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Usitoo: Brussels' lending library for household objects

21:59 10/04/2018

If you need a car roof rack, a tent or a candy floss maker for just a few days - and you're not prepared to buy a brand-new one - then Brussels' new library of everyday objects is for you.

A cooperative called Usitoo has opened a warehouse in Anderlecht with 250 everyday household objects available to borrow - and the hope of growing the catalogue to 1,000 items by the end of the year.

Users pay €9 a month or €50 a year upfront to access the library. The money is converted into points that can be redeemed for borrowed objects. Usitoo is responsible for delivery, maintenance and repair.

Usitoo co-founders Benoit Carion and Xavier Marichal said they came up with the idea after learning that the average Belgian household spends €1,500 a year buying items for infrequent use.

"Borrowing means fewer purchases and therefore less waste. No more things becoming obsolete," the newly launched site says. The aim is to reduce the environmental impact of needless purchases, while also creating local jobs.

The currently available items include everything from bikes and musical instruments to a waffle maker and a disco mirrorball. The founders hope to attract 1,000 registered users this year.

A similar concept already exists in Brussels for DIY tools - Tournevie.