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Make your own tile with the Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab

The community events are on July 22 and August 3 and 10.

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For the kick-off of the Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab, community members are invited to make injection mold tiles at area events in July 2021. Submitted photo
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The Lakes Area Precious Plastic Lab is hosting several events this summer where residents can come and learn about plastic waste and engage in some hands-on recycling and art.

The lab is a plastic recycling makerspace located in the Otter Tail County Recycling Center, which started in fall 2020 with a Changemaker grant from West Central Initiative. The Plastic Lab has a shredder, compression oven, extrusion machine and injection machine and molds that can be used to recycle waste plastic into objects like bowls, tiles, letters or art, according to an Otter Tail County news release.

The goal of Precious Plastic, a global community of recycling innovators, is to have people see plastic as a ‘precious’ resource instead of something disposable by making durable and beautiful objects out of waste plastic.

You can make an injection mold recycled plastic tile at pop-up events located at Springboard for the Arts and the New York Mills Cultural Center. Area artists have also been creating art and other items at the Plastic Lab that will be on display at the first public open house on Aug. 10.

Pop-up events for making an injection molded tile:

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

The open house is Tuesday, Aug. 10 from 4-7 p.m. at the Otter Tail County Recycling Center, 1115 N Tower Road, Fergus Falls. A project overview and artist introductions are at 5:30 p.m. along with machine demonstrations, creating an injection molded tile and a collaborative plastic art installation throughout the evening.
The Plastic Lab is available to use as a workspace for individuals who have completed an orientation session with staff. If you are interested in learning how to use the machines, contact Cedar Walters at 218-998-8914 or cwalters@co.ottertail.mn.us.

For more information about the project, visit ottertailcountymn.us/lakes-area-precious-plastic-mix-workspace/ or www.facebook.com/groups/lakesareapreciousplastic .

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