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Center for Adaptive Innovation, Resilience, Ethics & Science

Developing sustainable solutions that benefit people & planet

ReConnections turns rubbish into rhythm

ReConnectionCAIRES is developing a program that transforms rubbish into rhythm. Partnering with a local non-profit organization, (Re)Connection partners UF Student Volunteers with Gainesville’s special needs community. Adults with developmental disabilities accompanied by UF volunteers collect targeted waste materials from local businesses and transform this refuse into functional musical instruments.

The instruments are given to schools for their music programs and sold at local art shows and farmer’s markets. Unique and beautiful chimes, bells, drums, ukuleles, banjos and a host of other percussion and string instruments are made from materials that otherwise would be thrown away. Instead of watching useful resources end up in landfills, the local community witnesses music brighten the lives of residents young and old while developmentally disabled adults gain crucial skills and make lasting friendships. UF student volunteers have an experience never to be forgotten. We all know that conserving natural resources entails the 3 R’s: reducing, reusing, and recycling. Sustainability also entails helping all members of the community, including those with special needs, lead rich lives full of purpose and connection. Sustainability is about reducing, reusing, recycling and ReConnection!