There’s a revolution in reuse taking place. And it’s a necessary one.
On Nov. 10, more than 30 local artists will showcase works created from recycled, upcycled and reused materials to educate and bring attention to a national issue during the first Phoenix Festival — Celebrating Chatham County’s Revolution in Reuse.
But there’s more to the equation than just recycling.
“It’s about landfill diversion,” said Anne Robinson, resource conservation center coordinator for the Chatham County Recycling Center. “We want people to be inspired by the creations and leave with a renewed sense of how they look at their own waste and spending habits.”
According to an EPA study done in 2013, Americans generate 254 million tons of trash yearly, with 87 million tons either composted or recycled. That equates roughly to a 34 percent recycling rate overall. However, individuals continue to generate about four pounds of waste per person per day.
Simply put, we are running out of room for discarded goods and need to get creative. Throughout the event, artists will wow the crowd with their ingenuity — from painting to sculpture to upcycled dresses from the Unusual Dress Project, reuse will take on a different form.
Musicians and performers will engage the crowd and local food trucks will be on site to quell any hunger. Electric cars will also be on view, as well as additional fun and educational activities for all ages. While this is the first event of its kind, Robinson hopes it becomes an annual celebration.
“It’s important to have the conversations about where waste and recycling goes,” said Robinson. “A lot of people get caught up in the word ‘recycling.’ They get used to this idea that items can be recycled but it’s not that simple, and often that’s not the case. There is much more to the story."
She adds, “We want people to be thoughtful with what they purchase and think about how much waste they are producing. We want to change habits.”
IF YOU GO
What: The Phoenix Festival — Celebrating Chatham County’s Revolution in Reuse
When: 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Nov. 10
Where: Chatham County Resource Conservation & Recycling Education Center, 1321 Eisenhower Drive
Info: Facebook event page