Creative Plastic Bottle Repurposing

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

After our daughter checked in at the Mid-South Quick Chess Championship on Hillsboro at St. Paul Christian Academy we went to wait in the gymnasium for the first pairings to get posted.

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Repurposed Plastic Bottle Sculpture, photo by Caryn

Hanging from the ceiling in the center of the room is a delightful use of discarded plastic bottles. The sculpture is approximately 5 feet high and is comprised of hundreds of colored and altered plastic water bottles. It’s kinetic to a degree which helps it catch and reflect the light. I don’t know who made this piece but it is likely a collaborative effort by children from this school.

Cardboard Recycling Via Vacation Bible School

Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Airplane, photo by Bethany Wagner

Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church Vacation Bible School Airplane, photo by Bethany Wagner

Cardboard can be recycled into more cardboard or it can be reused. I received a message a couple weeks back from a neighbor asking if we had any larger boxes she could use to build an airplane for their Summer vacation Bible school. Here is the end result. Thank you, Bethany Wagner for the update. I am sure your VBS will be a full, fun, and successful event. Vacation Bible School starts tonight, July 8th, at the Cane Ridge Free Will Baptist Church, located at 13984 Old Hickory Blvd in Nashville, 37013. Registration is at the door starting at 6:00PM and all are welcome. Class runs between 6:00PM and 8:15PM.

Exploring: Landmark Booksellers, Franklin, TN

Landmark Booksellers wall of leather bound editions, photo by Caryn

Landmark Booksellers wall of leather bound editions, photo by Caryn

I have had ‘Visiting Landmark Booksellers’ in historic downtown Franklin, TN on my list for way too long. I needed to order a book last week so I called up Carol. She placed the order Monday morning and the book arrived after lunch on Tuesday. Easy peasy.

Landmark Booksellers proclaims itself to be ‘A Booklover’s Paradise’ and I cannot disagree. It is a quiet enclave of old and new books, rare editions, signed editions, maps, prints, and other ephemera. It resides in the Old Factory Store built in 1826 and claiming illustrious visitors such as General Andrew Jackson and Davy Crockett.

Landmark Booksellers Staircase Sitting Area, photo by Caryn

Landmark Booksellers Staircase Sitting Area, photo by Caryn

With reading spots and nooks in each room, including an upstairs kitchen housing a great selection of cookbooks and a children’s room in the back, it is a very welcoming place. Landmark Booksellers is located at 114 East Main Street in Franklin and open every day from 10AM to 5PM. Stop by, browse a while and sit a spell.

Nashville Chess Center Spring Clean Up

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Saturday Junk King of Nashville donated time to work along side other volunteers to haul away items from the garage, attic, and main floors of the Nashville Chess Center for an overdue spring clean up. The Center is located at the corner of Primrose and Belmont in the beautiful historic Belmont-Hillsboro district. Middle Tennessee is very lucky to have the Nashville Chess Center. It is one of a few stand alone chess centers in the United States, with the others being in St. Louis, New York City, and Washington, D.C.. The center welcomes visitors and they have three visits to make a decision whether or not to get a reasonably priced membership. Our grade schooler has had a junior membership here for the last two years, but the Chess Center isn’t just for kids. There are also adult and all ages member nights for games, education, and tournaments. It’s filled with nice and interesting folks and it is a great way to improve your game.

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Junk King of Nashville at the Nashville Chess Center, Photo by Caryn

Bridgestone Arena Starting Cigarette Butt Recycling Project


WP-ArenaNashville’s Clean Water Project’s newest venture is to make Bridgestone Arena one of North America’s first venues to collect and recycle cigarette butts. Arena personnel will be the Cigarette Waste Brigade doing collections around the smoking areas outside after events. They have partnered with TerraCycle in New Jersey who will process the majority of the cigarette butts into recycled plastic pallets for industrial usage. Since mid-December the arena has collected 30,000 cigarette butts weighing almost 30 pounds. The Bridgestone’s involvement is only a small part of the Nashville Clean Water Project in their attempt to make a difference in getting the waterways around Nashville as clean as possible. The EPA reports that Davidson County alone has 240 impaired linear miles of rivers and streams. Please check out the Nashville Predator‘s press release which announced this great plan.

Valentine’s Aftermath – Time to Recycle!

bale of cardboard for recycling

Bale of cardboard for recycling, photo by Caryn

It’s the day after Valentine’s Day. Whether you were celebrating with others or alone your home may have cardboard and glass that used to contain chocolates and beverages. Keep the love going by recycling them. If you were neat and tidy and did not get any of the chocolates on the cardboard box that briefly contained them you may recycle that cardboard with the rest of your boxes. The accompanying photo is of the remnants of over 500 heart shaped boxes Junk King of Nashville hauled from a job. They were unused boxes. I had called to various PTOs and Girl Scout troops and they took the lion’s share which got upcycled into Mother’s Day presents a year or so back.

Responsible Hauling & Recycling

We were alerted to the illegal dumping of dozens of mattresses at our office complex late last week. As they are all queen size and of a matching make and model they are likely from an institution. Queen size rules out college or university, basically leaving the hospitality industry. Most likely a nearby hotel trusted a hauler to a) remove mattresses from the premises and b) dispose of those mattresses properly. They got half of what they were promised.

photo by caryn, abandoned mattresses

Photo by Caryn, Abandoned Mattresses, Nashville, TN

I’m writing about this to highlight why it is so important to know the professionals with whom you work. Being aware of a service’s possession of a license, insurance, bonding, what affiliations and memberships they hold goes a long way towards solidifying a relationship and providing peace of mind that jobs will be completed as promised and in an appropriate manner.

Nashville is lucky to have the flagship Spring Back mattress recycling center. It has been such a success that they have branched out to Tacoma, WA and Denver, CO. Please take a look at Spring Back and all the good things they are doing by recycling mattresses.

UPDATE 12/19/13

We heard early today that the property management company wanted Junk King to remove the mattresses as soon as possible. Turns out it is 3 trucks worth. Here is a photo of David and Norris loading the last on truck #2 of 3. They will make three trips to Spring Back Recycling today.

photo by caryn, mattress job, truck 2 of 3

Photo by Caryn, mattress job, truck 2 of 3

photo by caryn, junk king truck at dumped mattress site

Photo by Caryn, Junk King truck at dumped mattress site


Plant It LOUD! Audio Speaker Upcycling

Photo Courtesy of Chris Markferding of Chris at her workshop

Photo Courtesy of Chris Markferding of a Plant It Loud! hanging basket

Plant It Loud! is a Nashville business that takes used audio speakers and turns them in to stylish and very sturdy hanging baskets. It was through a random feed on Facebook that I found Plant It Loud!. Messaged to see if they were in need of another source for used speakers. This is how I met Chris Markferding. We discovered we are both Buffalonians and missed attending Buffalo State College at the same time by 3 months. (One thing about WNYers – we’re EVERYWHERE.)

photo by caryn of speakers donated to plant it loud!

Photo by Caryn of speakers donated to Plant It Loud!

We haul a surprising number of broken speakers, whether aftermarket car speakers or stereo system speakers. Finding a place to reuse some of the components was fantastic. I wait until we get at least 3 in before messaging Chris and she pops by the warehouse for a visit. I am looking forward to a visit to her studio to deliver the next batch.

photo courtesy of chris markferding of chris working in her studio

Photo courtesy of Chris Markferding of Chris working in her studio

You can contact Chris through Plant It Loud’s Facebook page or if you are in Nashville you can see her work at 8th & Argyl on 8th Avenue South.

Recycling Paper and Cardboard

photo by caryn of paper and cardboard on the back of the junk king truck

Photo by Caryn of Paper and Cardboard on the Junk King Truck

At Junk King of Nashville we try not to take items to the land fill. If an item is not donatable we break it down to the lowest common denominators and recycle materials. Items that are easy in this regard are paper and cardboard. If I know of someone looking for specific boxes (moving, storage) I can donate the boxes. If not the boxes get broken down and placed in the baler with other cardboard to be taken to the local cardboard recycler.

instgram photo by caryn of cardboard getting baled

Instagram Photo by Caryn of Cardboard Getting Baled

We wait until we have at least 6 bales of cardboard ready and then we line them up for photos load them on the truck and drop them to recycling. Six bales of cardboard weighs a little over a ton – that’s right, 2,000 pounds.

Two thousand pounds not going to a landfill. Two thousand pounds of cardboard living another day as a moving, bankers, or cereal boxes, corrugated coffee cup sleeves, or paper.

photo by caryn of cardboard bales ready for the recycler

Photo by Caryn of Cardboard Bales Ready for the Recycler

According to 2,000 pounds of recycled cardboard saves 390 kWh hours of electricity, 46 gallons of oil, 6.6 million Btu’s of energy, and 9 cubic yards in the landfill. Recycling cardboard takes 24% less energy and produced 50% less sulphur dioxide than making cardboard from raw materials.

Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia

I placed the subtitle ‘Junk King of Nashville‘s Wandering Recycler’ on this blog and I’d be remiss to not mention I have wandered 2 time zones away from home.  I am presently outside of San Francisco in Burlingame, CA attending the annual Junk King convention.  Here with representatives from 38 of the 50 current franchises across the country  North America (Welcome Junk Works of Waterloo, Ontario!) we’re learning how to continue to do the best job we can hauling for our customers and recycling as much as possible.

When thinking of San Francisco, many think of this:

golden gate bridge san francisco

Photo by Caryn, Golden Gate Bridge, San Francisco, CA

Or, this:

npr graphic rice a roni

NPR’s graphic for ‘The Birth of Rice-A-Roni’

The Bay area has so many beautiful and interesting places, but right here in Burlingame is a gem of a museum – the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia. It could not take up more than 150 square feet, but it is jam packed with PEZ dispensers from across the decades and from around the world and curator Gary Doss is happy to talk about any and all of them.  By all of them I mean over 900 and they have an example of every PEZ dispenser ever sold.

burlingame museum of pez memorabilia

Photo by Caryn, interior of the Burlingame Museum of PEZ Memorabilia, Burlingame, CA

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