First off, let me say that the Galveston Island Recycling Center is doing a great job. They are super helpful, keep the place looking nice (or at least as nice as a recycling center can look) and the addition of new bins outside the fence make it extra convenient to drop stuff off after hours.
However - while I agree that recycling is a good thing, I think repurposing is a more up close and personal way of conserving natural resources, keeping stuff out of landfills, saving money and (for you creative types) a great source of garden art.
I don't like that we have become a disposable society. It's virtually impossible to get things fixed anymore. My lawnmower for example. When I took it back to where I bought it for repair work they told me it would be a minimum of $70 plus whatever parts were required. I could buy a Wal-Mart special for almost that much. Then some of the local repair places told me they didn't work on my brand. Aggravating. We also regularly end up throwing out old electronics equipment, small appliances, broken stuff, etc. I could go on here - but you get the idea.
I think the garden is a great place to re-purpose some items that might otherwise be recycled or trashed. Especially if you have a funky, island landscape. I always have my eye out for creative ways of using cast-offs but I found the mother lode of examples at Two Women and a Hoe. Their web site is nice but I also regularly visit their Facebook page. That's where these images came from.
We've also used a number of items from the Galveston Historical Foundation Salvage Warehouse (908 23rd St.). They have some fantastic shutters, windows, doors and fixtures - all at very reasonable prices. Plus you're helping out a good cause (NOTE: We use that "good cause" thing to rationalize a lot of purchases that would not otherwise make sense).
Of course there is a very fine line between repurposing and junking up the yard. That's why it takes a creative eye to incorporate these items in to the landscape. Fortunately Sharon has much better taste that I do and she periodically reins me in when my artistic side goes a little haywire. Like the planter I made out of my broken lawnmower.