MUSCATINE - Dozens of teenage girls on a bargain hunt for the perfect prom dress turned to an annual event in eastern Iowa that aims to showcase the value of reusing things.
The "Recycle the Dress" event Saturday at the Recycling Center and Transfer Station in Muscatine offered free prom dresses and accessories, the Muscatine Journal reported . Now in its third year, the event is considered a huge success.
"We were talking about prom costs and thought, 'Why would people want to spend all that money?' So I came up with this idea and it's just another form of recycling and reuse," said organizer Laura Liegois.
Kaitlyn Martin looks through a table of shoes hoping to find the perfect pair to go with the dress she found during the third annual Recycle the Dress event on Saturday, Feb. 8, 2014 in Muscatine, Ia. The annual event in Muscatine offered free prom dresses and accessories.
At least 70 people, made up mostly of mothers and daughters, were in line when doors opened for the event. Others trickled in throughout the day. Liegois said some people from outside the county will make the trip for the deal.
The dresses and other used items, which include jewelry, purses and shoes, are donated by the community, said Liegois, who is also the city's solid waste manager.
"Yes, we could have put a small price on it and given that as a donation to someone or a prom event, but we use it as an education purpose of showing the value of reuse," she said.
Liegois said the annual event has been recognized outside of Muscatine. The state's solid waste group recently named it Iowa's most innovative solid waste management project of the year.
Any remaining dresses will be donated to Goodwill and local theater groups.