But plexiglass can be reused. This corresponds to the objectives of Austin Creative Reuse, a non-profit organization that resells donated material – ranging from traditional arts and crafts supplies to power tools. The association wants consumers to favor the reuse of materials for projects. It accepts donations from individuals and businesses and sells them below market price.
Jen Mack, director of the nonprofit, said Austin Creative Reuse sells plexiglass for about a dollar or less per square foot.
“Plexiglass is a great material to use for artists, and especially in the squares where the shields are,” Mack said. “There’s just a lot of usable space on it. So, yeah, why throw it away?
Mack says plexiglass can be used to make jewelry, decorative coasters, and windows for sheds or children’s toy houses.
But she says Austin Creative Reuse is a small nonprofit with limited resources, including storage. The group wants to divert the plexiglass from landfills as much as possible, but cannot take everything.
“If all the Costcos and all the HEBs in Austin donated to us, I don’t know if we could handle all of that at the same time,” she said.
Austin Habitat for Humanity ReStore, a discounted home improvement store and donation center, also accepts donations of plexiglass for resale. According to its website, the organization wants to provide low-cost building materials and prevent reusable items from going to landfill.
Pat Mallett, who works at Home town recycling, a commercial recycling service provider, said the organization has already secured some plexiglass panels. The organization is unable to recycle them, but gardeners collect them to make greenhouse windows.
“People are very creative,” Mallett said. “They will think about ways to reuse it as long as they have access to it. “
Photo caption: Plexiglass screens are installed in front of cash registers at HEB to protect workers and customers during the Covid-19 pandemic.
This story was produced as part of the Austin Monitorreporting partnership with KUT.
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