Summerlin Vegas – Everything has a purpose and there’s a purpose for every thing. Problem is, sometimes once things have served their purpose disposing of them becomes a problem. This is true in communities from Summerlin Vegas to states as far north as Maine. Zachary Delbex, founder and CEO of Repurpose America in Las Vegas, hopes to one day use “repurposed” items in the creation of home Las Vegas and Summerlin homes, as well as in new construction throughout the area.
If Delbex’s vision comes true, one day Las Vegas condos for sale and homes for sale in Henderson, Nevada will feature materials gleaned from events like the 18,000-plus trade shows hosted annually by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. A great lot of this material—things like magnetic material, wood laminate and discarded planters—is left behind by outgoing conventions and in the past has merely been thrown out, creating mountains of landfill waste over the years.
Delbex’s company is in the business of finding new purposes for this discarded material. Vinyl signs, for instance, are usually found in abundance at any convention. Repurpose America took those signs and created a shade canopy for a preschool’s playground. The vinyl was stitched together but not bleached; the original messages remain. This sends the new age message that yes, these materials are 100 percent recycled.
Another recent Repurpose America project was the creation of a laboratory for a design school on Vegas Valley drive. Materials for that project were salvaged from a convention exhibit. Everything from the wood paneling to cabinet drawers were gleaned from the exhibit booth and used in the project, even a sink. Delbex calls the project the greenest house in the valley. The construction project is run by instructors Tim Litz and Fausto Vega, who estimated the company supplied around $10,000 in materials and gave students a chance to develop experience in all phases of the construction project.
Additionally, it passes along to students lessons in living an ecologically sound existence.
With experts estimating that only about 15 percent of recyclable materials actually finding their way to recycling facility, Delbex’s repurposing project is seen by local government officials as a great way to reduce landfill. In addition, repurposing companies such as Delbex’s provide jobs and contribute to the local economy.
Repurpose America, in fact, makes a point of hiring wounded veterans and others with disabilities whenever possible.
Delbex began working as a Teamster at age 19 and since then has worked hundreds of Las Vegas conventions setting up and taking down booths. It was while performing these duties that he noticed the materials being hauled away, much of which was in perfectly good shape and still usable. Foamcore, the lightweight material used in many posters, for instance, has so many purposes Delbex can barely keep up with the need despite the material’s heavy use at virtually all conventions.
Other materials require no repurposing at all, but merely relocation. A recent convention brought in 300 small, clip-on fans. When the convention was over organizers were ready to simply discard the fans. Delbex instead put them to work in school portables. So not only was a landfill spared 300 perfectly good fans, legions of students will be a little cooler this coming summer.