Reduce, Reuse, Recycle… and Repurpose: The Upcycling Guide

One of the more interesting conversations we’ve had lately was with an advisor who had considerable experience with makerspaces in the state.  It was a cautionary tale, actually, about how makerspaces pretty much universally become dumping spots for well-meaning donors getting rid of equipment and materials of almost every description.  The challenge is to weed out the usable stuff from the trash, avoid hazardous waste disposal expenses, and keep from insulting the donors, who often are trying to help you.

Our reaction was simply, why not turn this into a revenue and materials stream?

Upcycling amounts to taking various pieces, parts and products and repurposing them.  Create clothing from scrap cloth.  Use computer parts to make new electronics.  Turn trash into crafts projects.  Along with our focus on renewable and sustainable energy, The Brickyard Collaborative’s mission includes recycling materials like plastics, metals, wood, paper, fabrics and other castoffs into raw materials for projects and creations.  We are committed to turning scrap metals into workable stock, and repairing and reconditioning equipment – from machine tools to household appliances – to keep stuff out of the landfills and dumpsters.

To see what we’re doing about it, take a look at our lineup of upcycling workshops:

Come to our Meet and Greet at Land of a Thousand Hills on March 10 to learn more!

Got you interested?  Here’s our page: THE BRICKYARD COLLABORATIVE: UPCYCLING CENTRAL, which we’ll keep updated with information and resources as we get them.  Here’re some reading materials from various places on the web:

How to Salvage Useful Components from Old Electronics – Electronic Products

These DIY Machines Let Anyone Recycle Plastic Into New Products

Upcycling and the Low-Tech Makerspace _ Edutopia

…and some cautions: Be Careful How You Upcycle