Community Magazine

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

By Livinggreenor

On Earth Day, I had the great pleasure of participating in my local community’s annual swap/reuse/recycle event, Trash-2-Treasure.  I joined the planning team this year as a recycling consultant providing recycling information to the community.

My muscles were sore, feet ached and I honestly needed a full week to just.do.nothing.  But I have to say, my heart was filled with such joy to see the community come out and see how big of an impact the event had on those who attended.

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

What is Trash-2-Treasure?

Trash-2-Treasure is an annual swap/cleanup/recycle event whose mission is to reduce the carbon footprint and build community.  The event is organized by Swap-n-Play, a cooperative community sharing space in North Portland for families to build intentional community through play and the sharing of resources such as toys, clothing, household goods, skills and knowledge while rethinking and reducing our relationship to consumerism and waste.

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

What is a Swap?

Swaps come in many shapes and sizes, this particular one happened to be the size of an entire church – inside and out.  They’re typically done on the honor system, as long as you bring something, you can take something.  However, in the case of Trash-2-Treasure, we had so much stuff, that no one was turned away.  Items accepted included:

  • Clothes
  • Media: books, videos, DVDs, VHS
  • Toys
  • Household Items
  • Electronics
  • Furniture
  • Re-Usable Building Materials
  • Plants/Seeds
  • Crafts

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

Reduce/Reuse/Recycle

We also accepted many items for recycling in addition to providing educational materials to the community on where to take recyclables such as CFLs, block Styrofoam and household hazardous waste.  Items accepted included:

  • Block Styrofoam
  • Packing peanuts
  • Rigid and Soft plastics
  • Metals
  • Tires
  • Electronics (except microwaves)
  • Electronic waste such as computers
  • Athletic Shoes
  • Un-usable clothing items (12×12″ minimum)

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

Community Impact

I spoke with several people throughout the event and heard, first hand, stories as to why events like these are important for the community.  One lady mentioned to me she was unemployed and this was the only means available for her to get clothing and other household items, for free.

A huge sectional made its way into the church and within an hour, a young teenager had found someone with a truck who also lived in his neighborhood to help him transport it home – a complete stranger!  You can’t get that kind of service at your local department store!

I saw families leave with bags and bags full of goodies they had found, some spending hours sorting through all the piles.  Trust me, it was worth it.  I, myself, found some great finds!

 

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

Some of my personal finds

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

New glassware to add to my collection

Trash-2-Treasure 2011 Diverts Waste and Creates a Sense of Community

My most interesting find of the day, an entire box full of vintage personal care products!

The Numbers

Nothing shows more how the event has grown than this chart.  We knew we had more things after the end of the collection Friday evening.  These numbers speak for themselves:

2010 2011

Items found their way into the hands of local residents 4,227 2,400

Number of people attended 600 170

Plastic recycled (cubic yards) 24 14

Block Styrofoam recycled (cubic yards) 12 2

Landfilled materials (cubic yards) 60 7

Batteries recycled (cubic yards) 5 10

Shoes recycled (cubic yards) 50 200

Wood recycled (cubic yards) 10 20

 

On average, most community cleanup events collect approximately 400 cubic yards of landfilled materials.  Talk about a huge impact!!

Have you attended a community swap event like this?  If so, what was your impression?  Would you be interested in starting something similar in your neighborhood?


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • Trash to Treasure: Re-Imagining Your Waste {Garden Hoses}

    Having spent a little bit of time watering the plants, I thought of ways one might be able to repurpose a garden hose and came across these creative ideas.... Read more

    The 26 May 2011 by   Livinggreenor
    ECO-LIVING, ENVIRONMENT, HOME, HOME IMPROVEMENT
  • Is Nuclear Energy Renewable?

    Nuclear energy is the energy that is in the core (nucleus) of an atom. Atoms are small particles which make up the entire universe and everything it holds. Read more

    The 28 June 2015 by   Rinkesh
    ENVIRONMENT
  • Happy Wimbledon!

    It's the most wonderful time of the year - time for Wimbledon! The Championships, Wimbledon runs from June 29 to July 12, 2015 at the All England Club in... Read more

    The 29 June 2015 by   Kselz
    SPORTS, TENNIS
  • The Samadhis of Harrington Road!

    Recently, I was invited by a friend to speak at a Story telling event, the topic of which was Stories in and around Harrington Road. Read more

    The 28 June 2015 by   Priyabaskar
    TRAVEL
  • Soultree Kajal - Pure Black Review

    Soultree Ayurvedic kajal is made with organic ghee and natural pigments. It has a 100 % natural composition. Organic ghee for a soothing softness, camphor for... Read more

    The 30 June 2015 by   Subha Bose
    FOOD & DRINK, LIFESTYLE
  • Tour De France Footrace 2015 – Stage 1

    David Le Broch, Stephane Pelissier, Takasumi SenooPhoto courtesy JB Jaouen JB Jaouen sends a brief report from France:Some news from Tour de France Footrace... Read more

    The 29 June 2015 by   Abichal
    OTHER SPORTS, OUTDOORS
  • A Great Foodie Day Out At The Good Food Show Summer 2015

    A GREAT FOODIE DAY OUTThe BBC Good Food Shows are back for 2015, bringing together a fantastic mix of seasonal inspiration, local produce and live demonstration... Read more

    The 28 June 2015 by   Hannah Staveley
    FAMILY, HOME

Add a comment