Transition Whatcom


Trash to Treasures

Efforts to close some loops on outgoing byproducts.

Members: 10
Latest Activity: Apr 10, 2015

Discussion Forum

Free Stuff Locations

Started by Laura J Sellens. Last reply by Rain Forever Feb 16, 2013. 2 Replies

In the future I could see this as a document that gets updated, but for now we can use this space to collect locations where resources are made available for free in Whatcom County.Like--the table…Continue

Trash to Treasures Workgroup?

Started by Laura J Sellens. Last reply by Behrouz Aug 25, 2011. 1 Reply

Is there interest in creating an official transition workgroup that deals with waste streams?  To my mind it is an important part of a resilient community.  One idea I have is to support the creation…Continue

New Projects

Started by Sarah Robertson Mar 13, 2011. 0 Replies

I was just curious to see if there are any new projects to get involved with. I'm new to the group!

Comment Wall


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Comment by Heather K on December 13, 2010 at 8:24pm

Good blog by Elizabeth Walker on "Waste Not Want Not - A Trip to the Dump":



Comment by Laura J Sellens on September 30, 2010 at 7:19pm
I like it. I'll start a new discussion.
Comment by Cindi Landreth on September 30, 2010 at 7:03pm
We also have a building materials free pile outside our office that has been well used. Little depositories like this that are well managed work well at keeping things out of the land fill and into more creative uses.

I like your visioning, Laura. Perhaps we can start with an as-built: make a list of all the locations where free stuff can be picked up. (No, I am not volunteering for this - but perhaps as people learn of places, we can add it to a resources list that someone manages - sort of a working document.) What do you think?
Comment by Laura J Sellens on September 30, 2010 at 6:40pm
Oh yeah, those are good ones! It's funny you chose to respond just now, I was considering deleting this group due to inactivity. I think we are going to want some kind of waste group before too long though.

One thing is, we ship our trash to Oregon! I'm thinking, as resources become more scarce, Oregon is going to come out on top.

I was daydreaming, thinking of starting some kind of initiative or petition for Whatcom County that would charge consumers for paper and plastic bags in shops, and the money could be used to create a free stuff zone at the dump and possibly one at WWU--keep resources out of the landfill, in our county, and to the benefit of our citizens.
Comment by Cindi Landreth on September 30, 2010 at 3:06pm
Coffee grounds from the coffee shops are great for the compost heap and keeps them out of landfills.

Bamboo can be used for many things and when 'your neighbor' is growing it and it needs trimming, you might be able to salvage some of the stalks for fencing and/or support structures for the garden.
Comment by Laura J Sellens on June 3, 2010 at 8:59am
If in the future anyone does try to get construction scraps, I have old hard hats, safety vests and glasses and gloves. Without these they'll never let you onto the jobsite. Drop me a line.

--Dream on Futon--for upholstery scraps. At times I have gotten fabric sample books from interior design places, like across the street from Village Lighting on State St. Depends on who's working.

--I used to be in contact with stained glass shops for scrap glass, but I don't think Bellingham has one anymore.
Comment by Laura J Sellens on May 7, 2010 at 9:09am
In the Transition Handbook, Rob Hopkins points out that not all green practices increase resilience (see Table on pg 62 ). It's good to recycle, but adds no resilience. Reusing materials adds resilience by making us more independent from outside resources. I thought this space could be used to brainstorm sources for, and uses for, waste streams in Whatcom County. Since it costs to dispose of them, it's mutually beneficial. A lot of times if we ask, we can have these materials for free.

Some ideas that first spring to mind are:
-Construction sites- for rubble, cardboard, steel conduit, wood scraps
-Tile shops-they throw away whole boxes of tile if some break. Great for mosaics
-Stone shops, such as StonWest-for broken pieces of cut granite
-Wood pallets all around in alleys. Note the wood type, we found mahogany pallets once! Made it into furniture.
-Tony's coffee roaster-for burlap sacks
-The Fisherman's pier-for used scraps of fish netting

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