A sense of repurpose

The ReUse Center in New Paltz is up the hill from the Recycling Center.  It’s a steel frame building built by the Town as a “store” for stuff that oughta be useful to SOMEBODY!

I expected to find an eclectic mix of items saved in the nick of time before they went into the landfill — soulful, you know, like a thrift-store.  Fix-it, clean it, put it to use.

Instead, I found boxes and shelves and bins of decidedly un-used manufacturer’s leftovers.  Hundreds of small wooden pieces from Woodstock Chimes–some shaped like wings, some like little chairs.  Cosmetic gift bags from Kiss My Face.  Plastic tubes that once contained titanium knee-replacement parts.  Plentiful but essentially soul-less odds & ends.

And God created glue guns

Laura Petit, the Town recycling coordinator, had a great idea:  get in some artists, school teachers, crafters, home fixer-uppers.  Give ’em glue guns and “let them run wild.”  See what they come up with.

Those of us there did our best.  And once we got going, some decent configurations began to take shape.  Laura calls them “recipes for recycling.”  Possibly.  For seasoning, we had our choice of hundreds of small cardboard cards with shiny-surfaced images of…Americana!

It’s important to say that the ReUse Center is an evolving enterprise.  The goal is to have stuff coming in & going out of there faster than a minnow can swim a dipper.

4 “R”s

The 3 “R”s–reduce, reuse & recycle–are all on the increase in the Hudson Valley.  In 2012, New Paltz reduced the garbage leaving the Clearwater Transfer Station by 20%–more than 100 tons, saving the town a cool $10,000 in disposal fees.

Make that 4:  Results.

Last Saturday morning at the New Paltz ReUse Center, John Wackman, Eric Bravo and Alyce Conklin created “recycling recipes” for people wondering what to do with odds and ends available at the center. The project ideas have been posted by the materials so others can use them. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

Last Saturday morning at the New Paltz ReUse Center, John Wackman, Eric Bravo and Alyce Conklin created “recycling recipes” for people wondering what to do with odds and ends available at the center. The project ideas have been posted by the materials so others can use them. (photo by Lauren Thomas)

**Thanks to Erin Quinn for the title of this post.  Her article about the Recycling Recipes event is in the New Paltz Times.  Thanks also to Lauren Thomas for the photo above.

Advertisements

About John Wackman

A writer since I learned to hold a pencil (no, not like that...hold it like this!). Writer/producer for television, now all media--plus a student in massage therapy. We're all re-inventing ourselves. It's a sci-fi world, isn't it?
This entry was posted in Climate change + Culture, Deep Ecology, John Wackman blog and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to A sense of repurpose

  1. Scott says:

    Awesome! 20% is a huge figure, and this is such a creative thing to do. I’m curious what y’all came up with.

    • John Wackman says:

      I’d say that Alyce’s bird feeder was the most creative & useful: made from one of those plastic tubes and a wooden disc. Coupla days after the “Recycling Recipes” workshop, a small business owner bought all the plastic tubes in the place–turns out they are the perfect size for the massage stones she sells. As for the 20% figure, Laura says the keys are outreach, outreach, outreach– and creating opportunities & options for people to re-think their throw-aways.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s