The Dumpster Beautification Project (DBP) is a community based non-profit that brings together local artists, at-risk youth, and people of all ages to design and paint WCA (Waste Corporation America) dumpsters. These dumpsters are located throughout the Durango, CO area. The project brings art to unexpected places, and gives artists a forum to show their work. Project artists teach basic design and painting skills. In addition, the artists mentor youths on legal outlets to express themselves. The ambition of the program is to involve young adults in building positive connections to their community with respect to abating unwanted graffiti.
In the summer of 2008 while bicycling through the city of Durango, Colorado, the director and founder of the DBP, Debra Greenblatt, noticed an increase of graffiti on the dumpsters and buildings downtown. She approached WCA and asked if they would be interested in allowing artists to decorate their dumpsters. Once she received their approval, the concept was presented the city of Durango and grants were written to initially fund the project. The painting of dumpsters began the following summer in 2009.
The DBP has worked with various local organizations including the 6th Judicial District, the Robert E. DeNier Youth Services Center, Big Brothers Big Sisters, and the Durango Arts Center. Each summer the DBP paints at least 10 dumpsters using approximately 200 volunteer hours. Volunteers are all ages and come from various aspects of the community. They range from people needing community service hours to professional artists that design an image for the dumpsters. The project welcomes all to participate in the program.