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“If you find something in the alley and get it and bring it to me, I want to reward that behavior,” Kearns said. “I can’t be in all the alleys.”
DeZiel similarly entered the organizing business in a roundabout way, after a series of careers that included teaching at-risk kids, fundraising for Susan G. Komen’s Race for the Cure, and working on political campaigns. She had long been moonlighting as an organizer for friends and friends-of-friends; a couple of years ago a health crisis and new marriage prompted her to figure out “how your side gig can turn into a profitable passion.”
The search for ways to reuse rubbish will only increase in coming years, Kearns and DeZiel said. Experts warn of a coming “tsunami of sofas” as baby boomer generation ages and downsizes, and already our oceans are home to “islands of garbage” larger than some states.
“There is this definite need to do things in a way that is respectful and responsible,” DeZiel said, noting that the effort can be rewarding in surprising ways. “When you let go of things in life, more comes in.”
Katy Read • 612-673-4583