This past Sunday was the first in a series of events, exploring with the Rusted Grain/ReUse Action crew and learning how to use our city as a materials resource. Five trucks gathered in front of Action HQ on Sunday and headed off to the Fillmore district to harvest the treasures to be had as a result of Bulk Trash Day.
Bulk Trash Day happens in each council district once every spring and once every fall. A homeowner is allowed to discard as much as they can in a 12′ long x 4′ wide x 4′ high pile on the sidewalk in front of their dwelling. Often people discard broken objects, but sometimes within the piles lie hidden treasures…perfectly intact windows, solid oak doors, The Goonies DVD . . .
For this first event, there were teams of two–one driver, one spotter–driving around and looking out for building materials people had discarded. Teams had exactly 1 1/2 hours to find as much scrap metal and as many items worth saving as possible. At the end of the hour and a half, teams reconvened to sort through their finds, to discuss why they chose to save certain things and to reflect on the activity.
Many in the caravan confessed that they had never considered Bulk Trash as a harvesting opportunity and had only been saddened by the sight of such large piles of stuff being thrown out every Spring and Fall. Each person found something worth saving. The scrap metal was used to even out the costs of driving the trucks. $75+ dollars worth of clothing, toys, etc. were donated to St. Vincent’s. And what wasn’t taken by the participants for immediate use was stored at Action HQ for future use or for repair. Reuse, Recycle, Repair, Upcycle . . .
Since this weekend is the last of the Bulk Trash Days for the fall, the next Harvesting the City event will take place next Spring. If you missed the event this past weekend, come join us in the Spring and learn how to take advantage of our city and its amazing resources!