Like most monthly publications, Dwell magazine is a hit or miss affair with me. While there’s certainly not a dearth of innovative and frequently sustainable modern design and architecture to be found in Dwell-land, I keep on waiting for the magazine’s editors to let their hair down a bit, be a bit naughty, and inject a few more genuine smiles into the eye-catching, envy-inducing photo spreads. But hey, at least they’re consistent.

And then there’s the February 2011 issue, one of the better, eco-minded issues of Dwell I’ve stumbled across in a long while. If you don’t normally read Dwell in print or online, I highly recommend starting in here. The issue is inspiring, provocative, and follows a “Rethink Recycling theme. The topic? Transforming trash into treasure.

Not to give the entire issue away but features include a fascinating look at the manufacturing process behind Emeco’s 111 Navy Chair, a profile of Villa Welpeloo, a Dutch home constructed almost entirely from scrap materials (that's it pictured up top), "An Introduction to Recycling," a handy-dandy recycling guide, and a fascinating look at a community on the outskirts of Cairo known as “Garbage City.”

Although most of this recycle-happy content isn’t up on the Dwell website quite yet, a nifty, internet-only feature has gone live in honor of the Rethink Recycling theme: Lost and Found. Basically, it’s a crowd-sourced map of spots across the U.S. where you can score recycled materials for home remodeling and building projects. Featuring everything from thrift stores to high-end junk yards to a salvaged barn wood company, it’s a fabulous resource worth checking out. And since it’s a crowd-sourcing project, Dwell invites you to submit a “stockpile of goods in your neck of the woods” for consideration. 

Have you checked out the Rethink Recycling issue of Dwell yet? Any articles that you found particularly intriguing?

Matt Hickman ( @mattyhick ) writes about design, architecture and the intersection between the natural world and the built environment.

Dwell gets (trash) happy
Dwell, a publication perhaps best known for photographing ennui-stricken people milling listlessly about immaculate, eco-friendly homes, tackles recycling in it