To Recycle Or To Reuse – That’s The Question.

There have been a few times that I have thrown away something either in the garbage or recycling but was left with a feeling that its purpose or job wasn’t yet done. I often get this kind of feeling when something still looks new and I always wish I knew someone who would want to use it. So I must say it was quite exciting to find out about Re-Use Centres in Edmonton.

IMG_2791This is where you can bring all kinds of stuff that is in good condition for others to re-use.  So if you have things that are in good condition but you no longer have need for them, you can take it to the Re-Use Centre.

I took a trip to one of the centres with the Master Composter Recycler group. I can tell you that it was like finding a treasure box. I started getting ideas just looking at all kinds of stuff in there; arts and craft materials, puzzles, vinyl records, board games, tiles, trophies etc.

For example, I could use the trophies as a form of recognition in a workshop program that I am planning for young IMG_2794people. It would be quite affordable to be able to do something special like that. You can pay five dollars ($5.00) to pick up to 50kg worth of stuff or if you are a non-profit organisation that uses the service often, you can pay fifty dollars ($50.00) for 25 visits per year.

You only pay when you take things from the Re-Use Centre but you don’t pay to drop off the stuff you no longer need. Not everything is accepted at the Re-Use Centre though. The Re-Use Centre has a list of accepted items and as for the rest of the stuff, the Re-Use Directory can give you a guide of organisations that would be happy to give certain things a stretch of life.

You can also get ideas of stuff you can reuse and how you can turn it to different objects.

Tiles could add accents to your wall or floor.
For times when you really want to follow your own fashion style, patterns can be of help.

This is truly an example of how one’s garbage is another’s treasure. I think it’s important that before you throw anything away, you should ask yourself if it’s for Recycle or Reuse. Recycling is manufacturing a material into new products but Re-Use involves no processing at all, the items just change owners/users and sometimes, roles.

Imagine if you were that item and your owner no longer needed you. Would you prefer to get crushed and melted and lose your form or would you rather be taken by a new owner who treasures you and gives you a life you deserve, to serve your purpose of what you were made to do?

So if you are getting rid of stuff at home or office, think “RE-USE.” There’s even a place that will take used building materials. Wouldn’t it be nice to know that your door knob that is still in a good condition has gone on to adorn another family’s home at an affordable price?

IMG_2793If you don’t live in a place that has a Re-Use Centre, may be you can plan a Re-Use Fair at a community centre. I know that the City of Edmonton has grants that you can apply for whether as an individual or community league. You could get up to $500 to help organise your Re-Use fair.

I am going to volunteer at one Re-Use Fair this weekend, Sunday June 13th, 2015. So come drop off stuff that is still in good condition but you no longer need. But remember, please check this list to see what is being accepted at this particular event.

I hope to see you there!