Carbonear Green Team turns recyclables into art

By Chris Lewis/August 19, 2021

The members of Carbonear’s Green Team have been busy making art from scraps.

This year’s Green Team consists of Autumn Lambert and Jessie King. Both students have spent the last five weeks working on taking Carbonear’s forgotten recyclables and turning it into a work of art.

Kerri Abbott, the Town’s Economic Development and Tourism Officer, who oversaw the Green Team’s project, said the goal was to kickstart a discussion in the community about recycling.

“We have a low recycling rate in Carbonear, and so we wanted to try and bring a bit of a magnifying glass to that and get people to start thinking about it,” she said. “We’ve done the stats, done the posters, sent out mail-outs, and it just doesn’t take. So, what we decided to try and do was to take some recycled materials and make an art piece out of it. I hope that when people see that, they’ll also see the amount of waste that will end up in a landfill if it’s not recycled. We want them to see it in a different light.”

Abbott described the different views on recycling in Lambert and King’s generation compared to older generations. She said the younger folk are faced with recycling reminders on an almost daily basis through school and other programs they get involved in, and recycling has become a pretty common practice among them.

“Even still, there are so many people who don’t recycle,” she said.

This became readily apparent to Abbott when she began taking Green Team employees on tours around the community and they would notice the number of cans left along the sides of the road.

She said it bothered the students, who even went on to do a community clean up at one point.

Although that did put a dent in the number of unrecycled cans and bottles and so on, it did not solve the larger issue. But, it did provide the team with plenty of recyclables for their art project.

According to Abbott, the project is almost ready for unveiling. There is one main piece of the project, as well as some smaller pieces that will go on to be propped up around the community in places such as the Town Hall and walking trails.

The main piece is made entirely out of aluminum cans.

“It was very labour intensive,” she said. “They’ve been working on it for weeks and have gone through four different iterations of the piece before they landed on this last one. Every piece looked beautiful, though.”

Lambert was also a member of last year’s Green Team, and spent her time mapping old cart paths. For King, it is her first job.

“They’re both very creative, so it’s been so interesting to watch them work,” Lambert said. “I came up with the initial idea for the project, but I put it in their hands. What they’ve created has gone so far beyond what I ever expected. It really is a piece of art. It’s beautiful.”

King and Lambert have been documenting the process via video, which they plan to post online. The piece they’ve created came out to be about four-feet long.

“It’s so much more than what I anticipated,” Abbott said. “It blows me out of the water.”

Although Abbott did not want to reveal the art before it was done, she is eager for others to see it. The unveiling was planned for Wednesday this week.

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