Earth911 explores how creative reuse centers turn waste to productive uses through a new business model that turns discarded craft and DIY materials to new uses. We talk with Nicole McGee, founder of the Upcycle Parts Shop, a pioneering creative reuse nonprofit in Cleveland. And we’re joined by Maureen Wise, a longtime Earth911 contributor, who wrote a story introducing creative reuse centers that we also published today. Let’s find out how creative reuse centers collect usable materials, leftovers, and surplus creative supplies and redistribute them to the community for reuse.
The Upcycle Parts Shop has diverted more than 37 tons of waste from landfills since 2014. The 2,000-square-foot shop hosts parties and training events — it also sells a little of everything you might want to use in an upcoming art project. Nicole and Maureen discuss the origin of the movement and the potential for using this model to address other categories of waste. We also examine the role that Upcycle Parts Shop and other creative reuse centers are playing in rebuilding community feeling in cities and towns around the world.