This summer, Buffalonians will see new recycling bins around town! In Collaboration with CEPA Gallery, artist Nicole Chochrek launches a new public art project that educates Western New Yorkers about the danger of microplastics in our Environment and what we can do to help

Inspiring citizens to collect small pieces of plastic before they can break down into invisible nanoparticles, Chochrek will install plastic collection boxes built from retired newspaper recycling bins placed at six strategic Greater Buffalo locations near you! She invites you to fill them with small plastics. 

Says Chochrek, “There is a lot of healthy skepticism around recycling, and whether or not it has the impact it claims to have. This project appropriates the existing system while providing transparency and educational resources. It gives participants the opportunity to learn about the significance of their contributions and to see how it is collected and transformed. We focus on the smaller plastics, that are often missed and can’t be recycled in traditional ways. The goal of these Microplastic Recycling Bins serves to beautify our communities, build stewardship of the land, and educate us on the impact of plastic pollution. It extends a colorful invitation that I hope encourages participation and cultivates creative solutions.”

With every new box installed, the artist will host an installation celebration and community clean-up event starting May 31st at Springville Center for the Arts. This project guides participants in a kinesthetic learning experience about the impact of plastic pollution and actively helps remove it from their neighborhood  environment.

“That’s the magic. The plastic collected will not only be forever out of our lands but also given new value as fine art objects that continue to advocate for environmental stewardship through Chochrek’s art practice. By selling  beautiful trash as art objects, she questions our value systems. She brings attention to the growing impact our waste has on the environment while simultaneously holding space for togetherness, inclusivity, and creative discussions on important topics such as neurodiversity, environmental stewardship, and human rights.” says Veronique Cote, project curator, and Florida Atlantic University Galleries Director.

Chochrek’s work is based on the accessibility and digestibility of information, deep listening, and shared responsibilities. As an interdisciplinary artist, she utilizes performative frameworks to explore contemporary issues of environmental disparities. 

The boxes will be outside from June to October 2023. The public can participate in this project by collecting small plastics from home or outside.

Made possible by Creative Rebuild New York, a New York State Endowment for the Arts Initiative,  in an exciting partnership with the Buffalo Arts Commission, the Olmsted Parks Conservancy, Unity Island, The Foundry, Tifft Nature Preserve, Springville Center For-Arts, and more. For information on the project, other box locations, and dates visit: https://brokenplastics.org/.

Exhibit Location

Buffalo and Erie County, New York

Exhibit Dates

June 2023- October 2023


Free to the public

Exhibit Times

See site location websites for hours