On February 27th, our team of students and our faculty adviser, Dr. Shay, traveled to Durham to meet with the newly formed Durham Re-Use Network at the Scrap Exchange. The Scrap Exchange, a Durham-based nonprofit focused on collecting materials that would otherwise be dumped in a landfill and lost as resources. Their products are often either reused by individuals or upcycled into pieces of art. You can learn more about the Scrap Exchange on their website.

Our meeting included our team; our faculty adviser; Ann Woodward, the Executive Director of the Scrap Exchange; Blair Pollack of Orange County Solid Waste; Muriel Williman from the Orange County Office of Waste Management; Rick Morgan from the Reuse Warehouse; Larry Hearst from Triangle E-Cycling; Bob Savino of Greensboro’s Mattress-Go-Round; and Steve Schewel of Durham City Council.

During our discussion of the feasibility of creating an Eco-Industrial Park, we found that a Reuse District setup seemed far more plausible. In this type of arrangement, the businesses cooperating in our project would be located in the near vicinity of the Durham Waste Transfer Station in order to more efficiently pull the so-called waste from the waste stream and reuse or re-purpose these items. People dropping off trash would also have increased access to the services of these businesses and would hopefully be more likely to try and keep useable items out of the landfill.