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Junk to Art

February 9th, 2012 1 comment

Artists around the country are taking everyday objects that are no longer useful to their owners and turning them into works of art.

In Sacramento, Calif., artist Gioia Fonda has exhibiting her works of junk-turned-art at a gallery.  Ms. Fonda specializes in drawing piles of junk that speak to our society’s mass consumerism as well as to larger societal problems like the housing crisis. She has documented piles of junk and trash that have piled up outside people’s homes due to evictions and foreclosures.  She told the Sacramento Bee that her renditions of the junk piles represent “not only a reflection of the lending crisis but also a comment on our rampant consumerism and the utter disposability of what we produce and what we buy.”

In addition to her finished drawings, Ms. Fonda showcases the process of arriving at her finished work. She starts by taking color photos of junk piles, then draws specific objects and cuts them out. She then arranges the cut-outs into collages and makes copies.

A Dallas artist who goes by the name Vet  has been working with a group of artists and community organizers called Art From Scrap. The group collected industrial surplus items and offered it to the community for use in art projects.

“A lot of recycled items are non-toxic overruns and surplus from businesses that would normally be discarded,” Vet told Pegasus News. “I like working with multiples of one item, like different bottle tops, melted crayons, beeswax, shola berry wood chips, fabric swatches, old books, pull down shades, gourds, and pear pods.”

She built a 30-foot “Book Berm” out of discarded books as well as a folded paper tree, miniature dolls and people crafted from Styrofoam.

“Working with recyclables expands my range of mediums by allowing me to combine craft and fine art,” Vet said.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Categories: junk, materials, recycle Tags: ,

Winter Cleaning!

January 21st, 2012 No comments

There’s no need to wait for the birds to start chirping and the flowers to start budding to get rid of the junk around your house.

Why not do Winter cleaning instead of Spring cleaning? After all, the skies are still gray (in most parts of the country) and who wants to waste a sunny, Spring day inside clearing out clutter?

If it’s too overwhelming and you don’t know where to begin, consult a professional organizer. FindMyOrganizer.com is a site that can help you choose one. A third party can help sift through the clutter without the emotional attachment most people place on their possessions and make suggestions for how best to organize the items you do keep.

But if you don’t have a need for outside help, or can’t afford it, plow ahead on your own with these suggestions:

Start small: Don’t try to attack your entire house at once, or you’ll be tempted to give up. Pick one room that’s particularly troubling and then start in one area of that room, such as the closet or the overstuffed drawers. Once you get one area of the room under control, move onto the next. If you’re still on a cleaning streak, move onto the next room. When you’re tired, stop for the day and resume the next day or the following weekend.

Sort, sort, sort: The key to successful de-cluttering and organization is to think in terms of categories. When going through your linen closet, for example, make a pile of mismatched sheets and towels that you never use and set them aside for donation, if they’re in decent condition, or reuse as cleaning rags. Then fold all of the good hand towels, washcloths and bath towels and group the matching sets together back on the shelves. Do the same with bed sheets. Sort out all the other loose odds and ends in the closet, such as shaving supplies, sewing kits and hotel shampoos (c’mon, you know you take those home) and organize like items into clear plastic bins, label them and stack them on the shelves where they can be easily identified. Ah, order.

Purge quickly: Once you’re done, you should have items in boxes or bags meant to either sell, donate or toss. Don’t keep those things lying around or you may never get around to properly discarding them, thus contributing to more clutter (and a possible change of heart). Immediately list the items of value on ebay or craigslist, put the recyclable items on the curb or take them to a center, drop the donatable items off at Goodwill and toss the rest.

You’ll feel like a weight has been lifted. And then, when Spring rolls around, you can secretly smile to yourself when you see your neighbor going through his garage while you head out for a bike ride.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to Bill Longshaw and christineshomeandtraveladventures.blogspot.com for the use of their images!
Categories: ecycler, junk Tags:

A Clutter-free 2012

January 3rd, 2012 1 comment

The gifts are unwrapped and the holiday lights are off, so now what? Time to get organized! Many people resolve to exercise and diet, but the beginning of a new year is also a good time to purge those clothes you haven’t worn since college and organize the clutter that’s been collecting in your basement.

Some organizing experts suggest getting rid of one item for every new holiday gift received, as a way to neutralize the incoming stuff. It’s a good time to consider donating items to charitable organizations that normally get a flood of new things before the holidays but that are still in need of basics after the last ornament has been plucked off the tree or the last candle in the menorah has been blown out. People are in need all year long, so your old coats, toys, canned food and household items are welcome after the holidays.

Items that can’t be reused can usually be recycled, including the cardboard boxes in which your holiday gifts were shipped, the batteries that you replaced in your kids’ toys and the household appliances that are being swapped out for new ones. Even your Christmas tree can find new life as mulch. Many municipal recycling programs pick up trees at the curb and recycle them.

The new year also presents a good time to get the holiday decorations in order. Organizing ornaments and lights and labeling them helps prevent you from buying new decorations you don’t need the following year. Keeping perfectly nice gift bags, bows and ribbons also prevents you from having to buy new ones next year and keeps those items out of landfills. And don’t be afraid to re-gift – if you got something you just don’t need but don’t want to donate it, hold onto it for next year’s Secret Santa swap at the office or give it to a friend or relative that you know would like it.

What about all those holiday cards that have been piling up? Hold onto a few from close friends and family, especially the ones containing photos, and recycle the rest.

This is a good time to teach children to be generous to others. Now that they’ve gotten so many gifts, tell them that they are fortunate to have received presents and that there are a lot of kids who did not and encourage them to pick out some old toys that are safe and in good condition to donate to another child. There’s no reason the season of giving has to end after Christmas.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to unvarnishedmom.com for the use of their image
Categories: ecycler, materials Tags: ,

Junk Afflicting Cities Across the Country

November 18th, 2011 No comments

From excessive junk on property to hoarding, cities across the country are dealing with the problem of how to deal with residents’ excessive stuff.

In Arlington, MA, a hoarding response team made up of police, a mental health expert and the Health and Human Services department is helping hoarders clear their homes of junk before they suffer health and safety problems.

Excessive piles of household items and food and unclean conditions can attract bugs and rodents.

What started as part of a jail diversion program in June has since become focused on the broader problem of hoarding. The team has handled 16 cases so far, including that of a man who had no plumbing and didn’t know what to do about it because his apartment hadn’t been cleaned in two decades.

Chicago’s solution to junk? Fine people for it. The city, which is aiming to balance its budget in part by raising fees on a number of items, plans to raise nuisance fines to between $300 and $600, up from $250 to $500, for such violations as illegal garbage dumping, excessive junk and poor lot maintenance.

Los Angeles is facing the problem of homeless people’s possessions taking up space on the sidewalks of Skid Row, a 50-block area where mentally ill or addicted people sleep on the street and where everyday appliances and mattresses are piling up. Stuff started accumulating ever since a federal judge ordered the city four months ago to stop seizing property from Skid Row streets.

According to a recent newspaper article, one block alone was lined with 20 packed shopping carts.

Courts across the country have likewise ruled that the property of homeless people cannot be seized just because it’s on the street. But, Los Angeles has lost four lawsuits over property seizures since 1987.

Visit chicago.ecycler.com

We are making junk removal simple, problem free and without surprises. We are born out of the idea that we can enhance the social value of recycling. All junk collected is treated as an asset and not as trash with the appreciation toward sustainability and end-of-life concerns.

We make all efforts to reuse (i.e., donate), upcycle and recycle the materials before the landfill is considered.

Thanks to LA Weekly for use of the images
Categories: ecycler, junk Tags: ,