Turning Trash Into Music

By Ted Reiff

One of the first things I did after launching the company in 1993 was to tour several California landfills in an effort to track the untimely demise of discarded building materials and appraise their quality.
I also visited the Tijuana landfill. At the time, we were shipping salvaged garage doors to that city, where they were being reused as walls in modest housing developments. One such development sprang up adjacent to the landfill, and many of its entrepreneurial residents scavenged the landfill for materials to sell on the recycling market.
An unwritten policy stipulated what types of materials could be salvaged by various residents, depending on how long they had lived at the landfill. Seniority was rewarded with choice materials, including copper and aluminum. The newest residents salvaged mostly paper. Bottles, cardboard, ferrous metals and other stuff fell at sundry points along the prevailing continuum.
Although these observations were made more than 10 years ago, landfill scavenging continues to be a common practice in many countries, including our own. 
TRP Southern California Regional Manager Cheryl Sharp recently sent me a YouTube video documenting a particularly unique enterprise in South America, where young Paraguayans have raised landfill scavenging to an art form, up-cycling scrap into musical instruments. Children from the town of Cateura, just south of Paraguay’s capitol city, Asuncion, literally make music from trash! 
These talented kids create wind, percussion and string instruments out of darnedest materials. Cellos are made from oil cans, wood scraps and parts of discarded tools. Gutters and galvanized pipes go into the making of saxophones. 
Under the careful guidance of an instructor, the children not only create their own instruments, they also perform as a group in what has been named the landfillharmonic orchestra. The orchestra has given concerts throughout Paraguay and in two other countries. The U.S. is on its 2013 roster. 
I’m always heartened to see inspiring stories about reuse. Enjoy the video!

Special Events Reminders

November 23: Congratulations to TRP on the 20th anniversary of its founding!


Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring doors. Receive 25% off the price of any door in the warehouse through June 30. The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is also featuring doors. Receive 25% off the price of any door in the warehouse through June 30. The ReUse People Specials

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has received another shipment of stainless steel appliances. If you’re looking to upgrade, check out our latest inventory.

Deconstruction & New Materials Update

Visit the TRP website for a complete list of current deconstruction projects and inventories. Just click on “Retail Sales” and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
12827 Harbor Boulevard, Garden Grove, CA 92840
(714) 590-8729
Hours: Monday-Friday 9:00- 8:00; Saturday 9:00-6:00; Sunday 11:00-5:00
2200 S. Ritchey Street, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(714) 434-6266
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-5:00; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kansas City
4701 Deramus, Kansas City MO 64120
(816) 231-6889
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-6:00; Sat 9:00-4:00; closed Sunday

The ReBuilding Exchange, Chicago
1740 West Webster, Chicago, IL 60614
(773) 847-3761
Hours: Tues-Wed 10:00-6:00; Thurs 12:00-8:00; Fri-Sat 10:00-6:00

The ReUse Warehouse
800 Taylor Street
Durham, NC 27701
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00


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