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How it all got done....

Sometime around September 1998 (or was it 1997?) Steve Trash the Eco Magician dude was visiting his friend Richard Renner the Vodvill Klown. Steve mentioned he had an idea for a car that he could pedal around a fairgrounds that would be made of found and recyclable stuff. Alas, he had neither the expertise nor time to do this but Richard realized that he did. His background as a tinkering gadgeteer and several long weeks availble to work made this seem possible to him. So he said "I'll Do It!". Some people turn their cars into junk, Richard was going to turn junk into a car.

What happened next is a series of fortunate events where Richard found a used pedal car that needed fixing instead of trashing, tons of wood at construction sites and a vareity of other found objects all hidden in the dumpsters around town. It was like finding a secret toy store each time Richard opened up a trash bin behind stores and factories. Soon he had a garage full of stuff that other people had considered trash. He knew he could find a use for it and thus change it from trash into a resource.

It took about 3 months from beginning to the point where he wanted to share his new car with others. His first job with it was in Conroe Texas which is just north of Houston. In Houston there is a large Art Car Parade full of wacky vehicles, so the folks in Conroe recognized The Recycle Cycle right away as something fun to have at their fair. Richard pedaled it around and stopped to gather a crowd. It was fun to do as kids played with it, adults wondered about it and Richard smiled - a lot. This car was going to be as much fun to play with it as it was to make.

The Recycle Cycle continues to evolve in interesting ways. Being a very accessible car it is prone to wear and tear, so things break and fall off and get replaced by whatever Richard has salvaged or found. He has aslo become an expert in glue. The golf ball game on one side still works well and so does the "Waste of Energy Machine" on the other. The pop bottle pistons got replaced by a "horn bar" so everyone can honk the car and the REcycleball game is now the Junk Drumz cart. Things get added and things fall off but the fun is always there.

"The Recycle Cycle is interactive; it's not just an object to look at. Kids play with it, experiment with the gadgets, and at the same time see how creative one can be using recycled materials. Richard makes each child's experience with the Recycle Cycle unique. He's a master at making the lessons of recycling fun and interactive."

Cindy Dubois, Children's Festival Coordinator, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavillion, Woodlands, TX


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