The Magic of Reuse

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Tis the season of consumption bargains are everywhere but there is an alternative to all this consuming and it is to reduce but also consider reuse. I look around my house and yard and I can see the magic of reuse. Working at a recycling center certainly has its perks especially one like Sedona Recycles. Everyday something comes in that someone else has tired of or is in need of repair and it ends up making its way in the front door accompanied by the familiar question. “Do you know anyone who might have a use for this?” The answer is “Well I’m sure we can find someone who might want this, we’ll check around.” This wonderful endless circle certainly beats the alternative of landfill bound items making their way to the graveyard of great things that haven’t found the right place or person. There is always someone out there waiting for whom this item is perfect and more often than not they are right here at the recycling center.


I myself have been known to have found a thing or two or twenty or more. I look around my house and see the things that over time have been rescued and joined my household. From the lamps in the living room to the headboard in my bedroom both brought in by a woman and her son, they have resided with me for over 10 years. I have baskets and more baskets they are a common offering and books and magazines they come in and they go out and find others interested and go home with them. I have a bronze statue of a fairy with a broken finger which I never mended I think it gives her character. I found the most beautiful painting in a cardboard box that nearly got baled but now hangs in my bedroom and is amazingly special to me. I have pots for plants and plants themselves. They made their way worse for the weather to our front door. Some went home with staff while others adorn our offices and in the case of a straggly Lady Banks Rose became the plant that ate the recycling center. This rose was planted by my daughter who was working at the center at the time in the front planter without much hope of survival. Well not only did it survive it thrived and is now over 20 feet tall and has to be trimmed regularly to keep it from engulfing the entire building. It offers flowers and shade and goes to show that someone’s trash most certainly became a recycling center treasure. Then of course there are the clothes. I never need to buy clothes because they find me, as do the shoes. It is truly amazing what is out there if you have a willingness to wear already broken in clothes. I find them to be the very best kind.


In a culture that is driven by consumerism with a constant stream of new things that we all must have followed swiftly by the next great thing there is comfort in the old and familiar beauty of something already broken in and already appreciated. All of us move through phases and something that was a perfect fit yesterday just doesn’t work today but don’t despair because someone is out there waiting for just that thing.


We strongly encourage donating to thrift stores every chance you get. They support wonderful nonprofits and you find the best things there. We also encourage everyone to visit the Habitat for Humanity Re-Store to both donate and buy. What a great place to find just what you need for a home project.


Reuse is all around us and goes hand in hand with reduce. One person cleans out their closet donates the clothes that no longer fit the picture frames without pictures and the silverware that got replaced, the appliance that got an upgrade and the rug that doesn’t match the new furniture. These are all not only wanted items but needed by someone out there you just need to look.


We have always said at Sedona Recycles that recycling is the last of the 3 R’s only to be done when the other two R’s have been exhausted. By reduce we mean don’t buy so much only what you really need and when you reduce what you already have see that it gets to someone who will love it as much as you once did. Reuse what you have or what you find and add some other R’s to the mix while you are at it like refurbish, renew, redo, reinvent, refinish, repurpose and so many more. In the end when all use has been spent then recycle and you will see the magic keeps happening because now the old item that got recycled will become something new again and we are back to the beginning ready to start all over again. Reduce, reuse and recycle these are the magic words. They all go together round and round and round just like the chasing arrows of the recycling symbol.


by Jill McCutcheon, Sedona Recycles

Sedona Red Rock News

December 17, 2014