Artist residency projects involving solid waste and reuse:

Recology, San Francisco, USA

The Artist in Residence (AIR) Program at Recology San Francisco is a unique art and education program that provides Bay Area artists with access to discarded materials, a stipend, and a large studio space at the Recology San Francisco Recycling and Transfer Station. By supporting artists who work with reused materials, Recology hopes to encourage people to conserve natural resources and promote new ways of thinking about art and the environment.

There's a book about it:

Art at the Dump: The Artist in Residence Program and Environmental Learning Center at Recology documents the twenty-five year history of the art and education program at Recology, San Francisco’s provider of collection, recycling, disposal, and composting services. This one-of-a-kind initiative enables artists to work with materials taken directly from the city of San Francisco’s waste stream, while teaching the public about recycling and resource conservation. Art at the Dump presents profiles of the 106 artists who have participated in the program since its founding, and provides reproductions of their artwork. Work in a variety of mediums—sculpture, photography, painting, drawing, performance, video, textiles, and musical composition—is represented, and often runs counter to traditional notions of what art made from found materials should be. The founding of the program, student artists-in-residence, on-site sculpture garden, and off-site exhibitions program are also detailed. Just as tours of the facility and program prompt visitors to think more deeply about materials and their own consumption habits, this book will educate and inspire readers.

Mentioned here

This resource recovery company hosts a Bay Area residency program that gives artists access to discarded materials from the community, as well as studio space at the San Francisco Solid Waste Transfer and Recycling Center. The program dates back to 1990, when it was established to inspire the community to conserve natural resources and support local artists. “Recology provides me with a view into San Francisco’s social landscape through materials recovered from the city’s waste stream,” says Weston Teruya, whose residency runs February–May 2016. “It’s a unique opportunity to learn and generate work from the unexpected details and complexities of life in the city in at a time of change and upheaval.” Another current resident, Kate Rhoades , uses found materials to create puppets, costumes, and sets for her video project: “Being at Recology has enabled me to pursue a project that I wouldn’t have been able to make anywhere else,” she says.

More coverage here

The program, which includes a four-month residency, a stipend, access to Recology’s large art studio, miscellaneous supplies and equipment and a spot in a three-day public exhibition, challenges residents to create artistic works of art from materials found in Recology’s public disposal and recycling area. “One of the most unique things about this program is the fact that many of the same materials enter our waste stream over and over again, and so far, more than 150 artists-in-residence have responded differently to using those materials for artistic purposes,” says Recology Artist in Residence Program Manager Deborah Munk. Recology receives more than 100 program applications annually, and together with an advisory board, the company selects nine residents to participate in the program each year. The selected residents, which rotate every four months, are expected to work in Recology’s studio either 40 hour per week for a full-time residency or 20 hours per week for a part-time residency, greet and speak to weekly and monthly tour groups, craft three pieces of art for Recology’s permanent art collection, converse with the media and leave all art created during the residency with Recology for 12 months for exhibition purposes at various offsite venues.

Monterey Regional Waste Management District, USA

Monterey Regional Waste Management District (MRWMD) and the Visual and Public Art (VPA) Program at California State University Monterey Bay (CSUMB) have teamed up to create an Artist in Residence Program. Beginning January 2016, the collaborative partnership will allow VPA students to salvage for discarded materials and upcycle them into art. The partnership will draw upon the expertise of CSUMB VPA faculty, who will mentor the student participants. MRWMD will provide access for material salvaging from Last Chance Mercantile and the Materials Recovery Facility. VPA artists will work and create in the yard at Last Chance Mercantile, providing the general public the opportunity to watch and engage with the artists.

New Westsminster, Canada

The Arts Services Department in partnership with the Solid Waste and Recycling branch of the Engineering Operations at the City of New Westminster is launching an Artist in Residence Program. The Solid Waste and Recycling Artist in Residence Program will accommodate artists and artist collectives working in sculpture, print, fibre, drawing, painting, literary arts, music, dance and performance for a five month period for research, development and production of new or ongoing bodies of work. As part of the residency, the selected artist will create a project that will be installed in the public realm or on public infrastructure. For example, opportuniti es exist to create designs for vinyl wraps that can be applied on recycling and waste disposal bins, garbage trucks or other available public spaces and facilities. In addition, the artists will facilitate an outreach project for the local community that may include school groups, youth and seniors and other public audiences to further disseminate their ideas while working in the Solid Waste and Recycling Artist Residency

Edmonton, Canada

It’s said that art is in the eye of the beholder, and the City of Edmonton is hoping one man’s trash will become another man’s treasure — or at least, inspiration. The Edmonton Arts Council not-for-profit organization is inviting local artists to submit a proposal to become the first artist-in-residence hosted by the city’s waste management centre.

RAIR - Recycled Artist in Residence, Philadelphia, USA.

The apposite adage, “one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” is perhaps the best way to describe the mission of Recycled Artist In Residency (RAIR). The Philadelphia-based artist residency program that allows artists access to 400 tons of recycled trash to source materials for upcoming projects. The contemporary works created from what the program’s coordinator Lucia Thome calls “clean waste” is used to achieve the resident artist’s vision and raise awareness about sustainability issues through art and design. “RAIR is an artist-in-residency program with traditional artist studio space but we are situated within Revolution Recovery, a construction and demolition waste recycling center. We are trying to challenge the wasteful culture specifically in art and design,” Thome tells The Creators Project. The residency that was cofounded in 2009 by Fern Gookin and artist Billy Blaise Dufala.

Also worth mentioning are the Recycling Olympic Games:

Recycling Olympic Games (ROG) is an alternative sports event that is focused on creative waste reusing where international teams compete for the title of “UpCycling Champion” and a trophy.

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