Hasselt, Belgium

From 2016 onwards, the topic of circular economy has become increasingly prominent in the discourse among citizens and politicians in Hasselt. A consistent waste management plan was already high on the political agenda and led to remarkable results: in 2022 each citizen in Hasselt produced 110 kg of non-recyclable residual waste on an annual basis. This is already close to the goal of 107kg per person by 2030 set by the Flemish government.

From 2019 onwards, the city of Hasselt has taken significant steps to implement circular economy in policies and action plans, such as the Climate Action Plan. Hasselt, the city with the fashion and catering industry as significant flagships, has decided to focus on these two sectors, together with its own urban heritage and the buildings of the municipality. The city will inject 280 million EUR to establish climate neutral and circular driven buildings by 2050 in its own buildings. Hasselt is also making a lot of progress in supporting local circular, bottom-up initiatives, in collaboration with the Circular Hub “Circulair Werk(t)". Other well-known citizen initiatives to stimulate the circular economy in Hasselt include the tool library and the bike library for children.

Currently, 8,7% of the jobs in Hasselt are related to the circular economy. For the period 2010 to 2020, there was a 34% growth identified in circular economy jobs for the wider region of Limburg. By signing the circular cities declaration, the city of Hasselt commits itself to realise a well-established circular economy, embedded on all fronts.


By 2030

Hasselt would like to be a catalyst and facilitator, exploring its role as frontrunner in the region and in Flanders. Setting an example by establishing circular business models and having a well-established prime location to initiate new circular (business) contacts. As the local government, Hasselt will be working in close cooperation with citizens, researchers, companies and social economy actors. The city will explore and set up activities in high potential fields like construction, food, consumer goods and events. Within these activities Hasselt will demonstrate to citizens how they can have access to circular economy initiatives.


By 2050

Hasselt would like to be a thriving city where planetary boundaries are respected in relation to the reduction targets on C02-emissions and material footprint:

  • Circular business models in collaboration with social initiatives are well-established and inhabited within the DNA of citizens of Hasselt
  • The entire waste system of Hasselt is reduced to zero and converted into other resourceful by-products
  • Living in a circular way is the new way of life for all citizens
  • We will have a circular urban heritage, buildings and construction sites, fully modular and multifunctional
  • Strong network of entrepreneurs who work together to enable the circular transition
  • Circular economy is accessible to all citizens of Hasselt
  • Hasselt would like to have several prime (hybrid) locations for circular initiatives (all steps from the R-ladder represented), spread out over the region in order to enhance collaboration.