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Calling All Artists and Educators: Rescue Upcycled Designer Samples

By Patty Wetli | Friday, April 13, 2012

Volunteers sort samples for upcycling. Credit: Courtesy of ZeroLandfill

Much as I hate to admit it (and my checkbook even more so), the kitchen that I remodeled last year will eventually become as outdated as its predecessor. And all those showroom samples that I painstakingly pored over, each one enticing me to bust my budget, will be swapped out for the newest trend, tossed into landfills like a dirty diaper. Oh, the indignity.

Here’s where ZeroLandfill enters the picture.

An upcycling program (upcycling: repurposing as opposed to recycling), ZeroLandfill gathers samples from interior designers and architecture firms, sorts them, and then makes the materials available to teachers, artists, crafters and non-profit organizations. To date, the organization has rescued 500,000 pounds of expired samples, diverting them from landfills back into the community, with a goal of reaching 1 million pounds in 2012.

MDC – one of the world’s largest sources of wallcoverings and coatings – is bringing ZeroLandfill to Chicago. If you have samples to donate, drop them off April 14, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Chicago Center for Green Technology, 445 N. Sacramento Blvd.

Members of the public are welcome to collect materials for art or education projects, April 28, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., and May 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m., at the Center for Green Technology.

Check out a sample of a ZeroLandfill project:

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