Creative Scrap Exchanges
A scrap exchange is a facility that collects
materials from businesses, industries, and individuals and provides them to the
public free of charge or at little cost. Participating in such a program keeps
preconsumer and postconsumer waste out of landfills, and it gives teachers and
others a ready source of materials to use in creating art and crafts. The
following is a description of a scrap exchange that's sponsored by the solid
waste management facility in our county.
The Little Red Schoolhouse
The Little Red Schoolhouse is a small storage
barn located at the recycling center in Columbus, Indiana. Employees at the
Bartholomew County Solid Waste Management District decided to collect clean,
solid waste and make the scrap materials available for free to teachers and
others who work with kids. The materials are kept in the small barn. Standing
next to The Little Red Schoolhouse in the photo above is Bartholomew County
Recycling Educator Greg Hartwell.
Our scrap exchange has been open since 1998. According to
Hartwell, a grant was written and submitted to a local foundation in order to
receive the funding needed to pay for the 14' x 20' storage shed. The shelves
used for holding various materials were donated by local businesses and
individuals. There is no heat in the building, but a fan installed at one end
near the ceiling helps circulate air in warmer months.
to start the scrap exchange and to collect preconsumer and postconsumer waste,
leaders of businesses and industries were sent invitations to attend an open
house. At the function, they were able to see the storage shed, and to learn how
their companies could donate much needed materials, such as paper and cardboard.
They also discovered how their participation would help educators save money,
and keep solid waste out of the landfill.
residents and people from various businesses and industries deliver preconsumer
and postconsumer waste to The Little Red Schoolhouse, and the facility's workers
place the materials on shelves in the building. Anyone who works with children
is welcome to visit the schoolhouse and select materials, free of charge. Some
of those who take advantage of the service are teachers, scout leaders, parents
who homechool their children, and members of not-for-profit