When I think of recycling the first thing that comes to mind is throwing my used paper, glass or plastic products into the right bin so that is can be sent to a factory, broken down and used to make new paper, glass or plastic product, but thatâ€™s only one way of thinking about recycling; what about the “Do It Yourself” method? You donâ€™t need to have a factory to change a used material into something new.
KEXP along with 22 other local organizations were recently asked to participate in the King County “Project Driveway” campaign to promote recycling and get people to rethink what recycling means. The assignment was to take a 96 gallon, blue recycling bin and turn it into a sculpture that embodies recycling, utilizing the re-use of materials in a new and unexpected or useful way. KEXPâ€™s Seattle Works team was assigned the task of representing the station in the “Project Driveway” campaign, to re-imagine recycling and find a way KEXP could make recycling different.
KEXP is all about music so that was our design theme, but how do you recycle music? You can sell unwanted used CDs and records to be re-sold and listened to again, but what else could you do with something you hear or makes music? KEXPâ€™s message of recycling is “Give old music a new spin â€“ recycle!” this slogan lead us to the concept of turning that bright blue, 96 gallon recycling bin into a giant flower planter. We covered the bin with old vinyl record sleeves then lightly painting the surface to look like wood planks. Finding paint that was safe for the environment and could be disposed of safely was made much easier thanks to the Seattle Environmental Home Center, who donated non-toxic paint to our group. The converted bin was then topped off with over a dozen 45 vinyl record flowers. The records were heated in an oven and reshaped into flowers then attached to old drum sticks with leafs cut from vinyl record sleeves and placed in a bed of faux dirt made from the brown tape of unraveled audio cassettes. The finished bin was a perfect example of just how far you can go with recycling.
I personally want to do more to reduce the amount of my trash that ends up in land fills and make better use of that trash, but like many people I begin to lose focus on being more responsible about recycling if options and information about recycling isnâ€™t more easily accessible. If you have something to throw away that doesnâ€™t fall into the acceptable items listed on your recycling dumpsters and bins what do you do with it? If you have the time and the creative will to do so, you can make home decorations from things you might just throw away, but if you donâ€™t then I encourage you to hold onto that trash a little longer and visit Metrokc.gov to find out how to properly dispose of that waste. Whether youâ€™re looking to get rid of old ink cartridges, appliances, paint or anything else, there is likely a more environmentally sound option for disposal.