Dori Tiller and Shelley Clagg

Tuesday, August 2, 2016

Dori Tiller and Shelley Clagg

Interview by: Jake Holtzman

Dori Tiller and Shelley Clagg are committed residents at John Frederick Oberlin (JFO) Homes who put together a recycling program at the John Frederick Oberlin (JFO) apartment complex. For both of them, recycling and reusing have come to feel very natural, and they are working hard to share this spirit with other members of the Oberlin community.

Q: What are some words or images that come to mind when describing Oberlin?

Dori: Oberlin is the obvious college town. The college is a good thing in the town.

Shelly: When I think of Oberlin I think of when I was a kid coming into Tappan Square and seeing the squirrels. To me, Oberlin has always had a little touch of nature and always had that little touch of being connected to things differently. Oberlin is more progressive I think.

Keep remaking and keep reusing over and over and over again, so the Earth doesnt run out.

Q: How would you define sustainability for yourselves?

Dori: You dont use up everything. Keep remaking and keep reusing over and over and over again, so the Earth doesnt run out.

Q: Can you talk about some of the sustainable action youre taking here at JFO and in your own lives?

Shelly: Well I know that weve done a few times, with our craft day, encouraging people to bring a plastic bottle or something and decorate it. They could use it as a homemade piggy bank. A couple people I think popped the lids off and made pencil holders.

Dori: Personally, we reuse as much as we possibly can. Ive got two totes of used jeans and I made my grandkids backpacks out of those jeans, and this is the third year theyre using them. A lot of things can be used two or three or four times.

Shelly: She takes her granddaughters mismatched socks and makes cat toys. I make dream catchers as a hobby and Ive kind of expanded on that and call them theme catchers. And so I took a hoop and had hanging off of it various items that I found literally in the trash.

Q: So youve both been doing these kind of things before?

Dori: Oh yeah, even when I had my home outside of town I took things to [BFI-Lorain County Recyclery] myself. It was just natural for me. Today I look for metal in the dumpster, and I give it to my daughter and my son-in-law and they take it to the scrapyard. It gets the metal out of the landfill.

Shelly: And we took a mattress frame and put it by our sign, hung milk jugs and coffee cans, and planted flowers in those.

Dori: The best one was the potty chair. I was at a garage sale down in Wellington and they had this potty chair, it was an old potty chair that had been painted. Paint coming off of it, really looked bad. And I asked the woman, how much you selling that for? And she says No, no, nobodys gonna want that. I said, Ill give you two bucks for it. So I took it and I put it out by the front and I planted flowers in it. And everybody loved it! They just thought it was great.

Shelly: And we used the five gallon paint buckets, and filled them up. We didnt paint the buckets. But we didnt want to! We wanted to show that they were used paint buckets.

Q: When did you start doing the recycling program at JFO?

Dori: It was last year that we went full swing. And [recycling has] come second nature to us. I mean, we have about half of our residents recycling now. Weve expanded cause now weve got a bin on top of the rack that we collect plastic bags in. We take them down to WalMart and recycle those. We started out with one bin for plastics. Now we have two bins and were thinking we might need a third one. We took 2100 pounds of paper last year to Prospect school. It is just a natural thing to do.

[recycling has] become second nature to us.

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