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Posted on March 06, 2012 at 10:43 AM by Tom Gray
While the majority of our work at RecycleForce is focused on electronics recycling, we sometimes find ourselves in a position to help with projects around Indianapolis with a repurpose/reuse component.
That is why we are proud to partner with People for Urban Progress (PUP), a local innovation center in Indianapolis. As PUP’s chief innovator, Michael Bricker says his organization is particularly interested in projects at the intersection of transit, environment and design.
Currently, PUP is repurposing the chairs from Bush Stadium into seating for IndyGo bus stops along service routes. With only a few weeks to remove all of the chairs from the stadium, Bricker called on RecycleForce to help in the dismantling of the chairs, loading and hauling them to their interim home. Other key partners on the project are Ecolaborative, which developed the salvage project idea, and Indianapolis Fabrications.
Bricker is particularly excited about this project because it’s the first project that really hits PUP’s mission. “We think this is more emblematic of the work we aim to do.”
Just as RecycleForce keeps e-waste and other recyclables out of the trash, the Bush Stadium project keeps these unwanted relics out of a landfill. Bricker also hopes that this project will bring more attention to the notoriously underfunded bus system in Marion County. He hopes to open a few more eyes to the inadequate reality of Indy’s transit system by placing these bright yellow chairs around town.
Perhaps PUP’s best-known endeavor to date is its recycling of the roof fabric of the now-demolished RCA Dome. PUP has fashioned the white textile into wallets, clutches, messenger bags, and other accessories. Approximately five acres of the Dome roofing are stored at RecycleForce where the team cuts the fabric into manageable pieces and cleans it as well. PUP will also be turning nearly 5 miles of leftover signage from Super Bowl XLVI into a variety of products still in the prototype stage.
“I don’t want to be this organization that has this enormous workforce. We’re interested in maintaining a small staff with a large footprint,” said Bricker “For us, it’s about collaborating with organizations that do what they do really well – that helps us do what we do really well. RecycleForce has this labor force that we’re fortunate to know, and we like working with other non-profits that help people.”
RecycleForce and PUP also work well together on projects like Bush Stadium because both organizations have a social enterprise model. This means they make money in addition to, and/or instead of, receiving grants or donations in order to accomplish social good.
“Our goal is that when we do get some funding, those dollars will go a lot further because we’re being responsible about generating income for ourselves as well.”
Learn more about People for Urban Progress at peopleup.org.
Ryan Puckett of two21 LLC contributed to this post.Commenting is not available in this channel entry.