Story Jan Swoope | Photograph Matt Garner
An abandoned concrete pad in his backyard and a random idea were all the inspiration Justin Estes of West Point, Miss., needed to build a greenhouse like no other. That, and 2,400 wine bottles, mayonnaise, canning and jelly jars and even a few candle holders.
Add a little shredded paper and a bit of Portland cement to hold them all in place, and Estes’ creation is a recycler’s dream.
As special projects coordinator for the city of West Point, Estes, 24, oversees the city’s recycling program and knew he wanted to construct something environmentally friendly. He also wanted something thrifty.
“I was looking for cheap and transparent and what I could get for free,” said the do-it-yourselfer about the project he finished in spring 2012. “I had everyone in West Point, Columbus and Starkville collecting wine bottles for me.”
He doesn’t plan to stop with this life-size kaleidoscope that pampers orchids and bromeliads, and where many of his neighbors’ plants shelter for the winter.
“One day I hope to make a house out of recycled material. I think this was a good building block. I think my next project will be even bigger,” Estes prophesied.