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Mobile Couch: Turning Trash To Treasure At A Harlem Community Garden

Beauty Care Giant Garnier Offers Assistance To Young Campers On A Mission

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NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A Harlem Park that was severely damaged by Hurricane Sandy is getting a much needed makeover.

And it’s all thanks to a group of children and recycled products, CBS 2’s Alex Denis reported.

Union Settlement Association summer campers were hard at work Monday digging and planting for a good cause.

“We’re rebuilding our garden, because of Hurricane Sandy. She messed up our gates. So now, people just walk in and wander in and mess up our garden and throw trash in it like it’s a garbage can,” 8-year-old Kylani Rivera said.

But, the students aren’t alone in their mission to clean up El Sitio Feliz Community Garden on 104th Street in East Harlem. They’re getting help from the beauty care line, Garnier.

The program will re-build the park using only recycled beauty items, which is no small feat considering that personal care and beauty products account for one-third of all landfill waste.

Once collected, the items are sent to Terracycle, a company that specializes in making products from post-consumer materials.

“We will collect any waste that’s from any beauty or personal care product and upcycle it into useful products,” Garnier’s Lauren Consiglio said.

What is upcycling? It’s taking products that can’t typically be recycled, like makeup tubes, caps on a bottle, hair spray, and even a picnic bench, and turning them into garbage cans.

This first-of-its-kind project also features garden beds and pavers which will create a space for the campers to work.

“It’s good to know that we can always come back and use the things that we regretted throwing out,” 9-year-old Raven Doughty said.

The upcycled benches, trash cans and plant beds will frame a garden that will grow nearly 1,500 pounds of vegetables a year.

For more information about the program, click here.

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