WUFT News

Gainesville’s Garbage Will Be On Parade

By on November 6th, 2013
Local artists Raymond Rawls and Lorraine Duerden will debut their environmentally friendly float at the homecoming parade Friday.

Brianna Donet

Local artists Raymond Rawls and Lorraine Duerden will debut their environmentally friendly float at the homecoming parade Friday.

One tooth at a time, Raymond Rawls is putting the finishing touches on his latest masterpiece — a giant alligator made entirely from repurposed trash.

The gator is completely pedal-powered, and will make its way down University Avenue during the UF’s homecoming parade Friday afternoon.

“Not only is it moving down the street, but the arms will be moving; the head will be chomping,” Rawls said. “We try to get a lot of movement involved and try to get people to get excited about it.”

For the past two years, the Alachua County Office of Waste Alternatives has been working with local artists to create carbon-neutral floats for the University of Florida’s annual homecoming parade.

Rawls and float

Brianna Donet

Raymond Rawls fastens paper mache teeth onto his alligator parade float.

Alachua County produces 500 to 700 tons of waste every day, Waste Alternatives spokeswoman Fae Nageon de Lestang.

She said it’s inspiring to see everyday trash used to create art the whole community can enjoy.

“In the big scheme of things, it’s not that much,” Nageon de Lestang said. “But the message it sends is that we can reuse our waste, and the things we throw away can be repurposed before they’re truly garbage.”

This is the second year Rawls and his wife, Lorraine Duerden, have created an environmentally friendly parade float. Last year they crafted a carbon-neutral fish float.

Rawls used salvaged bike parts, scrap metal and leftover rolls of paper from The Gainesville Sun to create the base of the manually operated gator float. He used paper mache for the coating and detail and fastened levers inside the float for the effects.

“With any gator, you’ve got to have the chomp,” he said.

Rawls said the project shows that waste can often be reused before becoming trash. He hopes to create one new carbon-neutral homecoming float every year.

Last year, Rawls made a fish float from repurposed trash. He says he hopes to design one homecoming float a year.

Brianna Donet

Last year, Rawls made a fish float from repurposed trash. He says he hopes to design one homecoming float a year.

He said he hopes his work with repurposed trash will inspire more environmentally friendly floats in the future.

“Next year, we’re not really sure (what the float will be) because it’s all salvaged material. You’re never really sure what you’re going to get,” he said. “It lends itself to being a bit of a free form and you eventually start to narrow down your idea.”


This entry was posted in Local and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.
 

More Stories in Local

Winford-Jenkins-Trash

Hawthorne Volunteer Trash Collector A Fixture In Community

When a doctor recommended he get more exercise, Hawthorne resident Winford Jenkins, 57, began taking daily walks around the city. After noticing just how much trash cluttered the streets, he decided to do something about it.


Assistant Fire Chief JoAnne Rice inspects an emergency exit sign outside her office at Gainesville Fire Rescue. Proper lighting, signage and open doorways are critical mainstays of a compliant fire inspection.

Majority Of Fire Inspections Don’t Check Out

The newest data on Gainesville’s statGNV shows that over half of all existing buildings in Gainesville received some type of violation. These violations include broken emergency exit signs, incorrect outlet cover plates and untested sprinkler systems.


12 Residents Seek Shelter After Explosion At Southwest Villas Apartment

An explosion at Southwest Villas on Thursday night displaced 12 residents. The cause of the explosion is unknown.


For three months, 35-year-old Sisco Black and his wife have been homeless. When they first came to Grace Marketplace, they relied heavily on the amenities, but now they have become self-sufficient.

Grace Marketplace Completes Homeless Census

The usual sound of birds wasn’t what woke the residents of Grace Marketplace Thursday morning. Grace Marketplace, 2845 NE 39th Ave., held their annual homeless census count on Thursday that lasted from 5:45 a.m. to 9 p.m. The Alachua County Coalition for the […]


Director of Kofi Adu-Brempong Documentary Talks Racism, Police Militarization

“In His Own Home” is a documentary about the police shooting of University of Florida graduate student Kofi Adu-Brempong. The film’s director spoke with WUFT about how the 2010 incident relates to current national issues.


Thank you for your support

WUFT depends on the support of our community — people like you — to help us continue to provide quality programming to North Central Florida.
Become a Sustainer
I want to support FM 89.1/NPR
I want to support Florida's 5/PBS
Donate a Vehicle
Day Sponsorship Payments
Underwriting Payments