Business: Getting Creative with Recyclables


Cary, NC- Betsy Dessau’s passion for recycling and re-use began during the first Earth Day when she was in college collecting IBM punch cards. This March 31, Betsy will celebrate the opening of her new venture  the Cary Creative Center that aims to literally turn trash to treasures. The new venue is located at 155 Wilkinson Avenue near the corner of Durham Road in Downtown Cary. Betsy says she’s been recycling and reusing things her whole life and always looks at objects with a “how can I use that?” attitude.

The Seed of the Idea

The seed for the Cary Creative Center was planted in October 2009 when Betsy attended “ReUse Connex”, a symposium sponsored by the Reuse Alliance. This 2- day seminar, expo and workshop exposed her to folks from NC State’s Design and Textiles schools, EPA exhibitors, Houses For Hope and others who made and sold reuse products. They based everything on the notion of “keeping materials that could be reused out of landfills”.

The center’s grand opening is Saturday, March 31 from 10-4pm and will be a fun filled event – folks can make and take a craft, listen to live music enjoy face painting, meet the partners, and enter a raffle.


The Cary Creative Center is partnering with artist Lily Karmatz during her artist-in-residency at the Cary Arts Center from March 19-30. Cary Creative Center has provided the reuse materials for the art installation and for two Ikebana classes that Ms Karmetz is teaching on Mon. Mar 26 1-3 p.m and Wed Mar 28 6:30-8:30 p.m.  Come be inspired and see what can be created with reuse materials!

Recycling Not the Ultimate Answer

Residents of Cary are proud of the towns’ record level of recycling- but recycling is not always the answer to our landfill problems. Betsy pointed out that the typical plastic grocery bag can be recycled, but that a ton of these bags costs $4000 to recycle but only yields $34 in usable plastic! That is not a sustainable business model. The average styrofoam cup lasts in a landfill for 500 years.

ReUse It First!

Keeping items out of the landfill, and back into new uses is an idea that Betsy is passionate about. The Cary Creative Center will share that passion with others.

Betsy’s mantra is Reduce, Reuse, Re-Create with Discarded Materials Make Art not Waste…

Would You Like To Donate?

The center accepts a wide variety of items otherwise known as “trash” see the website for the complete list (its actually too long to print here!). In addition to items that can be used for crafts the center itself is in need of some items. All items are tax deductible as the center is a registered 501c(3)

  • Artist materials all kinds- have craft materials gathering dust? Bring ’em in!
  • Cash Register & tapes
  • Working Computer- have you recently upgraded yours, but your old one is still working?
  • Folding chairs & tables
  • Scissors, tie wraps, hot glue guns, tape and dispensers, staplers w. staples
  • Waste baskets
  • Powerstrips
  • Drawing or painting paper

Getting Crafty

Classes will be starting in April and most cost $15 per student for an hour and a half of instruction. Ages range from 5- through adult and current course titles include puppet making, tissue paper collage and bead making. The center will be open for open crafting Thursday and Friday evenings and Saturday afternoons. Might become a great hangout for some crafty teens looking for a safe and fun thing to do on the weekends?

For more info about the Cary Creative Center, visit their website and tell Betsy CaryCitizen sent you!

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