Living a legacy: The Trash Man’s Daughter

By on September 26, 2012

By: TIFFANY WOODALL Review Staff, Staff Writer

Sandi Reifsnyder, owner of The Trash Man's Daughter, poses in front of her shop, which is located at 1271 N. Reading Road, Stevens. Lining the sidewalk are several items for sale that she has repurposed or redesigned. (Photo by Preston Whitcraft)

History, nostalgia, aesthetic value: these are the qualities Sandi Reifsnyder looks for in trash. That’s right, this entrepreneur collects trash.

She’s The Trash Man’s Daughter, and she’s nestled in a cozy corner of the Wabash Center off of Route 272. The store is named in honor of her father, Gary Good, co-founder of Good’s Disposal, who passed away four years ago.

"Let Good’s recycle your trash, let God recycle your heart" was the family motto Reifsnyder remembered as she reflected on her childhood (which included authentic dumpster diving).

"I was raised knowing that God was always taking your life and working it out for your betterment," she said. "He can take any dented life and straighten it out."

And that’s exactly what she does with trash. She’ll acquire unwanted items — anything from gardening supplies to furniture to kitchenware — typically through arrangements with local women, and she’ll combine creativity and resourcefulness to give those items a new purpose, to make them useful again. She’s turned tea kettles into cookie jars, colanders into lamp shades and wheel barrows into plant holders.

"My goal actually is to help women who just want to make a few extra dollars," she said, "stay-at-home moms, women who have a keen eye for things that can be used again, maybe in a new way."

She then sells those repurposed items at her shop, which is more like a treasure trove.

"I think there’s a little something for everybody," she said, "if you have somebody who’s very unique to buy for or you just want to pass on a story."

Repurposing isn’t the only hat Reifsnyder wears. She also visits homes to help homeowners decorate indoor and outdoor spaces that need some sprucing up.

"I think sometimes people have an idea of what to do; they just need a little encouragement," she said. "The thing is, the trends in certain decorating styles are disappearing. They’re all sort of coming together. You don’t have to declare a style, it’s what you like, what makes your house a home. To me, that’s what it comes down to."

Reifsnyder’s home is a prime example of her work. She lives in the same home she grew up in, but she changed it to accommodate her tastes. In order to preserve the memories associated with the house, she kept all the old door knobs — from her front door, from her bedroom as a little girl — and used them to make a towel rack. Her parents’ old dresser became a bathroom vanity.

"People often hide that stuff away, and I say get it out and tell people about your heritage and your family," she said.

Apart from making house calls, Reifsnyder hosts classes to complete small projects and lends items from her shop to be used as props for family photos or parties.

"People can come claim things they want to use," she said. The only fee is for drop-off and set-up services.

"There’s so much more I want to provide for people," she said. "I want to be an inspiration to people."

The Trash Man’s Daughter will be celebrating its grand opening Oct. 5 and 6 at 1271 N. Reading Rd., Stevens, which will include a scavenger hunt, door prizes and food. As of now, purchases may be made with cash only, but credit cards should be accepted by the holidays. For more information or to request her expertise, contact Sandi Reifsnyder at More TRASH MAN, page A11

About Ephrata Review