Many thanks to Billy Dufala and the rest of the team at Recycled Artist in Residency (RAIR) for giving us an after-hours tour of their set-up at Revolution Recovery. Revolution Recovery is a recycling processing center with locations in Pennsylvania and Delaware. In Philadelphia, their facility is located in Port Richmond, right along the Delaware river. RAIR is an artist residency program that is embedded in the facility, with trained staff to sort, recover and otherwise facilitate the re-use of materials that artists identify as integral to their work.
It was interesting to hear more about the over-all process of how materials are sorted, the changing markets for their re-sale, and the industries that the materials come from. Overall, what seems to drive the continued stream of discarded materials is simply the labor cost to re-purpose materials rather than the cost to dispose of it. Convenience is King...at least at this time in the US.
Check out RAIR's website for more information.