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Who would think you can make musical instruments out of garbage? Or even things like old car parts, broomsticks, vacuums, washing machines, trash cans, and all kinds of things we throw away every day? Things that would normally sit in a landfill for many years can be transformed into a source of beautiful music, not only for us but for our environment. There are some very talented groups that are showing people a different way to look at trash.

Stomp out Trash

Stomp is a musical performance group that uses a variety of everyday items that you see in your home, workplace, and things you may use in your daily life such as basketballs, broomsticks, and even trash cans. “Stomp Out Loud” is their world-renowned theatre show using a mixture of percussion, movement, and visual comedy that was created in England in 1991 and began performing in New York in 1994. In 2004, in celebration of the group’s 10 year anniversary in New York, Second Avenue at 8th Street was renamed Stomp Avenue. In 2006 the creators of Stomp directed a public service announcement for television called “Stomp Out Litter”, which featured the cast of the show “sweeping up” areas around New York City.

Recycled Rapping

Recycled Percussion was originally formed in 1994 for a high school talent show. The founding members were looking for a creative way to play music. It was the beginning of a new style of music known as “junk rock”. The instruments that they use to play music are rusty metal, sinks, various car parts, 50 gallon plastic barrels, fans, and vacuum machines. The band really started to take off in 1999 when they were featured on the cover of U.S.A. Today. In 2001 Recycled Percussion began touring the whole country performing over 250 shows a year. The group continued to tour for the next 10 years until they made their debut on the smash hit television show America’s Got Talent.

Stop Bashing the Earth

Bash the Trash is an organization that creates over 100 different instruments from garbage including a finger piano, tube trombone, straw oboe, and French hose (horn). They began in New York in 1988 after a barge filled with garbage was towed up and down the east coast for nearly seven months due to a shortage of landfill space. It was eventually burned and buried, but the event helped people to stop and think about better ways to dispose of our trash. BTT combines science, music, and environmental awareness. Their goal is to teach children about recycling and to get people to really look at things before throwing them away. They currently reach about 50,000 students, teachers and adults per year through performances, workshops, and other events. Each American throws away about 1600 pounds of garbage a year and it is up to each of us to be more responsible and creative. Instead of filling the earth with our trash, let’s join together and make beautiful music for everyone to enjoy.