Let’s give books a second chance!

Public Environmental Center for Sustainable Development developed and won a project in the competition “Do it yourself: Life without garbage – Autumn’16” of the Ecological Association “Friends of the Earth”. The project called “Book Saviors” is implemented in accordance with the sustainable waste management policies supported by the organization.

A challenge

In the course of the long-term recycling initiative “Leaf by Leaf” can be discovered and extracted from the waste streams books that have great intellectual value and do not deserve to fall into the total waste mass intended for recycling. In most cases, these books are in poor condition, but can be reused and need to be restored and repaired. Another group of books – of high antique and artistic value, can be stored through their xerographic or photographic reproduction, as well as through digitization.


Book extraction, recovery and storage activities will contribute to the protection of the environment by reducing the amount of waste paper streams, as well as saving material resources and energy. The intellectual product from the use of these books significantly exceeds their value, as waste paper. The envisaged activities apply the highest priorities of the waste management hierarchy – prevention and preparation for reuse according to Art. 4, para 1, b. “A” and “b” of Directive 2008/98 / EC of the EP and the CJEU on waste, as well as Art. 6, para 1, item 1 and item 2 of the WMA.

During the project, books are extracted from the waste stream, and in parallel the activities related to the restoration, repair and reproduction of the extracted books are carried out. At the end of the project the realized product is made available for public access. To ensure sustainability, the activity will continue after the completion of the project, and the results will be multiplied.

For the implementation of the project activities, in addition to the subsidy in the amount of BGN 200, provided by the EU “For the land”, additional own funds of the organization, partly technical resources of the organization, as well as voluntary work will be used.


Saving a large number of books will lead to their reuse, both within the organization and for use by other public organizations, institutions and citizens and by providing publicly available libraries.

By restoring and storing the books, they will be allowed to be used directly and immediately by a wide range of users, and the sustainability of the results will be manifested in the use of these books after the project, and through digitization this effect will be multiplied.