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PROPOSAL: C.U.R.B.: Changing Urban Refuse in Boston

Saturday, May 4, 2013 | Posted by Alex

Emily Rath & Bricia Trejo

Describe your project.
Every trash day, we see numerous pieces of salvageable furniture sitting on the curb next to trash bags. At the same time, we see people finding ways to make ends meet, including rummaging through other people’s refuse.

The aim of our project is to take furniture and people off of the streets of Boston. We want to empower people by teaching them how to fix and refinish furniture. We want to share our knowledge and help people attain skills that can transfer to other opportunities and means of support. In a city filled with colleges, we believe that there is a market for this affordable and renewed furniture.

How will you use the grant?
Because our main supplies (paint and furniture) will be little to no cost, we will use this funding to cover promotional costs. These costs include creating a website along with a video that communicates our mission and our vision and will help garner support for our project. In the near future, we plan to rent a space to house the furniture.

Why and to whom is your project important?
Americans throw away an estimated 7.1 pounds of trash per day. Add it up, and over a lifetime this totals to more than 100 tons of trash. Statistics for 2005 estimated that 8.8 million tons of furniture ended up in U.S. landfills. Helping people make use of materials that would otherwise go into the landfill is not only about human empowerment but it is also about caring for our environment.

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