MAY2012: TrashapaloozAha!

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Media coverage


OPAL's very first TrashapaloozAha! Free Family Fun Event for re-thinking and repurposing Oxford County's waste was a blast! And we diverted loads and loads of great stuff, giving it a second chance and keeping it out of the landfill.

This event was made possible by a lot of like-minded people. OPAL wants to send out a great big thank you to everyone in community who brought their unwanted stuff to Foldens Shop and who took stuff home to use and enjoy.

The quality of the merchandise in our FREE store was exceptional. Here are a few items among hundreds of super things, all working and in terrific condition: Telescope, sewing machine, electric guitar and amp, lighting fixtures, shelving, mid-century modern sofa and armchairs, antique wicker rocker, strollers, power tools, karaoke machine, patio umbrellas, garden pots, dishes, golf clubs with bag, bicycles, motorcycle leathers, snow mobile, books...and much, much more!

Elevating this day to the paloozAha! level were a fine bunch of people, all concerned about greening our beautiful county. Bear hugs to

Todd's Dogs - Our event caterer who donated to OPAL's stop the dump fight

Lorraine Atkinson and her daughter, My Daughter's Garden - Upcycling discussion and silent auction donation

Janis Anstee and Mike Poirier - silent auction donations

George VanDorp  - maple syrup auction donations

Mayor David Mayberry - Scotch pine donations

Mike Farlow - Transition to Less Waste - water and signage donations

Mike Phillips - Musical performer

Brent McSwiggan - Musical performer

Victoria Gydov - Musical performer

Emily Wright - Musical performer

Our dedicated OPAL volunteers

Special thanks to Fusion Youth Centre for collecting E-Waste and to our partners, Oxford Coalition for Social Justice and Ingersoll District Nature Club

Thank you to Rivore Metal Recycling for helping OPAL with our scrap metal collection and recycling

Much appreciation to Foldens Hall for donating card tables - very handy donation for this and future OPAL events

HUGE BOUQUET to the Township of South-West Oxford and Mayor Mayberry for lending OPAL the Folden's Shop for TrashapaloozAha! and encouraging this OPAL initiative!

TrashapaloozAha! 2013

Saturday May 25, 2012   

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OPAL to Host TrashapaloozAha! Swap and Festival to Re-think and Repurpose Oxford County’s Waste

Planning to create an Aha! moment for Oxford County residents before the annual municipal large item curbside collections begin, Oxford People Against the Landfill is hosting a free family festival on May 25 to give discards a second chance and keep them out of the landfill.

“OPAL Alliance formed one year ago this month to actively oppose Walker Industries’ proposed mega landfill. As concerned residents, we have united against any future landfilling, by any proponent, in our county. Last spring, when Oxford County Council declared a moratorium on all future landfills, OPAL was heartened by the councillors’ progressive, responsible position,” says OPAL chairperson Steve McSwiggan.

“County Council’s declaration brought home that we must be more accountable for the waste we personally generate. During the municipal large item curbside collections last year, many people were struck by the irony of residents’ discarded items piled next to their Stop the Dump lawn signs. OPAL determined we needed to be more involved in reducing the amount of stuff that ends up in the landfill,” McSwiggan says.

The grass roots, non-profit residents group’s response was to create TrashapaloozAha!, a community swap meet that encourages residents to bring their cast-offs to a temporary shop where everything is free. Considering where to hold its first event, OPAL approached South-West Oxford Township Mayor David Mayberry and Councillor George Way, who invited OPAL to present the concept at the March 19 council meeting. Council unanimously supported the event.

Councillor Anne Vanhoucke was very receptive to TrashapaloozAha! Recalling the popularity of Enviro Swap days held about 10 years ago, she predicted OPAL’s event will be successful.

Offering help, the Township of South-West Oxford has donated its Foldens shop to be used as OPAL’s swap centre during TrashapaloozAha! After the doors open at 9 a.m. and throughout the day, anyone in the county can bring in the items they would normally put out for municipal large item collection and give them to OPAL volunteers, who will display the merchandise in the appropriate department: Home Décor, Construction, Furnishings, Gardening, Garage, Sporting Goods, Fashions, Books, Magazines & Comics, Entertainment & Electronics, Kids Stuff, etc.

Event co-hosts Reagan Franklin and Karen Paton-Evans welcome dumpster divas, pickers, eco artists, handypeople, stage designers, crafty kids, motorheads, gardeners and anyone else to come and load up on free stuff between 9 a.m. and 6 p.m., Saturday, May 25. “That old part that you need to fix something at home or work just might appear at TrashapaloozAha! So may be the damaged but salvageable item that would be perfect for your indoor or outdoor room,” says Paton-Evans.

People are also encouraged to bring items that can be stripped for copper and other metals. OPAL will claim these items and sell them to a recycler to help raise funds for the stop the dump fight.

OPAL has rented the Foldens Hall, where festival attendees will be able to use washroom facilities and purchase food and beverages, helping to raise money for OPAL.

On the complex grounds, the Soapbox Forum will provide speakers with opportunity to express their views on taking ownership of our waste and making the most of resources, including those people typically throw away. OPAL has invited Mayor Mayberry to speak and welcomes other public leaders to also take their turns on the soapbox.

Information tables will provide people with tips, such as ideas for reducing waste and directions on properly packing a blue box. OPAL will be sharing up to date information regarding Walker Industries’ landfill proposal and engaging residents in fighting it.

Transition to Less Waste will be operating the safe collection of used batteries and paint dropped off by attendees.

Crafters and designers will be giving live upcycling demonstrations in creating new décor and other useful and decorative items out of junk. Paton-Evans points out, “Upcycling and Eco Chic are hot trends in design right now. TrashapaloozAha! is the place to get the key materials for your projects, at no cost.”

There will be live entertainment throughout the day. Some of that will come from the Kids Fun Factory and TrashapaloozAha! Trash Band, where teen co-managers will guide kids in making musical instruments out of junk and then performing for the crowd. More kid fun will include recycling box races and games played with reused materials.

OPAL will reconvene with SWOX Council representatives after the inaugural TrashapaloozAha! is over to evaluate its impact on the community. “Recognizing how much stuff gets picked up during large item collections every spring, keeping even 10 percent of that out of the landfill will make our event worthwhile,” Franklin says. “We invite families, friends and neighbours to join us on May 25 at the corners of Sweaburg Road and Foldens Line in Foldens. This is going to be a lot of fun!”