In the peculiar industrial area lying on the outskirts between Eugene and Springfield, we enter Glenwood that is home to all that is “going green” in Eugene. BRING recycling, located at the edge of town right before the Springfield bridge, views recycling as their core community value and serves as a way to connect the small town community by volunteering, learning about reusable building materials and overall working together to help better not only their small community, but the world at large reducing the worlds carbon footprint by clearing landfills one piece of junk at a time.
Rated as “Best Environmentally Friendly Business”–picked by the readers of Eugene weekly from Eugene Weekly’s Best of Eugene for 2011-2012, cashier Gary Knox who has worked at BRING Recycling for the past three years, shares the joys he takes in working part time at this forward thinking recycling facility that has helped the community come together for the past 41 years.
“…It’s an intriguing area”, Knox says as he describes the town of Glenwood. “I’m from SE Eugene and commute about 10-12 miles twice a week to work here and always enjoy interacting with the customers and seeing all the crazy things that get donated everyday.” Says Knox.
After living in San Diego for over 50 years, Knox was in for a drastic change as he got tired of the California sunshine and wanted to experience Oregon for the sole reason being that “Oregon is green”. BRING Recycling, among its slightly smelly, dirty and workshop esque building is home to countless isles and yards full of every kind of house old tool and knick knack that one could imagine; a dumpster divers paradise.
It is impossible to not have your eyes wander in amazement at all of the clever artwork possessing the same kind of patented Eugene flavor with eclectic, funky sculptures and creations made by artists and local volunteers from the community that come in and give the facility a kind of hippy edge; sparking ideas and possibilities as regular customers come through on the daily in search of repurposed things for remodels for their homes and other projects.
Lying on the front desk are flyers and brochures promoting local artists such as Jud Turner that have contributed their artistic talents into BRING Recycling showing just how small and different the community of Glenwood really is among the blurred city lines as a forgotten and looked over stretch of land with an unknown future.