Learn about reducing waste by sharing and repairing at an Iowa City Recycling Center open house

Sharing and Repair Open House

East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd SE — Wednesday, March 7 at 5:30 p.m.

Paint and other items are available at the Iowa City East Side Recycling Center’s Swap Shop. — photo courtesy of Iowa City Dept. of Public Works

Sharing and repairing as ways of reducing waste and protecting the environment will be the focus on an open house event at the East Side Recycling Center on Wednesday evening.

“This is the closing event of our reuse and upcycling series,” Jane Wilch, Iowa City’s recycling coordinator, told Little Village.

Since January, the Iowa City Landfill and Recycling Center has held a series of events highlighting how to reduce waste by reusing and upcycling to give items new uses.

“Our goal is to increase mindfulness regarding all of the things we have in our lives. We’re always focused on reducing waste and helping the environment,” Wilch said, “but also with simplifying our lifestyles, decluttering, as well as saving money.”

A number of local organizations will be joining with the Recycling Center for the event, including the Iowa City Bike Library, Table to Table, Salvage Barn’s Tool Library, STEAM Fab Lab, Pyramid Services and the public libraries of Iowa City, Coralville and North Liberty.

“This is the first time we’ve done anything like this open house,” Wilch said. “It will give people opportunities to figure out where they can share, borrow, rent or repair things.”

One those opportunities is the East Side Recycling Center’s Swap Shop.

The shop has items collected through the city’s hazardous waste collection program, such as cleaning supplies and paint.

“These are all things that are in good shape,” Wilch explained. “We get a lot of cleaners, a lot of paints, some automobile chemicals. It differs depending on the season and the weather. For example, during warm weather we’ll get fertilizer and other lawn chemicals.”

“If you see something you want in the shop, you can take it. There’s no cost. It’s a free program, and we want folks to use these things as opposed to disposing of them.”

The two-hour open house starts at the East Side Recycling Center, 2401 Scott Blvd SE, at 5:30 p.m. It is free and there will be snacks and light refreshments.

Although this is the final event of the current upcycling series, Wilch said there will be more such events in the future.

“We’ve had a lot of participation from people who are really engaged and want to learn about upcycling and ways to think differently about the material we have in our lives,” she said. “And we’re definitely open to ideas on upcycling from the community

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