Thinking Outside The Recycling Box With SCRAP Creative Reuse

There are many choices besides the recycling bin or Goodwill for household items. One of the more offbeat places to take certain things to be recycled is SCRAP in Portland, a place where crafters, artisans, and teachers go for unique and perfectly usable items. 

SCRAP is a non-profit organization whose mission is to provide materials that have been already manufactured to be used for another purpose, often for creative reuse.  An example cited on their website are CD jewel cases transformed into birdhouses, or T-Shirts turned into a rug. It’s a fabulous place for teachers to get inexpensive supplies, and keep these perfectly usable items from the landfill. Often, businesses and manufacturers donate surplus manufactured objects they have no use for.  Think wooden thread spools, wallpaper samples, old game pieces, surplus graph paper.  The inventory changes so you never know what you will find.

According to its website, SCRAP was formed from an idea that teachers had to supply others with surplus classroom materials.  After receiving a grant from the Department of Environmental Quality, a “creative reuse” center was formed, and SCRAP’s enterprise sprouted from that, and has grown to several more similar SCRAP centers around the country.  They have been a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization since 1999.

Classes are available for artists of all skill levels.  They host “crafternoon” sessions for children and adults.  Hours vary, so check out the website for details.  

So don’t throw away those old game board pieces – chances are someone creative can fashion them into an art piece, or possible jewelry!  

SCRAP is located at 1736 SW Alder Street in Portland.  Check out their website for updated hours and donation information.  All donations are tax deductible.