Oil-spill cleanup hair grows overly abundant 

A local nonprofit that’s internationally renowned for creating equipment from fur and human hair to control oil spills and mop up spilled fuel has run out of storage space.

Matter of Trust has filled three trailers and the garage of its founder with 18,000 pounds of hair donated from around the world.

The nonprofit uses the hair, which it receives through the mail from barbers and other donors, to create sponge-like equipment that’s ideal for sopping up spilled fuel and oil.

Some of the hair-based equipment was used by volunteers to clean beaches in the wake of the 2007 Cosco Busan oil spill in San Francisco Bay.

The group recently created an online video as part of its effort to secure donated warehouse space and additional funds to employ green-collar workers needed to turn the hair into oil spill equipment.

Nonprofit founder Lisa Gautier said the storage problem is going to grow worse because much of the hair is stored in her garage, which will be used as a polling place in June.

“I have a garage of hair that I have to move out,” Gautier said.

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John Upton

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