Spring Gillard

Refuse Reuse

When I was at university there was a contest on the radio. The callers had thirty seconds to list other uses of a BLANK. You never knew what the object was going to be beforehand. Could be a lampshade. Could be a corkscrew. A golf club. The radio hosts were very creative in coming up with the items. If you said um or ah you were out. My roommate and I used to practice on each other, pop sessions throughout the day. We got pretty good at it, but for some reason we never called in.

I was reminded of that quiz when I toured the Gibson’s Resource Recovery Centre with Barb and Buddy Boyd on the Sunshine Coast this week. They are demonstrating some very unusual other uses of things. Like the container garden, where the containers are old toilets. They also turn all those Styrofoam trays you get with meat and other products into garden pots. Get ready for more toilet humour, Barb calls them plop pots. You can see why.

It’s truly a one-stop shop for all of your recycling – way way beyond the blue box. I was kicking myself for not remembering to bring that bag of stuff in the back of my closet: number six plastic clamshells, old calculators, a broken pair of scissors, some brown glass.

Notice they call this a resource recovery centre and not a recycling depot, emphasizing that one person’s refuse is another person’s reuse. I loved that they have a mobile sharpener there every weekend too, where you can get any of your blades sharpened, from garden tools to knives, skates to coffee grinders. They also have a thrift shop with everything under the sun at bargain prices. As Barb told us, you could furnish your whole house for under a hundred bucks.

Barb and Buddy have big plans for the centre including a community garden and on-site composting.  Wish my neighbourhood had one of these centres. Hmmm, other uses of a franchise.

Check out their video to learn more about them.

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