First Gleaning

Yesterday I gleaned for the first time. I spent the first two hours in Hazardous Waste. Nice people. I realized through my conversations with them that they are true environmental advocates-and not just the kind who say “Hooray for the environment”. They live it every day. I got to go through 5 large bins of construction and house related products, leaving with  185 lbs of cement, caulking, spray foam, polyurethane, paint and glue. These are “no-brainer” necessities for the work I’m about to do. I was stunned by the numbers of unopened containers, as well as by the financial cost represented in these bins. I was happy to learn that a reuse group called Golden Harvesters does redistribute some of these items and that Habitat for Humanity uses some of the construction material. It is a really good idea to separate out anything remotely usable when you are taking things there. There are so many avenues of reuse being employed there.  (Below are 3 of the 5 bins I went through)


The really fun part is in Bay 1. It was Monday. I’d heard that it was mostly business and construction debris on those days and that is ok with me. The weekend is when individuals unload their treasures most often. I kind of like the construction debris. I was drawn to the broken glass and rubble piles. It occurs to me that I’m probably not even looking for the fantastic-thing-that-is-still-usable -and-I-can’t-believe-they-threw-it-away. When I found those things-and I did-St Vincent DePaul or the Rebuilding Center were standing by to receive them. I wound up taking things like packing peanuts, broken glass, Polystyrene and carpet padding-things that were in no short supply! Those feel like important things to me. I feel like I want to document the texture of the place. I already have a pretty solid vision of this installation and that statement is compatible. I left with a total of 220 lbs. I don’t think I’ll be back for a while though, until I’ve tried some processes out to make sure they work. When I got home, I took a long nap.



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