A Friday Morning Escapade to the Landfill.

         Last week, I took a trip to the Shenandoah County Landfill to talk to the manager and find out how their program deals with the county’s trash. I learned that they are constantly searching for new and creative ways of dealing with waste and decreasing the impact tons of trash can have by recyling a vast array of materials. One of their latest ideas includes harnessing the methane gas realeased by the landfill and turning it into energy to heat their facilities: where recyclables are hand sorted all year round despite temperatures that can drop below freezing.

Shenandoah County started an active recycling program in 1991 that began with dedicated bins for voluntary drop-offs by citizens at the Landfill Property. As of the end of 1995, this program had grown to include a Materials Recovery Facility in a reconditioned barn complex as the center piece for 15 recycling collection centers located throughout Shenandoah County. County employees collect, sort, and ready for sale an average of over 200,000 pounds of recyclables per month, an effort that now covers all associated costs and generates a modest profit. Also, under the auspices of the Lord Fairfax and Central Valley Planning Districts utilizing a State grant, the County operates the Regional Tire Operations Program (RTOP). This involves a mobile tire shredder, which provides the Counties, cities, and Towns of the northern Shenandoah Valley an environmentally acceptable method of disposing of waste vehicular tires. After the start up with the State grant “seed money”, RTOP has become a self sufficient program that is a testimony to the benefits of regional cooperation.

For those of you that live in Shenandoah County, think twice about what you’re throwing away. Conservative estimates indicate that, with minimal added effort, County citizens could literally quadruple the amount of recycled materials diverted and saved. It’s just a matter of who’s willing to walk ten more feet to the right recycling bin. If you are interested in learning more about what happens to your trash, visit the landfill’s webpage or schedule a visit; they are always willing to help educate the public about what they do (which is really quite interesting.)  

Items Accepted Throughout the County:
The following materials are accepted for recycling at any of the 15 specially marked collection bins located throughout the County:

  1. Paper: Newspaper, office paper, magazines, cut-up cardboard including cereal boxes.
  2. Aluminum: Cans, plates, foil, and smaller items.
  3. Tin/Steel cans: All food cans and containers with tin coating.
  4. Glass: All colors of glass.
  5. Plastic: All plastic numbers 1-7.
  6. We cannot take oil product containers or plastic bags.

Items Accepted at the County Landfill Only:
The following items are accepted for disposal and recycling only in designated areas at the Landfill property:

  1. Brush, wood products, lumber, or yard waste such as leaves or grass clippings.
  2. Waste automotive products such as used petroleum/oil and antifreeze.
  3. Vehicle batteries.
  4. Larger aluminum products.
  5. Scrap metals of all kinds.
  6. Appliances, including refrigerators, freezers, stoves, ovens, dishwashers, ranges, washers, and dryers.
  7. Waste tires. Please Note: There is a fee based on size charged for all tires regardless of the source.
  8. Computer

Variations on the “T-shirt Scarf”

         Earlier on, we posted a tutorial on how to easily transform an old t-shirt into the conventional “t-shirt scarf.” This is just a really fun, easy, and inexpensive DIY craft that ivolves few materials and usually ones you already have in your house. For those of you that are interested in this form of upcycling and have mastered the basics of the craft, here are some more complex ideas that you can try! If this whole concept is new to you, here’s our tutorial we made earlier that you can learn from and build off of. https://trashfashiondiscoveringnewways.wordpress.com/2011/12/02/coming-soon/

We love hearing new ideas and feedback from you guys so let us know if you come across or create any really cool scarves 🙂

This variation uses the combination of several patterns and braiding.





    Here’s a link to the cite that explains in detail how this ringlet scarf is made: http://www.kevinandamanda.com/whatsnew/crafts-projects/make-this-quick-n-easy-ringlet-t-shirt-scarf.html

No Sew Tshirt Scarf Tutorial




A different approach to the t-shirt scarf. It just goes to show the amount of creative freedom this project allows- there are so many possibilities! Here is a link to  a tutorial:


                                                                                                                                                                            One last example of what you could do, basically a knot and the edges sewn together. Fairly simple for the amount of money saved by doing it yourself!

We hope this has inspired and added to your endeavors into the art of “trash fashion.” Have fun making scarves and sharing your newfound creativity with the world around you!

Couture ‘Trashion’ by Harvey

‘Newspaper Dress’ Designed by Gary Harvey

           British designer Gary Harvey, a former creative director for Levi Strauss, is making a statement out of today’s culture with his extravagant ball gowns. After working for the jeans company for over five years, his inspiration began to shift to the “leftovers” of our society, forgotten and crumbling in secondhand shops and landfills. He used these materials, such as worn out laundry bags and trench coats to sculpt new ideas of what we can define as clothing.

During February of 2007, he constructed his first collection of nine “upcycled” (using wasted materials to create something of higher value) ball gowns to be featured in the Estethica exhibition during London’s Fashion Week. The event was a “hotspot for ethical fashion, founded on ecological and organic principles,” and has since grown in popularity as a leader in the ethical fashion industry.His latest creation, the Newspaper Dress, was constructed of 30 copies of the ‘Financial Times’ and upholds the principles of organic and safely recycled fabrics.

Harvey saw that many people “wear [something] one or two times then discard it because it’s suddenly deemed aesthetically unimportant and out of date when there’s years of life left in the garment.” He is now a freelance creative director and continues to influence the world of couture fashion by bringing social situations to light in his inspirational creations, such as the over consuming culture we have evolved into.  The vintage flair of his elegant dresses is evidence enough that what is undervalued by most people can be transformed into a masterpiece.

Photo: GaryHarvey Creative Direction

         Harvey’s contributions to the world of high fashion will truly “contribute to an ethical fashion revolution.” You can click on any of these pictures to learn more about the designer, dresses featured during London Fashion Week, or to seek your own inspiration for transforming trash into fashion!

MAC Dress; 18 trench coats incorporated around a ‘Burberry’ check corset.


Recycle Sweaters

Now that it’s getting colder and we’re pulling out our warmer clothing, I’m sure that there will be a few old sweater that no longer fit, are not in the best condition, or no longer are in style.  Here are just a few ideas  for things that you could make out of your old sweaters, repurposing them to make yourself something or even a gift for someone this holiday season.  You could start with stockings for your children, siblings, friends, or your whole family.

Then move on to a felted blanket from all of those wool sweaters to keep you warm when you don’t have time to make a fire.

Next: holiday gifts.  Everyone has that eccentric soul in their family, whether it be a niece, cousin, or friend; so why not make a multicoloured sweater to give as a gift?

Once it gets closer to the holidays, you can start to decorate.  So get started on a colourful wreath with your entire family to hang on the front door.  It would mean so much more than anything bought in a store, and it would be recycled!