By Samantha Joseph
MARTIN COUNTY - The Hobe Sound Women's Club is talking trash, or rather ways to turn garbage into material for art.
The General Federation of Women's Clubs and Hobe Sound Women's Club have joined forces with its Stuart counterpart to work on a plan to bring a major recycling project to the county.
The groups hope to open a local branch of the Resource Depot, a center that prevents useful corporate discards, samples and scraps from ending up in landfills.
"This is a perfect location," said Elaine Kwan, arts chairman of the Hobe Sound Women's Club.
The nearest Resource Center is in Rivera Beach and is one of 20 in the state and 40 nationwide.
Creating a local one would prevent tons of still-useful material from going to waste, the women's group said.
Depot crews collect clean and safe products from businesses and make them available to teachers from nonprofits for use in projects such as arts and crafts.
The timing's right, too, because of financial shortfalls that leave many classrooms struggling for such material, Ms. Kwan said.
"It's a way for people to express themselves. They make things out of recycled material, and the schools love it," she said.
Businesses that recycle through the program also enjoy a valuable perk.
"They get a tax deduction, fair market value for their discards, which otherwise would just end up in a landfill," Ms. Kwan said.
The Hobe Sound Women's Club is working to rev up support for the idea of bringing the nonprofit to town.
It's organized its latest "Treasures from Trash" workshop for 1-3 p.m. on Sept. 8 at the Robert Morgade Library at the Indian River State College campus, 5851 S.E. Community Drive, just off Salerno Road in Stuart.
The presenter will be Walter Drew, founder of the Reusable Resources Association in Florida.
"His vision is to get the businesses to work with the community and give children and others an inexpensive means of creative expression," Ms. Kwan said.
For more information, call (772) 545-9939.