Anyone who knows Anita Goodrich inevitably ends up at the landfill with her on some kind of adventure.
“It always amazes me how many people haven’t been to the landfill,” Goodrich says. “The minute you get onto the property and see the truckloads of things being thrown away, people — it doesn’t matter how old they are, their gender — their mouth is agape. They can’t believe it.”
Around 2011, the Tucson native started Bottle Rocket Design — a local shop that uses concrete and repurposed glass to create household items such as lamps, candles, dog bowls and tables.
Bottle Rocket Design is a family business comprised of Goodrich and her wife Stephanie Pederson. Goodrich’s 13-year-old son also helps, in addition to one part-time employee.
“I’ve done home improvement for businesses, so I had the opportunity to go to the landfill a lot and see what gets thrown away,” she says. “It’s staggering.
“I thought, ‘If I’m going to create something, I don’t want to be part of that — I want to be a solution.’”
As she was doing small home improvement projects and remodeling, some friends of hers — who are the owners of local shop Pop Cycle on Fourth Avenue — gave her a few projects to work on.
At first, Goodrich tried to make her projects with bottles themselves — but it was challenging having to find specific bottles.
“Once I found the concrete element, I was really hooked,” Goodrich says.
She shatters the glass and incorporates the shards into the concrete. Though the concrete’s setting time can take a few days, Goodrich says unmolding her creations is “like Christmas.”
The glass and recycled materials come from bars, friends and neighbors. Sometimes she’ll come home to boxes of bottles sitting on her front porch.
“It sounds silly, but at least that carton has been used two more times than it would if it was recycled or thrown in the landfill,” she says.
Contact reporter Gloria Knott at firstname.lastname@example.org or 573-4235. On Twitter: @gloriaeknott
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