Trashy is the New Artsy

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A British charity is aiming to raise recycling and reuse awareness through a series of commissioned modern art sculptures by local artists. Powys Zero Waste Limited, which advocates zero waste through community recycling and reuse, unveiled their first sculpture, titled “Hands,” last week in a field in Wales.

The 16-foot tall sculpture is made from household waste including aluminum cans, plastic bags and old newspapers. “Hands” is the first of three sculptures and is part of an ongoing campaign called Recycle for Powys, a project to promote waste minimization, reuse and recycling countywide. According to Powys Zero Waste, 70 percent of what people throw away as waste is actually a valuable resource that can be reused or recycled.

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The "Hands" sculpture was created using household waste materials to draw attention to reuse and recycling. Photo: news.bbc.co.uk

“This dynamic approach to raising awareness of recycling, re-use and waste has been conceived with a diverse rural population in mind and will compliment the awareness campaigns already in place,” says Jay Syrett-Judd of Powys Zero Waste.

“We have tough times ahead in order to reduce our reliance on landfill and we must all play our part,” says Councillor Ken Harris, who is responsible for waste management in the county.

Reuse Art

The giant British sculpture is the latest in a growing trend of “reuse art.” From corrugated cardboard creations to designer dresses made of plastic bags, materials previously thought of as waste are being given a second life as art.

Organizations such as Art From Scrap encourage kids and adults to rethink the way they view discarded materials and explore creative reuse through art. And events such as the Recycle Santa Fe Art Festival showcase a variety of reuse art, from lamps to dresses, made of recycled materials.

Feeling creative this spring? Many organizations are holding reuse challenges in anticipation of Earth Day 2009.

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