Guest blogger, Risa Buck, Waste Zero Specialist at Recology Ashland celebrates art made from what would have been landfilled.
Last Wednesday, April 17th Ashland, Oregon celebrated the grand dedication of its first 100% recycled content mosaic. This mosaic resulted from the joint inspiration of Recology and City of Ashland’s North Mountain Park personnel, who recognized the need to upgrade and revitalize the trash and recycling collection station, while at the same time finding a unique way to reinforce the importance of reusing items once destined for the landfill.
Mosaic materials, including glass, metal and plastics were all sourced locally and recovered from local businesses, homes and the Valley View Transfer Station. Among the many items found within the mosaic are bike chains and sprockets, liquor bottle bottoms, plastic and metal lids, bricks, keys, and jewelry. Local artist Sue Springer, of Illahe Studios and Gallery, was commissioned by Recology to create a nontraditional mosaic of recycled materials, creating this beautiful rendering of the “three R’s”. The goal was to create a colorful, permanent and surprising assemblage of materials, to change thinking about trash and recycling. Remember, “it’s only trash if that’s how you treat it”.
The community, both young and old, has responded with delight.
Following the mosaic dedication, Marinel Baker, Recycling Attendant at Recology Ashland, and me, gave a presentation that led participants on the trail of trash and recycling collected in Ashland & Talent, including an interactive activity to learn “what goes where and why” .