Imagine a place laden, floor to ceiling, with treasure. A space that makes you want to race down the aisles, brushing your fingertips over everything that you pass. A place where your eyes grow wide, not wanting to miss a thing. A place brimming with endless possibilities.
For me, that place is Reverse Garbage.
I first discovered Reverse Garbage years ago when I was searching Sydney for upcycled wedding decorations (glass mason jars for flower arrangements, anyone?), and have revered it ever since.
Established in 1974 by a group of teachers, Reverse Garbage collects industrial discards that would otherwise end up in landfill. Their warehouse is a treasure-trove for anybody wanting to source loose parts for just about any reason – to play with, create with, or wonder with.
One of the special things about a visit to Reverse Garbage is the permission its contents affords you. These objects are there to be ‘used up’. They have fulfilled their real-world purpose, whether it be to hold thread or to close up a bottle, and now they are ready for whatever it is you intend for them.
Which makes the objects here so perfect in play. There is nothing better for them to do, no right or wrong way, no limits beyond what you choose to set. Playing with junk like this gives permission for children (and adults) to play anyway they choose, as I wrote here.
Now that we are a mere car-ride away, and don’t have to worry about squeezing any treasure into a suitcase, Reverse Garbage will be seeing a whole lot more of this bowerbird.
8/142 Addison Rd
P.S. Early Childhood folks in the area – they have a great event just for you next week!
Other Reuse centres I dream of visiting:
(Fabulous video tours on their website)
Reuseful UK (Scrapstores)
(These guys have a great list of items with fab play value, in case you’re thinking of stocking up)
Bali Creative Reuse Centre
(Their Creative Playspace looks cool)
Lancaster Creative ReUse
(Website has a great directory of scrapstores around the USA and the world)