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Recycling for the resourceful: Alternative Uses for your Rubbish

September 20, 2012 by  
Filed under Featured Posts, Green Living, Recycle Now

When it comes to throwing stuff away, we Brits have proven ourselves to be pretty flipping good at it. It’s almost a shame they’re not holding some sort of rubbish discarding competition at the Olympics! Anyway, back on subject, in the financial year covering ’10 and ’11, over 10 million tonnes of waste was sent to landfill, and although that’s a decrease in what we’ve seen in previous years, it’s still a sizeable amount by anyone’s standards. Whilst any old Average Steve can throw something away, it takes a real genius to take all the waste we generate and make something useful of it. But the creative colligation of the cognitive clevers the world over have been doing just that. Here are some of the most interesting, indescribable and inexcusable uses of garbage!


One of the most popular, artistic applications is the creation of rubbish clothes! No, not the overly priced rubbish we’re beaten to death with any time we glance fleetingly in the direction of the high street, but actual, thrown away rubbish.

Whilst the term ‘eco-fashion’ generally means clothes made from environmentally friendly fabrics, there are loads of art designers raising awareness of environmental health by creating dresses out of crisp packets, jumpers out of old jeans and skirts out of newspapers. Although you can’t imagine that managing so well in, well, any form of weather.

With juice boxes and sweet wrappers coming together to form designer bags and purses, aluminium cans making chic, elegant looking shoes and even underwear (can’t imagine they come too highly recommended mind) and straws used for glasses frames, there’s a world of fashion out there, made from the things we throw away!


The other most obvious outlet of creative rubbish application is in the form of pretentious art! But dispense with your preconceptions of ‘garbage art’, and appreciate the pieces for what they are, true ingenuity. Some of the fantastic works of art, thrown together with these discarded materials is undoubtedly astonishing. Notably, New York’s Paul Villinski turned a collection of crushed beer cans into some bespoke and elegant works of art, crafting a realistic flock of butterflies to be used as wall decorations.

With pictures and mosaics constructed from coloured pieces of garbage also a common practice, a quick search of the internet for trash into art, or similar phrases, will yield hundreds of impressive and inspiring results.


How about this for inventive, Czech photographer Miroslav Tichy creates working cameras from discarded paper towel tubes, thread spools, rubber bands, masking tape and all sorts else, creating a unique, grainy low quality image that is ultimately distinctive to Tichy’s style. What’s even more impressive is the chap is now in his 80’s, he’s still making cameras and his work is on exhibition in Centre Pompidou in Paris.


Another one designed for the busy inner-city American, an eco-brolly features only the skeleton of a brolly. Small and light enough to fit in your pocket and be carried around, the idea is that when it starts to rain, you simply grab a newspaper and stick it on top. Before you leap off your chair claiming newspaper isn’t the best material to use when faced with anything water-based, the make-shift brolly will provide a small barrier between you and the rain until you find some shelter.  It’s unlikely they’re intended for use in heavy storms or gales!


This idea was born from one California student named Nick Demarco, creating a lining that could be stuffed with garbage, or perhaps old clothes, to form a comfortable recyclable chair!


The internet houses many weird and wonderful inventions, and, this one, touted as ‘credit crunch proof’, is certainly up there with the weird. A baby stroller put together by a Chinaman solely using bits from the trashcan is certainly impressive, but not exactly what you’d describe as ‘approved’.


Okay, so these weren’t ‘made from rubbish’, as such, but the variety of creative uses people have found for old skips is delightful, featuring a swimming pool, a skateboard ramp, a living room and a lawn with a park bench! Clever and weird!

So get using your rubbish for more interesting endeavours, be inspired by the inventive determination on display here, and you could save yourself money, as well as allowing those creative juices to simmer and satiate like you never thought possible!

This post was written by Rob Vicars on behalf of AMA Skip Hire, if you need a skip hire in the Midlands (ideally not to skate or swim in) call upon the professional, responsive experts!

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