NEW PORT RICHEY — Keep Pasco Beautiful is encouraging residents to get creative with recyclable materials in an effort to curb waste. Upcycling is not a fad but something you might even remember your grandparents doing.

County artists and vendors will be showcasing how they’ve upcycled materials from silverware to tires. The sixth annual Pasco Upcycle & Arts Festival is scheduled for 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 6, at Sims Park, 6341 Sims Lane, New Port Richey.

The festival is being held in conjunction with America Recycles Day, which is celebrated nationally on Nov. 15. Attendees can enjoy live music, a farmer’s market, food trucks and vendors.

Upcycling is another term for reuse or the transformation of unwanted waste into new materials or products. Some people reuse their glass jars to hold nails and screws in the garage; others may take coffee cans and use them as flower pots.

“We work really hard to make sure that it doesn’t have a commercial feel,” said Kristen King, Keep Pasco Beautiful Coordinator. “It’s a bunch of like-minded artists who are showing some of the creative things they’re doing. There’s a great energy that comes from the event.”

Education is an important aspect to the event, as Keep Pasco Beautiful aims to inform residents of the benefits of upcycling and waste reduction. Attendees will be able to spot signs around the park that list some facts about waste reduction and how people can address sustainability issues themselves.

Everyone knows the three R’s: reduce, reuse, recycle, King said, adding that recycling should actually be the last thing we do. Keep Pasco Beautiful is aiming to get people thinking how they can use less, repurpose more and reduce their carbon footprint.

Rachelle Dobbs, Pasco County’s recycling supervisor, said the recycling department sees a lot of “wish cycling.”

This is where people, not knowing if something is recyclable or not, put it in the recycling bin, thinking it’ll just get sorted out. This in fact just causes a big problem for the machines that sort out the recycling. If in doubt, Dobbs said, contact the county’s public infrastructure branch or stick with recycling what you know can be recycled.

“Think globally and act locally,” Dobbs said. “Collectively, it has an enormous impact.”

In Dobb’s effort to educate people on recycling, she said she likes to make two approaches. The first is in how to get people started with recycling and the other is on doing it right. If you don’t currently have a recycle pickup, Dobbs explained, you can call your trash hauler for a container and pay a small fee each month or you can call the county to receive a decal to place on a bin you already own. The decal will tell you what can and can’t be recycled in Pasco County.

Recyclable materials include clean and dry paper, cardboard, plastic bottles, aluminum cans and metal food cans. Items such as magazines, newspapers, junk mail, wrapping paper, moving boxes, cereal boxes, milk bottles, small containers, jugs and tuna fish cans can be tossed in the recycle bin.

Plastic bags and Styrofoam, however, are considered a big “no-no” as they don’t go through the machines properly. Other items that are too big to be recycled, such as car bumpers, furniture and water heaters, can be picked up by calling your garbage pickup in advance or can be brought to the West Pasco Recycling Center at 14606 Hays Road, Spring Hill, or the East Pasco Recycling Center at 9626 Handcart Road, Dade City. The recycling center also takes in old gas, paint, and fertilizers but not toxic waste.

For more information about the Pasco Upcycle & Arts Festival, call (727) 834-3611. To learn more about waste reduction and recycling, email or call (727) 856-4539 and like Pasco County Solid Waste and Recycling on Facebook.