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.
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.
**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.
- Repurpose or Recycle? Know Your Plastic! (sierraclub.typepad.com)