Cindy Correll, Reuse Alliance Oregon Chapter chair and Be Resourceful partner, weighs in on a collaboration that is advancing the reuse conversation in Portland. 

“I remember being at a transfer station, looking closely at a massive pile of garbage, and noticing a surprising number of items that were obviously still usable. The amount of perfectly good stuff that ends up in our garbage is overwhelming. Wouldn’t it be ideal if we could rescue these materials before they are crushed, compacted and shipped off to a landfill? 

Enter ReClaim It! Reuse. Repair. Reimagine. 

ReClaim It! is a new venture born from the GLEAN project, a partnership between crackedpots, Recology and Metro. By collaborating with these other organizations, GLEAN artists create original works of art using materials salvaged from the garbage and now ReClaim It! makes these materials available to everyone in their new retail space. At ReClaim It!, you’ll not only find reused art, but also the materials and inspiration you need to make your own unique creations. And everything in the store was saved from the piles of discards at the Metro Central Transfer Station. 

ReClaim It! is located at 1 N Killingsworth St and open 11 a.m. – 6 p.m. on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays. Plan ahead before going so that you are prepared to transport your treasures home. Why? Because once you walk through the door, you’ll find all sorts of unique items for your art and DIY projects. 

At their recent grand opening event, I found doors, salvaged wood, unique pieces of trim, bicycle parts, metal, musical instruments, assorted furniture and furniture parts, garden tools, and a wide assortment of interesting doodads.  If you’re looking for artistic inspiration, visit the gallery space at the back of the store, currently showing art made by GLEAN artists. 

As I perused the shelves, I noticed people picking up and carrying off all sorts of things – and everyone had that look of excitement that comes from discovering something really cool that they can turn into something even cooler. I stopped in front of a shelf stacked with pieces of metal, and that’s when I saw it – a sheet of hardware cloth – all rusty and beautiful with an edge that looked like fringe. I had to have it. As a welder, I saw potential in the material. I picked it up, paid for it, and walked out of the store with that feeling of happiness that comes from knowing I am reusing something in a creative way. I’m hooked and can’t wait to go back!” 

Find the inspiration you need for creative reuse at ReClaim It! or any of these upcoming events sponsored by crackedpots: 

crackedpots art show at McMenamins Edgefield
Tuesday, July 22 and Wednesday, July 23, 2014

GLEAN art show at Disjecta
Opening reception on Friday, August 8, 2014, 6 – 9 p.m.
8371 N Interstate Ave. in Portland
Show runs through the month of August