Author Archives: Jen Mack

August 2012: Board of Directors Meeting

August 8, 2012 at 6:30pm
Directors Present: Angela, Harley, Rebecca, Kaci
Visitors Present: Katy

Teacher Survey Coming Up
Harley has been working extremely hard on a Teacher Materials Drive in a few months. As part of the research phase of the project, we will be circulating a survey for teachers to gage interest and material needs. If you’re a teacher or know any teachers, keep your eyes peeled for our survey in an upcoming newsletter.

New Board Member
Hallelujah! We have a Financial board member! The very lovely Katy has been voted on to the board and has already been such an asset to our team. Welcome, Katy!

New Partners
Over the past few months, we’ve been creating some local partnerships with groups here in the City of Austin that we’re really excited about. These partnerships will help us grow as an organization and help us to better serve our city.

July 2012: Board of Directors Meeting

July 10, 2012 at 6:30pm
Directors Present: Angela, Harley, Rebecca, Kaci
Visitors Present: Katy
Meeting Minutes Recorded by: Angela/Kaci

Four interesting things discussed:

  1. We’re officially on Etsy! Folks can now buy some of our wares while we build up to our reuse center.
  2. There’s been a lot of interest in our Spin Art machine. We discussed the possibility of making it available to the public for rentals. (Check it out in use at the Austin Mini Maker Faire!)
  3. We finalized our Record Retention Policy, as well as our Whistle Blower Policy—important documents for any organization.
  4. Each board member discussed events coming up in October. Whew! It’s gonna be a very, very busy month! Subscribe to our online newsletters to stay in the know!

Harriott Grace: Using Found Wood

I recently found this really beautiful story of Nikole Harriott and her father, Lance. Lance is a wood worker who uses found, reclaimed wood. Definitely worth a watch.

What happens when you have the chance to turn your passion into your second career? We follow Nikole Herriott as she visits her father Lance on his first day of retirement. He has said goodbye to his ship welder past to focus his considerable talents on his lifelong passion: wood.

Herriott Grace from Supplemental on Vimeo.

(If you have trouble viewing the video, you can also watch it on Vimeo’s website.)

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What can I do with… oil-based paint

Photo by Drb62

I know what you’re thinking. It’s spring time. You have a whole garage full of oil-based paint that you’re looking to dispose of, but you know you don’t want to plop that in your regular ‘ole trash to be carried away to the landfill. Let me personally applaud you for thinking outside that garbage can box!

Unfortunately, Austin Creative Reuse cannot currently accept any oil-based paint, but here are some places you can take your left over oil-based paint:

As always, try Freecycling or giving away the left over paint for free on Craigslist.

You can also have it properly disposed of by taking it to The Household Hazardous Waste Facility. They will properly dispose up to 30 gallons of hazardous household materials for free. Anything beyond that and you may be required to pay a disposal fee.

Tip: In the future, you may consider a latex or acrylic paint for your painting needs. These paints are much easier to find a reuse home for (we accept paint that isn’t oil-based!) and they’re better for your health and the environment.

Thanks, again, for finding a proper home for your materials!

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Spring Back Mattress Recycling

One of the goals of Austin Creative Reuse is to divert waste from the landfill, so we’re always on the lookout of other companies and organizations that do the same.

In Tennessee, Spring Back Mattress Recycling is a company that hires previously incarcerated and homeless men to break down old, used mattresses.

According to Spring Back, the mattresses are “broken down into raw materials such as cotton, metal, wood, and foam. Each of the component parts is bundled and sold to area scrap buyers to be reused in other applications.”


(If can’t see the video, view it on the Spring Back Recycling website.)

Most recyclers and reuse centers won’t touch old mattresses. Landfills would rather not too, because of the time it takes mattresses to decompose (decades) and their bulky size. So, it’s especially great to see an organization taking on the task of cleanin’ up our old mattresses.

My neighborhood recently had their bulk collection pick up and I noticed an awful lot of mattresses ready to be carted off to the landfill… Do you have a mattress or box spring you’d like to find a new home for? Have no fear! You do have options!

Where can I recycle or properly dispose of mattresses and box springs in Austin?

Mattress Donation
As always, you can give it away for free on Freecycle or Craigslist. (Don’t doubt the power of giving it away for free on these two sites. I’ve heard so many people able to given their mattresses away, even when they had doubts!)

Mattress Recycling
If your mattress is unusable or in very poor condition, you can have the mattress recycled.

Rubbish Works
According to their website, Rubbish Works picks up mattresses and box springs for a fee. They asses whether it should be donated to a local charity or recycled and will dispose of it appropriately.

More info for Spring Back:
NPR story: New Recycling Company Springs From Old Mattresses

If you have a question about how to properly dispose of a particular item, send me an email at kaci@austincreativereuse.org.

Updated: 3/8/2014

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How We Got Started Part 2

Our reason for filing for non-profit status was to use that to leverage both material and financial donations, with the hopes that we may also find someone that had a building to rent to us for a minimal cost.

Our founding circle dissolved and we started our official board.  I became the president, Harley as VP and 2 new additions Angela as Secretary and Kaci as Digital Committee chair.  Kami Wilt continues on with us as our Project Committee chair.  (She recently started Austin Tinkering School and is bringing the Maker Faire back to Austin.)

During this stage of our organizations development we have started to participate in events to let more people know about our organization.  We plan to do a fundraising campaign that will be empowered through our community connections.

Check out our events!

What’s next

  1. More events
  2. Fundraising plan
  3. Building our board and volunteer base
  4. Building relationships with other organizations

How We Got Started Part 1

Austin Creative Reuse started around three years ago when a group of like-minded individuals gathered to discuss creating a new sustainable community organization. Our group was a mix of artists, art enthusiasts, teachers, marketers, and community experts.

I met Lisa Vickery and Molly Whitten, a mutual friend. Lisa, Molly, and Lenell had been running a co-op called Greater Austin Garbage Arts (GAGA) for some time. They had run several successful events and a small retail space on South First St. At this time they were starting to close down GAGA as Molly was moving out of Austin and Lisa wanted to focus on some other creative environmental projects.

At that same time, Aaron Williams had created a space called AAMP in which he wanted to create a space for artists and musicians to connect with the community. Bernadette Noll of Slow Family Living coordinated a meeting of local artists at AAMP; it was at this meeting that Lisa Vickery and I met Kami Wilt and Ellen Scatton.

The four of us, plus Harley Gambill, started meeting every Monday at Lisa’s or the Green Muse to get to know each other and figure out what exactly we wanted to create. We agreed that we wanted a sustainable organization and really liked the model of Scrap Exchange in Durham, NC and the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse in Oakland, CA.

As it progressed, we realized that we wanted to involve more people and start to get the word out. We held two community meetups. One at AAMP and one at Recycled Reads.  Isadora McKeon joined us at our second community meeting, joining our core group.

She had a great start on a business plan that aligned with the same ideas that our group had been writing up. We continued to refine our ideas and filed for our non-profit status.  After a year of waiting, we received our approval letter on August 26, 2011.

Volunteering with Austin Creative Reuse

As far as I can tell, there’s only way to really get to know a nonprofit organization. You could talk to the board. You could read the mission statement. You might even feel good enough to donate money. But there’s only one way to really “get” an organization. You’ve gotta volunteer.

Volunteering with a nonprofit gives you an intimate understanding of the mission, the commitment of the board and other volunteers, and the energy and interest the community has for what the organization has to offer. It’s no longer a statement on a piece of paper. It’s a living, breathing organism with aspirations, goals, and successes you can see and smell and hear.

In the past, I’ve had initial support of organizations thinking their values aligned perfectly with my own only to discover post-volunteering how wrong I am. I’ve also volunteered with organizations that seem enthusiastic in my participation, but in reality already have a diverse, committed volunteer base. They don’t really need me.

Over the past six months, I’ve become increasingly involved with Austin Creative Reuse, beginning as their web designer and IT support all the way to joining the board.

While we’re still getting on our feet, I can see the Austin community has a real need for what we offer. I’ve seen new faces at our volunteer meetings passionately ask how they can help. We’ve got a long ways to go, but I feel the enthusiasm of the ACR group expand with interest and commitment. It makes me feel good and needed and like I’m going to make a real difference in the Austin community.

Email info@austincreativereuse.org if you’re interested in volunteering with Austin Creative Reuse or sign up for our newsletter.

Spring Chicken Festival

On March 2, 2012, we participated at the Spring Chicken Festival.   The Festival was to provide awareness of the Austin Funky Chicken Coop Tour and of the Sustain Center.  It was a beautiful day and we spent our time sharing our vision of Austin Creative Reuse. We participated in the craft sessions and brought owls made from egg cartons for children to paint.

 Sustain Center

Funky Chicken Coop Tour

Spring Chicken Festival

 

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Whole Foods Market Global Office Materials Drives

Holiday Materials Collection

Holiday Materials Collection from Whole Foods Market Global Office

Kaci and I both work at Whole Foods Market and we worked with the Global Office’s Green Mission team to run two material drives, one in October 2011 and one in January 2012. We collected tins, toilet paper rolls, art and craft supplies, leftover wrapping paper and greeting cards (old and used.). From these two drives, we collected over 400lbs of materials.

Learn how to run your own material drive at your school or office.

 

2005 Wheless Lane, Austin, TX 78723
Center Hours:
Mon-Wed: CLOSED
Thu/Fri: 10AM - 4PM
Sat: 11AM -6PM
Sun: 12PM - 6PM
Curbside Pickup, 10am-4pm, Daily
Tel: (512) 375-3041