Trash Hackers Collective looks forward to seeing you in Salem for STEM Day! Girl Scouts of Oregon & SW Washington is hosting STEM Day Saturday, Nov 13th, 9am-1pm at Willamette Heritage Center, 1313 Mill St SE, Salem, OR 97301.

Sou’Wester Arts Week

Hello 2021. Hello Sou’wester Arts Week. We are grateful to be invited as a participant to this residency and look forward to providing a roaming artistic platform to include pieces made with disposed of materials sourced from beach walks highlighting mold making and extruded studies of local flora and waste with custom machinery. With Covid-safety in mind, participants and internet onlookers will be invited to experience the material transformation: from waste to raw material to art objects.

Hello 2020 ~ ❄️ Huge THANK YOU to donors! Slow and steady 🐢 We moved part of our operations to Hedron Hackerspace and schematics of our operation are in the works.

In addition, we have been awarded two grants! Our mobile art-making project will be funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council AND upcoming workshops will be funded in part by Precipice Fund via PICA.

We are truly grateful. Thank you. On that note, stay tuned!

Trash Hackers @ OMSI Mini MakerFaire

Sat + Sun, Sept 7 – 8, 2019

Trash Hackers will have a booth at the Portland Mini Maker Faire at OMSI. For tickets and information, visit:

Trash Hackers Show @ PCC Paragon Gallery

show card for Trash Hackers cover image: Midori Hirose, WSFN1, Recycled Polylactic Acid, 2019
Trash Hackers, cover image: Midori Hirose, WSFN1, Recycled Polylactic Acid, 2019.

Darcy and Midori have been working with PCC Paragon Gallery, organizing the Trash Hackers show, opening July 17. The show will include art, samples, and experiments from members of Trash Hackers Collective.

Photo collage showing architectural recycled plastic beams.
Architectural recycled plastic beams, created by Emma Prichard. Produced with help by Midori, Francesca and Darcy.

We’re excited to be including Emma’s architectural beams, a technique she has developed using her Precious Plastic system (with an injection mold machine). Emma uses the molded beams to make lathed recycled wine stoppers for Plastic Lizard Recycling, her business. However, on their own, they are also beautiful sculpture.

Trash Hackers @ Mississippi Street Fair

The 2019 Mississippi Street fair is Saturday July 13th from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm. Image: MSF Logo and Emma at booth.

Emma, founder and owner of Plastic Lizard Recycling and fellow Trash Hackers member will be hosting a booth at the Mississippi Street Fair. Find us on Mississippi, across the street from Rebuilding Center on Sat, 7/13, 10am-9pm.

Bioplastic Cups with crackedpots @ Edgefield

image collage describing project: showing bioplastic waste cups, card for crackedpots ReUse Art show, shredded bioplastic, sea animal figures
Waste bioplastic cups collected from Edgefield for crackedpots project. Animal prototypes.

Alice reached out to Tess Beistel at crackedpots, who invited Trash Hackers to their 20th Anniversary ReUse Arts Show. Francesca wondered if something could be done with the bioplastic cups used for beer at events–they are neither recycled nor wanted by composters in our region. Tess worked with her contacts at Edgefield to collect 500 used cups. We offered the following solution for the event: sea animal tokens made from waste cups sourced from the event.

Photo collage showing process of recycling bioplastic cups to festival tokens.
Recycling bioplastic cups: clean, dry, crush, shred, bake, laser cut.
image collage describing project: final figures, booth staging, mobile cleaning unit
Final prep for crackedpots show: sea animal tokens, booth layout prep, mobile cleaning unit.

Tokens will be given to attendees who will process bioplastic cups during our hourly plastic shredding demos. Alice and Francesca are making tokens and infographics, Midori is curating our booth and Darcy is building the machines for the demo. Come see us at Edgefield Tues 7/9 and Wed 7/10!

Thanks to Tess and crackedpots, Edgefield for their support, ScrapPDX for a material grant, PCC Cascade Fab Lab for their laser cutter, Jeff Rowles and Psychic Bar for washing equipment, and Jeremy for extra help.


A plastic recycling collection will happen during the month of July at Paragon Gallery. The mobile cleaning and shredding units (built by Darcy) will also be on display and be put to use in a Shredcore demo, August 3.

Recycled Jewelry and Gems

image collage describing project: jewelry made from recycled plastic
Earrings made from various recycled plastic types by Midori and Recycled Gems by Darcy at the Recycled Arts Festival. Close-up detail of earrings by Midori.

Midori and Darcy have been designing and making laser-cut jewelry and gems to sell at various summer festivals as fundraisers for Trash Hackers and to show people the beauty of recycled plastic.

The base material for much of the jewelry is PLA plastic used in 3D printing machines. Both pre-consumer waste from Proto Pasta’s filament production and post-consumer waste in the form of failed 3D prints, collected by Darcy from the Portland 3D Printing Lab meetup group.

image collage describing project: 3D printing waste filament made into recycled jem jewelry
Recycled Gems made by Darcy using 3D printing waste from Proto Pasta filament.

Darcy has developed a process using laser-etching to bring out higher contrast in the gem designs. Meanwhile, Midori is experimenting with a variety of plastics in her jewelry: straws collected from bars, failed 3D prints and recycled plastic from caps and containers re-shredded and melted.

Find these items for sale, along with Plastic Lizard wares, at the upcoming events: crackedpots ReUse Art Show 7/9-7/10, The Trash Lab booth and at the Mississippi Street Fair 7/13 for the Trash Hackers + Plastic Lizard booth.

Recent/Ongoing Projects

Bottle Cap Collection

showing stages of THC bottle cap collection project
Laser cut containers distributed to Historic Mississippi Ave. Business Association for collection. Collected bottle caps. Sheet melt test for use in potential products.

Bottle caps are not accepted in our regional recycling pickups; their small size is a problem for the machinery, leading to recycling contamination during the sorting process. Darcy made laser-cut bottle cap collection boxes out of waste cardboard. Midori reached out to the Historic Mississippi Avenue Business Association and distributed the containers for collection. Once materials were returned, Midori is creating ongoing sheet melt tests to see if this material can be made into precious material.

Single-Use Straws to Coasters

image collage describing project: unwanted single-use straws, made into sheets, returned durable coasters
Unwanted single-use straws, recycled into sheets, returned to the bar as durable coasters.

Straws have been highlighted by environmental groups looking to shift our reliance on single-use plastics. While site scouting, Midori noticed that she could use some coasters to set drinks on. What if she took all the bar’s unwanted straws and returned them back to them in the form of coasters for the bar?

Proto Pasta Keychains

image collage describing project: 3D printing waste filament, keychains made from recycled filament, promo giveaway
Waste from Proto Pasta’s 3D printing filament, recycled keychains, packaged for subscribers.

Midori had previously partnered with the folks at Proto Pasta and Portland 3D Printing Lab as materials source partner for PVAC/MNP and Form. She continues to grow these partnerships with Trash Hackers. Recently, Midori, Francesca and Darcy completed a batch of Proto Pasta keychains made from the company’s own waste stream. Proto Pasta is a local 3D printing filament maker. PLA filament is not currently collected by conventional recyclers, but it is a high-quality plastic worth re-purposing. The keychains were designed by Darcy and lasercut from recycled sheets made by Midori.

Ventilation and Safer DIY Plastics

Photo collage showing research book on plastics and health, Emma's model for a vent system, mask-safety training.
Francesca and Emma are researching plastics, Emma’s model for a vent hood, at Emma’s for a mask-safety demo.

Emma has been a voice to bring awareness of “occupational hygiene” (a.k.a. safety and ventilation) in the DIY plastic recycling community. Since joining Trash Hackers, she and Francesca have been deep into research for creating a low-cost kit for VOC sensors and a carbon filter system. Their efforts have already improved the ventilation for the Trash Hackers’ oven located at YU. Emma has been instrumental in teaching all of us how to properly fit, work with and store our respirators.