The Sweet Sound Of Junk

Recycleman will entertain with his unique, interactive musical experience. Courtesy/PEEC

Stomp your feet and enjoy the music with Hillstompers at the Earth Day festival. Courtesy/PEEC



It’s hard to imagine that old car parts and other junk could make sweet music, but that’s exactly what Recycleman does – and the crowds love it. On Saturday, April 25, 10 a.m. to 2  p.m., the Pajarito Environmental Education Center (PEEC) will welcome Recycleman to its Earth Day Festival, the first ever to be held at the new Los Alamos Nature Center at 2600 Canyon Road.

The theme of this year’s Earth Day is “Open the Door to Nature”, because PEEC and the community will be opening the doors to the new nature center, a wonderful new resource for Los Alamos and all of northern New Mexico, in a grand opening ceremony April 22, which is Earth Day. 

The festival on April 25 will be an opportunity to view the new nature center, explore the exhibits, listen to Recycleman and the Hill Stompers, take in a Planetarium show, snack on kettle corn, have a hamburger or hot dog, Walk like a Wolf, enjoy the view of Pajarito Mountain from the large window in the exhibit room or deck, and observe wildlife through the observation window. This is the 15th year that PEEC has organized a community-wide celebration of caring for the Earth.

Outside the center, there will be booths from various businesses and organizations that will inform and entertain. In the new learning center, Bradbury Museum’s science ambassadors will have activities for children and adults. Chris Judson will delight the children again this year with her face painting booth.

The featured entertainment—Recycleman—is generously sponsored by Los Alamos National Bank. Recycleman, aka Kevin Kinane, comes from Albuquerque, where he arrived in 1992. When he got there, Kinane was astonished to see illegal trash dumping behind his West Mesa home, especially because there was a landfill just a mile away.  He began bringing home some of the old car parts and other discards, in an attempt to clean up the area. Kinane soon found a purpose for what others called “junk.”  As a DJ and musician, he found each item had its own tone and sound, and soon he was incorporating “junk” into his programs as well as traditional instruments.

Kinane is a music teacher, a percussionist, and entertainer. He plays a variety of musical instruments including the ukulele. Early on, he taught after-school drum classes and found that the drums became damaged with use. It was then that he began to use buckets as substitutes to teach rhythm. He can get a whole roomful of adults and children all playing music and loving it.

Kinane performs at schools, libraries, and events. Using his Recycle Machine, he creates music and engages audiences to make music with simple items such as spoons, cans, and old car parts. Recycleman says “this is not about watching but doing, getting involved.” By recycling objects, he teaches also about earth care.

Besides shows by Recycleman at 11 a.m. and 1 p.m., the Los Alamos Hill Stompers will keep the energy going at noon with their upbeat music and juggling. Food will be available for purchase from Taste of New York, Houdinis Magic Kettlecorn, and the Los Alamos Co-Op Market. Festival goers will be able to sit at one of the tables in the new picnic area made possible by the Rotary Club of Los Alamos.

Parking is limited, so people are encouraged to walk, ride a bike, or catch the Atomic City Transit from in front of the Justice Center on Central Avenue. Those that ride their bike will be entered into a drawing to win a prize. Tough Riders and Fusion Multisport will operate a bike valet service.

Don’t miss this chance to celebrate Earth Day at the first ever festival at the new Los Alamos Nature Center. It will be the place to be this April 25.

For more information, visit or call PEEC at 505.662.0460.

Enjoy a range of activities for all ages. Courtesy/PEEC

LOS ALAMOS website support locally by OviNuppi Systems