Jump to main content.


SMM Web Academy - Creative Waste Reduction and Reuse

Creative reuse, an increasingly popular trend, moves beyond the usual examples of reusing milk or soda bottles to more unconventional reuse. Join us to hear about some of the most innovative examples of creative reuse from experts in the field and how you can apply these creative techniques to help make reuse more widespread.

Why Creative Reuse?

  1. Unlike recycling, which often results in “downcycling” the value of a raw material, reuse often takes single-use or frequently discarded items and “upcycles” them to a more permanent and valuable product.
  2. The Institute for Local Self-Reliance estimates that reuse creates over 200 times more jobs than landfilling or incineration.
  3. Creative reuse serves as a mechanism for helping the general public understand reuse (and recycling) while diverting material.  This is especially obvious as reuse of packaging and other materials are integrated into art and fashion.

Speaker Bios

Professor Tom Fisher, author of Design for Re-Use: The  Life of Consumer Packaging will speak about the numerous resourceful ways people reuse packaging in their everyday lives, a phenomenon referred to “open-loop reuse”.  In light of this phenomenon, industry can help increase diversion by designing packaging to encourage open- loop reuse.

Designing for Re-Use (PDF) (16 pp, 1.4MB, About PDF)

Albe Zakes, Vice President of Marketing for Terracycle, will speak about Terracycle’s  programs to promote reuse. Terracycle, a company aiming to eliminate the idea of waste, takes hard-to-recycle single use packaging such as juice boxes and candy wrappers and makes them into desirable products like purses or kites.

TerraCycle: From Worm Poop to Upcycling! (PDF) (47 pp, 3.8MB, About PDF)

Recology’s Artist in Residence, Sharon Spain, Administrator of The Artist in Residence Program, is a great example of using reuse to increase awareness about resource conservation while simultaneously creating fantastic artwork. Recology will speak about how the Artist in Residence program provides local artists with the opportunity to create art using “waste” from San Francisco’s transfer station.

Artist in Residence Program (PDF) (43 pp, 2.9MB, About PDF)

View Video | View Transcript

Top of Page


Local Navigation




Jump to main content.