Make your own tile with the Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab

The Precious Plastic Lab in Lakes Area is hosting several events this summer where residents can learn about plastic waste and do practical recycling and art.

The lab is a plastic recycling makerspace at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center, which began in Fall 2020 with a Changemaker grant from the West Central Initiative. According to a press release from Otter Tail County, the Plastic Lab has a shredder, compression oven, extrusion machine, and injection molding machine, as well as molds that can be used to recycle plastic waste into objects like bowls, tiles, letters, or art.

The goal of Precious Plastic, a global community of recycling innovators, is to encourage people to view plastic as a “precious” resource rather than a throwaway product by turning waste plastic into durable and beautiful items.

You can make an injection-molded, recycled plastic tile at pop-up events at the Springboard for the Arts and the New York Mills Cultural Center. Local artists have also created art and other items in the Plastic Lab, which will be on view on August 10 at the first public open day.

Pop-up events for the production of an injection molded tile:

  • Thursday, July 22nd from 5pm to 8pm at the Springboard for the Arts, 201 W Lincoln Ave., Fergus Falls
  • Tuesday, August 3, 4-6pm at the New York Mills Cultural Center, 24 N Main Ave., New York Mills

Open House is Tuesday, August 10, 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center, 1115 N Tower Road, Fergus Falls. A project overview and artist introductions will take place at 5:30 p.m. along with machine demonstrations that will create an injection molded tile and collaborative plastic art installation throughout the evening.

The Plastic Lab is available as a workplace for people who have completed an orientation event with employees. If you are interested in learning how to use the machines, contact Cedar Walters at 218-998-8914 or [email protected]

You can find more information about the project at ottertailcountymn.us/lakes-area-precious-plastic-mix-workspace/ or www.facebook.com/groups/lakesareapreciousplastic.

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