living in urban areas in more smart and sustainable ways. The other two teams dealt with project of Eat (Lusaka) and Move (Rio). Facilitators, experts and public institution helped us in the process. Nevertheless, choosing “what” was the hardest thing and that took us two months. We had to intertwine different ways of thinking, viewpoints from various professions and fields and decide in which way we as a team could bring a change.


Alan Kadduri

Urban economist

Dragan Zlatković


Gordana Radonić


Katarina Živković


Marija Opačić

Student of sociology

Milica Kostadinović

Civil engineer

Nana Radenković


Pavle Jovanović

Interaction designer