You Won’t Believe What’s in the Walls of This House

Over 300 students from the University of Brighton used toothbrushes, of all things, to create this cutting edge eco-friendly “Waste House.”

Waste House [image source:], crowdink, crowd ink,,
Waste House [image source:]

The Brighton Waste House is made of 85% ‘waste’ material, including over 20,000 toothbrushes that were only used once by airline passengers flying into London Gatwick.

A Community Effort

Over 300 students at the University of Brighton worked from May 2013 to April 2014 to complete the building created from locally sourced waste material from building sites, recycling centres, and homes in the area. The project exists under the mantra that, “there is no such thing as waste, just things in the wrong place.”

What Else is in This House?!

And some of the materials that were just “in the wrong place” included old vinyl banners from festivals, cassette tapes, 10 tonnes of chalk waste, thrown-away bricks and ply sheets, among other materials.

The Efforts Continue

Now that the Waste House has been completed for nearly two years, over 750 students from local primary school have visited the site and it is consistently used to house workshops and seminars conducted through the University of Brighton.

Making an Impact

The project came about as part of the University of Brighton’s pledge to decrease their carbon emissions by 50% by 2015. They reached that goal. Each year, the house is monitored for insulation efficiency, which is currently sitting at 12 hours for warmth to get through the 35cm thick walls, mostly insulated by rammed earth.

For more information, check out the University of Brighton’s Waste House website.

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Sam Ferrante is a poet, editor, facilitator, and writer born on Long Island, college-fed in Western New York and Paris, and then poetically raised in Buffalo, NY; Ireland; and Australia. A former member of the Pure Ink Poetry team in Buffalo and a regular competitor in Dublin's Slam Sunday, Sam was a Co-Creative Producer at Melbourne-based Slamalamadingdong in addition to serving on the Melbourne Spoken Word Committee. Sam has been published in Ghost City Press, Blowing Raspberries, and The Dirty Thirty Anthology and has been featured at The Owl & Cat Session, La Mama Poetica, Girls on Key, and White Night 2016 among others. Her debut book of poetry, Pick Me Up, got rave reviews from her Mom. She is currently the Editor of CrowdInk.