Recycled Materials

Help recycle old materials by reusing them in new and novel ways.
by Julie Monroe
April/May 2001
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These water meter covers were recycled to be used as stepping stones.
Photo courtesy MOTHER EARTH NEWS editors

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Your community's public works maintenance and surplus yard may be an excellent source of inexpensive, durable and usable materials for yard and garden paths. Using discarded water meter covers as paving stones, my sister and I built an eyecatching path in our front yard. While initially pleased to have discovered a source of free paving materials, we have discovered that our path has served other purposes as well, bringing delight to those who encounter it. Made of cast iron, the water meter covers we used were imprinted with the words "water meter" and, sometimes, the name of our town on their top surfaces. Countless times we have witnessed adults with smiles on their faces point at the covers, and children love skipping up and down our garden path. In addition, we feel we are doing our part to honor our local history by preserving a few of its everyday artifacts.

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