I just hate it when I break a dish especially one of my brightly colored pieces of Harlequin or Fiestaware. It is even difficult for me to throw the broken pieces away. I’ve seen where some people have broken dishes up into ’tiles’ and set them into interesting designs. I know that is not going to happen at my house so I frown as the colorful shards go the way of the recycling bin.
Finally a solution! While I was walking down Commercial St. in Provincetown, MA I noticed that several homeowners and at least one business owner have replaced the gravel or broken shells typically used for driveways or walking paths with broken dinnerware.
To recycle dishes this way seemed unusual so I just had to ask around. No one seemed to know how or when this got started but now everything from the chipped dinnerware of local restaurants to ceramic sinks from home renovations is brought to a corner of a local parking lot. Anyone can take what they need or just simply work off steam by breaking the recycle dish pile into small pieces.
While I don’t have a gravel driveway there are a few places in my garden where I could replace stones or gravel with colorful broken pottery. With even just one dish I could mix the pieces in with the gravel that covers the soil in my herb pots to add some flecks of color.
If you happen to be in Provincetown you can see how this looks for yourself. The small parking lot at Angel Foods on Commercial St. is where I took these pictures.
While I’ll never be happy about breaking one of my beloved colored plates or bowls I do like the idea that they can take on a new life by being recycled right in my own backyard. How do you recycle dishes? Do you have any other ideas for how you could use these colorful shards of pottery?