Visiting a city dump is an eye opening revelation to those who haven’t had an opportunity to see the path that waste follows once it’s left homes and businesses in the surrounding area. Endless piles of what most consider trash fill the gigantic rooms of the facility. Those heaps are destined to filtered, compacted, and shipped to the nearest landfill. The Portland dump has a different approach. They have programs that allow artists and others to sort through trash that has been safely filtered through the system so that they can recycle their finds. I saw plenty of things that could be reused and made new again as I made my way through the mountains of junk.
Just ask artist Leslie Vigeant. Her project the Material Rescue League incorporated her precious finds from the dump. Leslie collected non-recyclable items and rehabilitated them into boutique products. Take a look at the final photo posted above, with interesting colors and materials packaged and displayed with care, all in the name of art and making the world a better and cleaner place.
As the birthday of this nation rolls around, keep those in mind who go out of their way to preserve the beauty of America. Be motivated by strong women like Leslie, who aren’t daunted by piles of stinky trash. Find the beauty in everything and use a little elbow grease to help others see that beauty as well.