Cracked Pots Retail Store ReClaim It! Diverted Over 500,000 Pounds of Reusable Materials from the Oregon Metro Transfer Station in Five Years

The ReClaim It! store recently reached a crucial milestone in waste reduction when it surpassed 500,000 pounds of materials saved from the Metro Transfer Station since operations began in 2014. The North Portland store, a nonprofit project run largely by volunteers, salvages items and materials from the Metro Central Transfer Station (aka “the dump.”) The store cleans and sells a variety of treasures for people to reuse, repair, and reimagine.

You name it, and ReClaim It! volunteers have gleaned it: a vintage wall telephone, original artwork, designer chairs, sterling silver pieces, historic photos, ceramic pots, concrete fountains, mid-century modern furniture, and yes, even the proverbial kitchen sink — this one, stainless steel!

Environmental nonprofit Cracked Pots launched the ReClaim It! retail store five years ago.  Cracked Pots was founded in 1998 by garden designer and artists Tess Beistel and MaryLou Abeln. The Reuse Art Show at Edgefield that launched the scrappy nonprofit held its 20th show this summer featuring nearly 100 artists. They also co-sponsor the GLEAN artist in residence program, which awards stipends to five artists and challenges them to create collections from items personally gleaned from the Transfer Station. Through its programs and partnerships, the nonprofit uses art to educate and encourage the community to creatively look at trash.

“To divert over half a million pounds from the landfill is an amazing accomplishment,” stated Beistel. “We’re a group of people passionate about reuse, and we are delighted to bring things back into circulation.” Hitting the 500,000-pound mark as the ReClaim It! store turns five and Cracked Pots reaches 20 years is a significant feat. “We’re a small, sassy, smart team dedicated to the mission of waste reduction.” The nonprofit wants to celebrate this milestone and thank its staff, volunteers, and partners who continue to enthusiastically support its mission.

Not wasting any of that momentum, Cracked Pots is hosting a holiday pop-up shop in the St. Johns neighborhood this December. The reuse themed store will feature fine art and craft by 40 artists that utilize reclaimed materials. The new program aspires to offer shoppers an alternate source for gifts. All items are at least 80% upcycled. Sharing the retail space, a ReClaim It! pop-up shop will feature a collection of the best finds gleaned from the waste stream this year.

Cracked Pots programs creatively integrate using reclaimed materials; diverting materials headed for local landfills; and linking artists, businesses, the public, and environmental, educational and arts groups. Creative reuse is at the heart of all we do.

ReClaim It! is located at 1 N. Killingsworth St. in North Portland and is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Wednesday through Sunday. For more information, visit www.reclaimitpdx.org.

The Cracked Pots Holiday Pop-Up Shop will be open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m., Thursday through Sunday, December 5–22, at 7410 N. Chicago Ave. in North Portland. For more information, visit www.crackedpots.org/holidaypopup.

Cracked Pots partners with Metro, a regional government whose responsibilities include managing solid waste and recycling, and Recology, an employee-owned company that manages resource recovery facilities.