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RECLAIM! To Keep Reusable Items Out Of Landfills

Creatives and craftsmen are invited to the Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse's RECLAIM! free materials event in Point Breeze from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturday and Sunday. For $5, guests are free to take as much material as they are able to transport.

“People are doing home improvement projects and just need maybe a pound more of tile to finish their backsplash, or artists looking for raw materials, or just people who kind of want to see what’s going on,” Materials Coordinator Barbara Moore said.

Goods were donated from area design firms looking to get rid of unwanted materials that they didn't want to dump into landfills. Firms pay $25 per carload of material, which can weigh up to 1,000 pounds. Tile, scrap lumber, fixtures and even old VHS tapes are likely to crop up, Moore said.

“We recognize that there’s a lot of tonnage that they need to re-home, basically, instead of putting them in a landfill,” she said. “And we’re hoping that they come out of the woodwork on Friday, or they show up a month from now. We’ll make sure that we can take in the material.”

The center took in loads from 10-15 donors for previous events, but this is the first aiming to re-home everything in a single weekend.

Nothing left behind will be sent to area landfills either, according to Moore.

“If there’s something left, which I’m hoping there won’t be,” she said, “we will just absorb it in our nonprofit shop … and it’ll find its way into somebody’s creative reuse project, into an educator’s classroom, somebody’s backsplash or entryway. It’s going to go somewhere.”

Interested donors are encouraged to contact the center. They can accept almost anything but carpet samples, Moore said.

“This year as we’re starting out, we don’t have that capability, and we’re bummed out about it,” she said. “But next year we know we’ll be able to do that.”