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Keen group turns trash into treasure

Adam PoulsenMidwest Times
Courtney de Bruyn, left and Carol Bain. Front, Catherine Migro and Hannah Smith work on upcycling projects in Meekatharra.
Camera IconCourtney de Bruyn, left and Carol Bain. Front, Catherine Migro and Hannah Smith work on upcycling projects in Meekatharra. Credit: Svenja Clare

Meekatharra residents are waging their own war on waste.

Since August, a dedicated group has met monthly to upcycle what many would consider rubbish into useful everyday items.

So far they have made pinboards from shredded paper, knitware from plastic bags, and baskets from native grasses and wool.

Spearheading the project is Meeka Goes Green Recycling Centre committee member Svenja Clare.

“I just love reusing things and re-purposing them rather than chucking them out,” Mrs Clare, 30, said.

“There are so many clever ideas out there and I love sharing that knowledge.”

Mrs Clare said the group chose a theme for each workshop, depending on what materials were in abundance.

A group member made this pin up board out of recycled paper as a shrine to their fur babies.
Camera IconA group member made this pin up board out of recycled paper as a shrine to their fur babies. Credit: Svenja Clare

The group — which consists of eight people, but is growing — already has more ideas.

“We always have a look at what sort of skills people have, and it’s beautiful to see how many people have different skills,” Mrs Clare said.

Like many remote communities, Meekatharra does not have a municipal recycling collection service.

The town’s recycling centre, which is open on Saturdays, is the only place residents can drop off cans, plastics, cardboard and paper.

And while the workshops are helping curb waste, they also function as a social occasion.

Hannah Smith working with paper mache.
Camera IconHannah Smith working with paper mache. Credit: Svenja Clare

“We used to do it on Saturday afternoon,” Mrs Clare said.

“Somebody would bring a bottle of wine and we’d just sit around and yarn and (have) a laugh.

“Now, to beat the heat, we do it on Sunday mornings. Just bring your coffee and have a yak.”

Upcycling workshops are held at the Meeka Goes Green Recycling centre on Railway Street on the first Sunday of each month.

All are welcome.

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