Circular City

By Facebook group Duurzame Rotterdammers and Gratis ophalen in Rotterdam en omgeving

Rotterdam aspires to be a circular city by 2030: a place with smart use of raw materials and where waste no longer exists. The harbour city is at the forefront of the circular movement, fueled by numerous local initiatives aiming to extend product lifecycle and recycling waste into new raw materials. The circular principles seem pretty straightforward: re-use, reduce and recycle. But to actually achieve a circular society, you need a completely different view on city life. Well, leave that to the Rotterdammers.

Food market with vegetables.
Photo: Hester Blankestijn

A perfect example of Rotterdam’s ingenuity is Groenten zonder Grenzen (Vegetables without Borders). This initiative collects leftover food from shops to turn into free, healthy and accessible meals. On Sundays from 8pm, you can book your free meal through the website – if you’re fast enough! On the Noordplein you will find the weekly Rotterdam Oogstmarkt, where you can stock up on super fresh produce and have a chat with the locals. And while you’re in Noord, don’t forget to visit the Benthemplein. This water square stores nearly two million litres of rain water, ensuring the inhabitants of Noord keep their feet dry.

More centrally on the Maasboulevard, you will find the old Tropicana building, which is now home to BlueCity: ‘a swimming pool full of possibility’ and a playground for circular businesses. This incubator allows innovative companies to work on the prototype of a circular city. Go to the Groene Passage for supermarket Gimsel for natural food and restaurant Spirit, where ‘honest food tastes better’.

Looks like a flower shop.
Photo: Iris van den Broek

Or pay a visit to STEK de Stadstuinwinkel, the small garden centre in the heart of Rotterdam for all your sustainable and natural urban jungle needs.

At Buurman, you can get your hands dirty with some DIY work in the workshop. Or tinker with waste material at SCRAP – with or without the kids.

Futuristic looking camping.
Photo: Iris van den Broek

Culture Campsite in Delfshaven is a sustainable camp site where you can sleep in different tiny pods made of recycled material. At coffee house Heilige Boontjes, youngsters in the process of reintegrating into society serve fantastic coffee. And if you have any questions about sustainability, drop in at the IJsselmonde Sustainability Shop for some free advice on everything to do with air, water, wind, sun and renewable energy.

Second-hand shops

Who doesn’t love a second-hand gem? Good for the planet – and for your wallet. We present our communities’ favourite spots to second-hand shop to your heart’s content.

Spullen voor in je huis

Stadhoudersweg 96D

Not only the perfect shop for the best second-hand furniture and home accessories, but also a great breakfast spot. The store is home to Breakfast in Rotterdam HQ, an all-day breakfast bar for your avo-smash, chia bowl and good coffee needs. And for the plant lovers out there: don’t forget to have a look in the pink plant room, offering a range of beautiful plants (and, of course, second-hand pots).

Jouw Marktkraam

Zaagmolenkade 117

Whether you’re looking for vintage, toys or home accessories – at Jouw Marktkraam you’ll find everything under one roof. With different locals and businesses renting a market stall to sell homemade, new or second-hand items, you are guaranteed a different offering with every visit. Slim chance you’ll walk out empty-handed.

Recycle stores

Opnieuw & Co

Koperstraat 31

More than 2,200 square metres of recycle fun. From furniture to vintage clothing – and a coffee corner. Opnieuw & Co offers free parking and is easily accessible by public transport. 


Aristotelesstraat 30

This recycle store in Rotterdam Lombardijen is open seven days a week. In addition to the traditional recycle range, RataPlan also sells furniture refurbished by their employees: perfect if you’re looking for a unique piece.

Nieuwe Hoop

Oudedijk 94

On the outskirts of Rotterdam Crooswijk, this shop offers 900 square meters filled with clothing, home accessories and different kinds of trinkets. With the proceeds Nieuwe Hoop supports various local, national and international charities.

Kringloopwinkel Rotterdam

Gordelweg 243

Books, vintage, records and curios: Kringloopwinkel Rotterdam has an extensive and varied offering – perfect for treasure hunters and shoppers on a small budget.

De Majum

Schoonderloostraat 235

Go to Rotterdam Delfshaven for the surprising and unique collection of De Majum. Recommended for a good browse of their fun and affordable second-hand items.

Vintage wear

Cheap Fashion

Meent 25

Calling out to all vintage lovers – at Cheap Fashion on the Meent, you can eat your vintage heart out with two floors of clothes, bags, shoes and accessories.

Betje Krul Vintage

Zwaanshals 344

At this shop in the Oud Noorden you will find a range of vintage from the 40s through the 90s. Each item has been carefully curated based on unique style, quality and authenticity.


Leeszaal West

Rijnhoutplein 3

Settle down with a good book (that you can take home with you afterwards!), a cup of coffee and a chat with the locals. The Leeszaal West is an initiative by volunteers and Rotterdam West. Don’t forget to check their events calendar to see if there’s anything on during your visit. 

Leeszaal Vreewijk

Groenezoom 275B

In Rotterdam Vreewijk you will find this reading room with an extensive collection of books. Taking something you like? Don’t forget to put a book back in return, to ensure that the next visitor has some good picks as well.

Four people sitting in the table outside.
Photo: Adrienne Wildeman