Recycling vs. Upcycling: What is the difference?

pile of plastic bottles for recycling Over the last decade the term “Upcycling” has been coined and worked into the discourse of sustainability efforts. It appeared in William McDonough’s book, Cradle to Cradle. It has yet to earn itself mainstream popularity, but its necessity as a goal for how we should be progressing makes its definition important. Like so many things in sustainability, I come across many enthusiasts who are trying to promote the practice but may be passing around an incorrect meaning.

We all know what the basis of Recycling is: a practice that takes an item and targets it for reuse, returning it back to the cycle of daily contribution to society rather than discarding it to trash. Going to the dictionary for confirmation renders the following:

  • to treat or process (used or waste materials) so as to make suitable for reuse: recycling paper to save trees
  • to alter or adapt for new use without changing the essential form or nature of: The old factory is being recycled as a theater
  • to use again in the original form or with minimal alteration: The governor recycled some speeches from his early days
  • to cause to pass through a cycle again: to recycle laundry through a washing machine

Upcycling is described by some as reusing a material without degrading the quality and composition of the material for its next use. When plastic bottles are recycled, for instance, most often they cannot be turned back into containers associated with anything that can be ingested due to the risk of things seeping into the plastic. As a result, these usually become carpets, or toys, or winter fleeces: things that will eventually also become trash. Recycling has simply prolonged the inevitable by stretching out our waste stream and made the lifecycle costs of the material a bit less.

upcycle lifecycle diagram

In this model, upcycling becomes dually important. First, the practice reduces the amount of waste that we produce and ultimately goes into the ground for longer than any of us will be around. Secondly, it also reduces the need for new virgin material to be harvested as feedstock for new generations of product. In the case of plastic, this means less oil wells drilled. For metals, less mountains mined. For paper, less trees felled. All around this means less expended energy.

Our treatment of soda cans is closer to a true upcycling model. These aluminum containers can be melted down and made into brand new cans and in the process save over 90% of the energy required to make new ones from scratch. This cycle can continue in perpetuity, reducing energy consumption and effectively removing certain materials from the waste stream. Newsprint finds similar success.

More than once I have seen people broadcasting their “upcycling” habits like making wallets from tires, or lawn chairs from pallets, or tables from wire spools. These are examples of recycling. None of those materials are going back UP the supply chain (the series of processes that an industry uses to create a product or service.) They are just making the chain a bit longer.

Upcycling represents a truly cyclical, balanced process that all industries and companies should be aiming towards. At this point, just having the aim would be another important step. All of our products could be drastically changed if the beginning of their design started with the goal of not having them end up in a landfill. A number of ways could be utilities to train our economy into an inherent practice of reuse. My personal definition of the term ends up as:

Upcycling: A process that can be repeated in perpetuity of returning materials back to a pliable, usable form without degradation to their latent value—moving resources back up the supply chain.

It is important to note that I am not saying that recycling is a waste of time or beyond acclaim. Rather, recycling is a first step in reaching a more comprehensive and sustainable solution of waste management that can eventually limit the amount of new, virgin materials that need to be produced or mined from the earth.

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78 Responses to “Recycling vs. Upcycling: What is the difference?”

  1. That’s pretty cool. So how do we get stuff to be “upcycled”? There are recycling plants and everything, but where do you send stuff to get upcycled? Are there places that even do that?
    It reminds me of “The City of Ember”, how since they have finite supplies, they have to keep reusing and reusing everything. Except of course, we aren’t underground.
    Anyway– glad I stumbled across this blog. I’m trying to find more ways to be “eco-friendly”, so I thought this was very interesting.

    • honestly its very simple to upcycle yourself if you take some time and think about it like before you throw something away sit back and look at it and think what else would it be good for? could I change that coke bottle into a rice storage container? or those skateboards with the broken wheels into shelves?

      • However those are examples of reusing or re-cycling and not “up-cycling” as defined in this article. I think Pen2Sword was asking about where to send things to be “up-cycled” in terms of what is described here for example where “aluminum containers can be melted down and made into brand new cans and in the process save over 90% of the energy required to make new ones from scratch. This cycle can continue in perpetuity, reducing energy consumption and effectively removing certain materials from the waste stream.”

      • Yes, exactly. What she said :)

  2. Interesting – I haven’t heard of ‘upcycling’ before. I suppose it’s equivalent in material terms to the ‘reuse’ step in the classic waste hierarchy (reduce, reuse, recycle), though rather than being direct reuse of the same product, it’s reuse of the materials in an equally useful way.

    As you pointed out, the most important starting point is the design phase; unfortunately, existing products have already been designed and their production processes are often deeply entrenched and reinforced by their scale.

    Recycling is undoubtedly useful, and is a visible and conscious means for extending the useful lifetime of materials, but I wonder whether it gives a false sense of accomplishment. A full recycling bin is still a full bin…

  3. I have been so confused on the difference between upcycling and recycling. Thank you so much!

  4. hello, i am a GCSE Student for ICT. can i please use your information?

  5. hi there, i am a GCSE Student for ICT. Could I please use your information?

    • You can certainly use the article and its information in your own work. All I would ask is that you reference where you got the information with either my name and/or Intercon. In the end, the reason I write about sustainability is to help spread awareness about the problems and opportunities that exist around us, so I’m glad to hear that your school work is helping do more of the same.

      Let me know if I can be of any other help to you.

  6. As vishaal said, this years GCSE task is about Upcycling. Would it be okay for me to also use your information?

    All sources should be referenced anyway, as the GCSE requires you to state where you found your sources.

    I bet you’ll get loads of students asking this, as information on Upcycling is hard to find.

    • Plummer,

      Thanks for your interest. Similarly, I am all for distributing information. The best way for there to be more info on Upcycling is if we keep talking about it with more people, so by all means. Like you said, all sources should be referenced anyway. Good luck on your research as well. All the best.

  7. hello, i am a GCSE Student for ICT. Could I please use your information?

  8. hello, i am a GCSE student for ICT. could i use your information for my controlled assessment?

  9. Hello, I am a GCSE Student for ICT. Could I please use your information? Thank you.

  10. Hello, this years controlled assesment is on Upclying, and I have stumbled upon this article, and much to my suprise, I have found that there are lots of other students wanting to use the information in their controlled assesment too. The board requires that we get permition to use it however, so would it be ok if I was to use it in my assesment?

  11. Hi

    As part of my controlled assessment I have to research upcycling

    I would like your permission to use your idea and of course I will credit your website.

    Please inform me on whether I will be able to do this

    Ria :) x

  12. Ive been saving some things I know would be great for upcycling but dont know where to send them or take them. I live in Hampshire Co. W.V. Can you send info, or tell me where to look?

  13. Interesting article, do you have any further reading on this? I always understood upcycling to be a process of taking something unwanted and of low-value and converting it into something of a higher value hence the ‘up’ part. What you’re referring to is a more cyclical process which I imagine most would consider ‘recycling’ especially in the case of aluminium soda cans which then become more soda cans.

    Wikipedia defines upcycling as ‘converting waste materials or useless products into new materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.’ I think your definition takes into account ‘environmental value’ but not so much the ‘better quality’ part. What do you think?

    • Greetings. Thanks for stopping by!

      I think that upcycling is a newer, superior process with higher expectations than recycling, which has been around for a while now. Goals of upcycling raise the bar for how we handle our waste and shed light on the fact that we have the ability to eliminate waste streams entirely.

      When it comes to your definition, my stumbling block would be how is that different from recycling? Theoretically, turning a plastic bottle into a carpet is raising its intrinsic value. In fact just about all of our recycling measures could fit into that definition.

      The problem is that plenty of what we recycle now is not really helping, only delaying the inevitable of ending up as waste. Upcycling, by contrast breaks that trend. I think your wikipedia definition is not inaccurate, but in my mind (and I would argue, in terms of sustainability) being able to turn old tires into raw rubber creates more value and quality than turning them into wallets. Turning a plastic bottle into a pencil holder is giving use to a piece of trash. Turning it back into raw plastic is creating the opportunity for it to be turned into anything.

      • Hi!
        I followed this intersting discussion. But I wondered why the term downcycling never has been used so far.
        For my understanding our definition of upcycling is referring to downcycling, where a separation into the different components brings the material in new production process. For upcycling no major separation/modification is needed.
        Interesting how the perceptions are so different, isn’t it?

      • Turning bicycle inner tubes into bags is much better than reprocessing the rubber to then make new bags. Would save a lot of unnecessary use of energy in reprocessing the material first.

        If we eliminate the idea of waste, then the term re-cycling would better fit your up-cycling definition and re-applying materials (tyre handbag example) would refer more to backing a material up in the cycle, avoiding the energy of reprocessing. Seen in this way the reapplication of materials is much better than reprocessing.

        Maybe teaching undefined terms at GCSE level is where the problem lies. Teachers should say what it really is that happening through the use of long sentences. Might create more understanding and awareness to what is involved behind the marketing buzz word.

      • Hey Jeremy, thanks for stopping by.

        I agree that turning reprocessing rubber takes more energy than just repurposing it into a new object, but that’s not really the only comparison. I think the more important comparison is reprocessing rubber for new tires or making new tires out of rubber made from scratch. In most cases, breaking down existing material carries with it lots of energy savings (paper, plastic, metal, concrete are all good examples).

        Turning old milk cartons into planters (to become trash) does not give us a net energy savings when compared to drilling for more oil to make more plastic to make more milk cartons.

        I think that “recycling” as we are describing it here is definitely worthwhile as long as it doesn’t damage the material to a point where it can no longer be upcycled or woven back into the realm of long term utilization. Once we’ve irrevocably turned it into trash, I think we’ve encountered a flawed process that needs to be reassessed.

        I absolutely agree that education is really the key here. We need less short sound bytes and more comprehensive explanations of processes that materially affect our lifestyle.

      • Following on. The main point is that it’s a great diagram. Could it not have an additional arrow, mid way up the green up-cycle arrow, cycling/pointing to the lorry, missing out the reprocessing step. I think that would take into account many of the examples people suggest is up-cycling. Not all the examples need to go to trash after use, some could still up-cycle.
        As long as the material/object is not being mashed together with other materials it should in theory remain possible to keep in the up-cycle. It’s a bonus if it is can avoid the reprocessing energy.
        The objects repurposed in a way that sets them on a down-cycle path, particularly for short term gain, should be avoided. Which is what I understand you are saying.
        Education could then be placed on awareness of short and long term down-cycling awareness. And GCSE teachers should be made aware not to use hot glue guns in so called re-cycling projects. :)
        Maybe Recycle in your diagram is down-cycle. Re-cycling is just an entry point to encompass both, could be dropped as you say.

      • This would be the first time that I’ve dug into a version 2 of a diagram, but I think the exercise could be worthwhile. I’ll see if the next diagram can bump up the complexity one degree to yield some more options.

        I’m still on the fence about the whole “downcycle” terminology, but it would make sense to have “recycling” as the practice of general reuse that breaks into both “up” and “down” cycling.

  14. When the term “upcycling” was coined – c1994- there was no term “recycling”.It was either upcycling or down cycling.(Recycling Is a word I consider to be sort of “greenwashing”).I think the term recycling came into popular use to make people feel better about their consumption,it smacks of Madison Ave to me.Call me old school I am sticking with the original.

    Stepping off the soapbox now :)

  15. Reblogged this on Vintage Style Queen and commented:
    Yesterday I up-cycled one accessory into another and it got me thinking about the difference between recycling and up-cycling was and that’s when I found this post.

  16. I lived on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for 2 years and loved it. Hurricane Katrina came and ruined it all for me.

    I was taught by my mother the importance of recycling when I was 5 years old, but I\’ve been upcycling for 10 years – full-time for 5. I’ve sold to one British TV personality and have already been featured on some blogs, but I’d love to be featured on yours since you deal with the meat of my business which is upcycling.

    If you’re interested for more info, you can visit my site at and my

    Suzanna McMahan

  17. This is a great article, very informative. In our clothing business we re-use furniture leather and make new leather belts and other such accessories, take a look !

  18. wow, amazing post. I didnt know recycling as defined really isnt recycling… (i hope you don’t mind I posted a link to this article in the Conscious Index :)

  19. Great article! I’ve been looking at a similar issue on my blog and exploring why upcycling is so popular. Check it out:

  20. Thank you, T. Caine, for such a wonderful representation of upcycling. The web is very limited on its definitions and/or examples. I am a PSU student. Could I use your information in my presentation?

  21. Hello :) love your article. I am currently researching recycling and upcycling for my final assignment in my current studies, national diploma of fashion&textiles and would love to use your article as a source! Would i reference use as T. Caine as the author? :) just to clarify, is recycling turning waste into something new and upcycling is turning an already used product, i.e an old skirt, and reworking into it so it’s wanted again? Instead of using/buying new materials. Thank you, x

    • Hey Hannah, thanks for stopping by.

      Unfortunately, I think that we don’t currently have a way to “upcycle” clothing. Upcycling is about taking the material components back to their virgin levels of pliability. In the case of clothing, it would be the equivalent of turning a shirt back into thread, or better yet, cotton (that could be made into an entirely new shirt).

      Conversely, cutting a shirt up and using the fabric to be made into something else, like a handbag, or a patch, or a reusable shopping bag, is recycling the material. You’re prolonging the use of the same material rather than returning it to its pliable state.

      A good rule of thumb for whether or not a process is upcycling is can you do it indefinitely, over and over again? We can upcycle the same aluminum cans back into raw aluminum pretty much forever, but you can only cut up a skirt a limited number of times before you run out of skirt. Make sense?

      Using that as a reference is perfectly fine. Good luck in your studies!

      • I just saw the term “upcycling” used and was curious to see how it was different from recycling so I googled it. I’ve taken an interest in this area with regard to old/used furniture pieces, wood, etc. Would taking say an old desk, sanding it down, staining it, and basically making it better or different than it’s original appearance be considered upcycling?

      • Erika, thanks for stopping by and your comment. I think what you are describing is not necessarily either recycling or upcycling–perhaps just refinishing. The desk is nominally the same, serving exactly the same function and isn’t altered in any considerable way (really just similar to a coat of paint). To put it another way, if we took an old car and sand-blasted the paint off to put on brand new coat, we wouldn’t say that we are recycling or upcycling the car of its components.

        Recycling the desk would be dismantling it and turning the pieces into… serving trays, or children’s toys, or cutting it up into a pair of end tables. It would be giving the same material in its current form another “cycle” of use. However, in the end this is still ultimately something akin to trash, so we have no increased its environmental value. In essence, we can’t really “upcycle” wood because it’s a natural product. An exception could be something like fiberboard or particle board (made of woodchips) which can be chipped down and then made back in to the raw material for a new production process. In this case, the material is going back up the supply chain in the opposite direction of trash, expanding the options for its final use.

  22. I’ve been upcycling old items into jewelry for the past 5 years and I sell my things online. It’s been a great job for me so far!

  23. Great article! I actually just did one myself on upcycling and am adding this as a read more resource. Thanks!

    • Nicole, great to hear from you and thanks for stopping by. In looking at your article, I think you actually have the definitions of upcycling and recycling switched. Upcycling refers to an increase in environmental value, where as recycling is extending the lifespan of an existing material.

      A good example is plastic bottles. When we recycle plastic bottles, we usually don’t turn them into plastic bottles. We turn them into fleeces, or countertops, or something else that will eventually be trash. Aluminum cans, on the other hand, are something that we actually UPcycle. We turn them back into new aluminum cans.

      A good rule of thumb for whether or not a process is upcycling is can you do it indefinitely, over and over again? We can upcycle the same aluminum cans back into raw aluminum pretty much forever, but you can only cut up an old sweater a limited number of times before you run out of sweater.

      • Thanks so much for the clarification! I didn’t realize i was so misinformed on what exactly upcycling is. Very interesting to see that so many other blogs as well as websites are using the term when in fact it should be recycled (turning a bulb or bottle into a vase). Again thanks for taking the time to read my post and offer your expertise. I have went back and changed up my post so that it is accurate and informational.

  24. Thanks for a great article!

    Hannah asked an interesting question about clothing. I’d like to ask about fabrics. Fabrics cannot be upcycled, with wear and tear etc all fabrics will eventually erode/ disintegrate and become a waste product. So would you say that preventing fabrics from entering landfills ie using already made fabrics for multi purposes/ products could be seen as upcycling or an upcycled process as opposed to having new fabric made from scratch. You could say that this is recycling, but the fabric was just a fabric and not a product in the first place.

    • Val, thanks for the great comment!

      You bring up an interesting point. Another example would be, if someone buys a Poland Spring bottle of water, drinks all the water and then decides to fill it back up and use it as a water bottle again, is she recycling, upcycling or something else/inbetween?

      In my opinion, I think that the often misconstrued terminology of taking something of “higher environmental value” means that one is adding pliability and flexibility to what can be done with it. I think this is the key feature of upcycling. Upcycling fabric would be turning it at least back to thread, if not (impossibly) back to cotton.

      I think both of our examples are closer to a recycling model. They are extending the use and lifecycle of a given material that is still destined to be waste–even though they are not changing the product into something else.

      Hope to see more insightful comments to come.

  25. Very informative read. Quite revealing…and thanks for liking my post.

  26. I read your article with great interest. Thank you. The recycling serves indeed the honorable goals. The benefits are the obvious yet I think not the economic reasons are the main force here but the way of our thinking, the approach towards the steps we leave in life – the horror of the garbage behind.

  27. I love it. I am moving a little country restaurant into the city, refurbishing all my furniture instead of buying new. We used to be called Leila’s Arms and now we will be called Leila’s Up-cycled.

    • Hey there Gabrielle. Thanks for stopping by. As the article tries to map out, refinishing furniture is actually an example of recycling, not upcycling, given that refinishing a piece of existing furniture is not increasing its environmental value, but simply prolonging its use before eventually fulfilling its role in becoming part of the waste stream. However, that doesn’t mean hat refinishing furniture isn’t incredibly worthwhile. Great luck with the restaurant!

  28. Very good explanation, thank you.Trying to come up with a good translation term for my language,this was very useful for my brainstorming :)

  29. Hello T Caine! A couple of questions. 1) Can you let me know from where you derive your definition of upcycling? Almost everywhere I’m searching I’m finding a different description of what upcycling is – stating more along the lines of reusing or combining found objects to reduce the use of new raw materials. Some of the first recorded uses of the word seem to be more in that vein. I’m finding the definition of downcycling more in the spirit of what you’re describing with the plastic bottles, in that in “recycling” plastic different types of plastic are mixed – in the process creating a degenerated quality which can only be used for lesser products. Perhaps we need a whole new word altogether for the ideal process you’re describing – perhaps flow-cycling?.

    I wasn’t aware that aluminium could be “flow-cycled (or insert new word here)” perpetually and that plastic “downcycling” is doing a good thing but only delaying the inevitable but still ultimately adding to the waste stream. This is important information that I think people should be more aware of. This will definitely make me purchase fewer plastic bottles and more aluminum cans as it sounds like using aluminum is so much better for the environment. (why don’t we produce more in aluminium cans? bottled water for sale in bottled aluminum instead!?).

    But this brings me to my 2nd question:
    2) What about glass and it’s process? You don’t mention it here. Re-cycled, Up-cycled, Down-cycled or Flow-cycled? Can it be melted down and reused perpetually as glass or does it degrade? I loathe adding to the waste stream, and if I can be more conscientious about what items are better to select when making disposable purchases on the run…


    • Hey there, and thanks for stopping by. There are a lot of questions in there :)

      I actually think that William McDonough has talked a lot about his understanding of the word that he has largely helped to define. I think he’s also given interviews about the growth of misconceptions or misinterpretations about “upcycling” that have permeated through society. I’d look at Cradle to Cradle or some of his interviews. This is one example. Look at the bio up top:

      It’s also important to point out that there’s this other common definition out there of “increasing environmental quality” that I think is misunderstood as well. In my mind, repurposing tires into a wallet is not increasing environmental quality. To the environment, that is still trash. It is not more environmentally flexible or less environmentally harmful. Turning it back into raw rubber would be increasing environmental quality.

      I’m not really a fan of “down-cycling” because in my mind everything is going down the supply chain. I’m not sure the terminology is really what we want to use to instill a progressive movement of resource allocation or distribution. Plus, it’s not really what we want to encourage anyway at the end of the day.

      In regards to plastic vs. aluminum, I think part of it has to do with the cost of those materials and the standards that bottlers have come to migrate towards. Aluminum is reusable, but also more expensive than plastic. At the same time, as the price of oil rises plastic becomes increasingly expensive. I think consumers have the opportunity to help guide the market into using less plastic through purchasing power, including buying aluminum water bottles.

      Again, I’m not sure that “flow-cycled” is the right terminology, but it’s important for us to continually re-examine the words we’re using so I think the exercise is important. Maybe there is another option out there.

      When it comes to glass, it can be upcycled. Glass can be used perpetually over time and one of its benefits is that unlike plastic it doesn’t have the strong risk of absorbing its contents. The problem is that glass is very energy-intensive to make (and even remake), which tempers its recycling/upcycling participation. As I write this in Dubai, I spoke to a waste management company yesterday that said it’s even harder to recycle here given the abundance of sand (key component).

      I think I touched on all of it, but if not let me know. Definitely appreciate the thoughtful comment so come around more often!

  30. Would it be considered recycling or up-cycling to use plastic containers for fine art purposes? Since art is not generally intended to be destroyed, but instead continued ad infinitum, wouldn’t using materials for the purposes of art be considered up-cycling? peace…

    • Aaaaa yes this is a good question.
      Is re using material that would normally go to landfills or recycle centers for art be considered upcycling?

      • Hey guys, thanks for the comments. I think that upcycling shouldn’t be thought of in terms of landfill diversion given that it is not its defining characteristic. Upcycling is being defined more in terms of pliability and usability than whether or not it immediately goes in the ground.

        Upcycling is more than simply only avoiding waste (though that is an important goal), it is about taking a resource that has a narrowing series of options for what it can become and allowing for a widening series of options instead.

        Breaking down an aluminum can can allow it to be raw aluminum, which means it can be a new can, or a piece of a car, or even aluminum bar stock to be made into an artistic sculpture, but it is the breaking down to its pliable state which is the upcycling component of the process rather than the act of making something itself.

        In my opinion, I think the act of making the art is no different than making the aluminum can, it’s just one more step in a lifecycle process before upcycling can occur. Even then, I’d say it still has to be viable for the material moving back upstream. So if you harvested steel from a building and welded it together into a sculpture, it can still be melted back down into steel. If you take paper and encase it in resin instead of putting it in a landfill, that paper can’t ever be very much else so I wouldn’t consider it upcycling.

  31. Reblogged this on Diverscycle and commented:
    The difference between Upcycle and Recycle

  32. Interesting comparison!!! We should know the difference between recycling and upcycling. My personally understanding on ‘upcycling’ is that it’s a way of recycling in a more fun way. If recycling is about separating recycable and non-recycable materials, then upcycling is about recreating and reusing recycable materials. Taking the advantage of the material and make something useful in another way, with our creativity. I just started a campaign called ‘A Little Sparkle in Life’ aims to let more people know about upcycling and share some ideas to let people get inspired (

  33. Hi!!!
    I would like to ask if I have understood this right please.
    I currently recycle old wool jumpers in to bags and things and then sell on, but is buying old wool from charity shops and car boot sales that is unwanted from the previous owners, some have been rolled up so you can tell it’s been used, but others are still with their labels on, if I use these to make bags and things, can they be called recycled. These items were unwanted by their previous owners and if they weren’t taken to the charity shop they would probably have been binned. The same as taking your unwanted clothes to the charity shop and then being reused / recycled so they are not binned and end up on the landfill.
    As these items are unwanted would I presume they can be seen as recycled.
    Many thanks Mel x


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  14. Environmental Education | dantaresearspools - October 10, 2013

    […] Caine, T 2010, The difference between recycling and upcycling                                                                  […]

  15. Upcycled With Love | A Flutterby In Stitches - January 15, 2014

    […] still confused, ask Mr Google. Here’s an article that talks about it in more depth – Recycling vs. Upcycling. To see upcycling in action, check out Ragged Blossom – amazing upcycled […]

  16. Up-cycled newspaper returns to parent tree as wood | INmatteria | A dissection of innovative materials - January 27, 2014

    […] its supply chain in first place. Take a look at a brief synthesis about the difference between recycle and up-cycle, this last word coined in Cradle-to-Cradle by William […]

  17. Up-cycled newspaper returns to parent tree as wood - April 1, 2014

    […] its supply chain in first place. Take a look at a brief synthesis about the difference between recycle and up-cycle, this last word coined in Cradle-to-Cradle by William […]

  18. Moving towards a new direction | Ye Jiamin - September 12, 2014

    […] (extraction from […]

  19. Classic DIY Trends in Interior Home Design - April 1, 2015

    […] you want to step up your recycling game, upcycling is your best bet. A relatively new concept, upcycling is the process of giving an item a new purpose, without degrading the value of the original […]

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