Supporting associations

MaSmadera: recycling of wood as a social and circular integration alternative

Set up participative workshops for people in professional reintegration and for the citizens of Vigo with a view to developing the first recycling preparation centre in the region.

MaSmadera: recycling of wood as a social and circular integration alternative

Project leader
logo Emaús Fundación Social

Duration of the partnership


Share this project

The project and its challenges

In Spain, thousands of tons of wood waste and residue are generated every year.  Wood recycling is compulsory in the country, but there is a shortage of human as well as technical resources. Various organisations, such as Emaus, collect, sort and sell via social integration structures elements which can be recycled. However, in the Galicia region, there is no real centre equipped for these types of activity.

Also, in addition to this is the economic crisis from which the country has suffered over the past ten years.  Galicia is one of the regions the most economically damaged by this crisis. In the town of Vigo, the unemployment rate is one of the highest in the region affecting 17% of the population in 2018.

The Emaus Vigo association, based in the area since 2006, is behind several projects designed to favour an increase in skills among people in professional reintegration, the circular economy, and awareness-raising with regard to environmental challenges, among other things.

To that end, the association has developed a pilot project of participative “ReccIARTE” workshops to recycle wood furniture that involves the general public. The project, something that is completely new in the town, has received wide support from the Emaus teams and the general public.

Thus, the Maisons du Monde Foundation has decided to support Emaus Vigo in order to develop the “MaSmadera” workshops project which follow on from the initial pilot project. The aim is to set up a project which has an impact in Vigo based on the recycling of wood and socio-professional reintegration.

The final goal for the association, with the support of the Maisons du Monde Foundation, is to use these workshops to create a recycling preparation centre (Ekocenter).

To do this, Emaus Vigo is developing “MaSmadera” workshops/training courses which mobilise 15 volunteer employees in socio-professional reintegration.

Also, the association is relying on the participation of citizens with sessions in its “MaSmadera participative laboratory” in order to raise awareness among the inhabitants of Vigo.


Emaús Fundación Social will propose to the 51 employees in socio-professional integration to participate in workshops and trainings: at the rate of 15 people per workshop, the project will be able to train a total of 45 employees.

The maSmadera laboratories will be able to accommodate a total of 48 people during the 4 sessions planned over the duration of the project.

Finally, Emaús Fundación Social wishes to sensitize the inhabitants of Vigo to the challenges of the upgrading of wood and a social and solidarity economy, a potential of 10,000 people on which the association wishes to reach them through sales events, exhibitions and its communication.

The project’s additional assets

The project led by Emaus Vigo is designed to be innovative in its wood recycling and socio-professional reintegration approach, both subjects which pose real challenges on a local and regional level in Spain.

In the workshop, i feel calm, they do not pressure of me. It’s a space of trust in which i have the possibility to learn

Javier C. Participant and student of the Masmadera workshop
logo Emaús Fundación Social

Project leader Emaús Fundación Social

The Emaús Fundación Social is a social non-profit association created in 1994 in San Sebastian, in the Basque Country. 

Emaús in Vigo works to promote and support individual or collective in society based on social, economic et environmental themes. 

Emaús Vigo develops social integration, information and education programmes with a view to cooperating in the development and promotion of the creation and management of social and solidarity-based enterprises.