TURNING TRASH INTO TREASURE
by Joe Bonura , CSP
Feel Like Junk
Have you ever felt like junk? That you will never amount to anything?
Recently, I watched a group of young musicians play Mozart on instruments
made from garbage.
You heard me right - garbage!
They are known as the Landfill Harmonic Orchestra.
The WOW Factor
The kids live in a village called Cateura, built around a landfill
(garbage dump). The village is located on the outskirts of Asuncion,
Using plastic buckets, washtubs, and drainpipes, thanks to trash
worker and carpenter Don Cola Gomez, they turn discarded items into
When I read about them, I figured that their playing would sound
like scratching fingernails on a chalkboard.
Then I went on YouTube.
My first, second and third reaction to what these kids are doing
was WOW! WOW! WOW!
Listen for yourself: https://youtu.be/sJxxdQox7n0
Real Garbage - Real Music
If these young people can turn garbage into musical instruments
that can play real music, what is it that keeps others from reaching
their true potential?
Many live on the garbage heap of life; they live in a landfill
waiting for the bulldozers to cover them with dirt.
In The Trash
I remember a client loaning me a scrapbook of his advertising
campaigns for the previous five years.
He told me to guard it with my life, and I promised that I would,
and when I turned it over to my copywriter, I made him swear the
The next morning when I asked for the book, he could not find
He said the last time he saw it was when he left it on top of
his trashcan because there was no space on his desk.
To The Dump
I looked out of my eighth floor window and saw a dumpster as large
as an 18-wheeler, and I knew that the book was in that dumpster.
I called building maintenance and told them that I would pay whatever
it cost to have them take the dumpster to the landfill so that we
could sift through it to find the book.
I Found It - I Found It
My entire staff followed the dumpster to the landfill. I thought
that we would have all day to go through the trash, but as it turned
out, there were four bulldozers waiting impatiently to cover the
We had only thirty minutes to plunge into the garbage to find
We were in luck. Fifteen minutes after we started digging, amidst
the sounds of bulldozers revving their engines, we found the book,
and it was in great condition.
Find Your Treasure
I tell this story because after reading about the children of
Paraguay, I was reminded of what it was like to dig in a pile of
I was also reminded of how exciting it was to find a treasure
in the muck.
No matter what life looks like today, with the right attitude
and lots of hard work, you can turn it into an instrument that plays
Make Music Out Of Misery
You have the power to make music out of your misery and failure.
You just have to see a musical instrument where others see a paint
Watch the linked video and ask yourself what your next concert
will sound like?
You have the power to turn whatever garbage you have faced in
the past into your own orchestra.
You have the power to play a new tune every day of your life.
The key is to pick up the pieces and get started.
© 2016 Joe Bonura & Associates, Inc.