Art from Scrap 10/4/2007 7:16:00 AM

Empty paper towel rolls, ticket stubs, pipe cleaners, cardboard boxes and packing peanuts. These and other items you would find in your trash can are used by an organization in Metro Detroit and given new life, effectively stopping their voyage to the landfill.

Arts & Scraps, an organization in Metro Detroit, turns home recyclables and industrial leftovers into art projects and learning tools for youngsters. Educational and environmentally friendly, the group recycles 28 tons of material annually and serves over 270,000 children through in-school and after-school programs. The Resource Center (their “store”) makes 200,000 learning and creative experiences possible each year, offering over 40 different kits and shipped anywhere in the US.

With discarded objects transformed into creative materials, Arts & Scraps is able to offer a variety of programs. In addition to educational opportunities for young people as well as adults, you can stop by and pick up a project kit to make your own special creation at home. The materials are continually changing, but the staff is always willing to help brainstorm a new idea.

So whether you’re looking to donate, volunteer or work with the “creative engineers” to design your own unique project, stop in to Arts & Scraps for some environmentally safe amusement. And, as they say, “create fun with castoffs!”
If you are a business, they will accept donations of almost anything you throw away that is clean, safe and interesting. Smaller is better than larger, including but not limited to:

  • gasket scraps, cuttings and punch-outs
  • washers or part covers used in shipping
  • fabric & vinyl or leather scraps
  • smooth wood and wood turnings
  • colored paper & surplus or outdated stock
  • unusual packing material (no Styro worms, please)
  • sturdy cardboard tubes
  • samples and sample books & foam pieces
  • anything, small, colorful and interesting--no sharp edges

If you are an individual, these items can be accepted:

  • large brown paper bags, folded flat (standard grocery size only, please)
  • plastic strawberry baskets
  • microwave meal plates
  • gallon milk bottle caps
  • metal lids from frozen concentrated juice
  • coffee cans w/lids & "Pringles" cans w/lids
  • 35mm film containers, candles, candle stubs
  • oatmeal containers w/lids & baby food jars
  • brightly colored paper--printed OK (we will shred this) wine corks
  • promotional CDs, badges and magnets

Their NO-NO list (these cannot be stored effectively, are not safe or are not in demand):

  • plastic food containers (yogurt, etc.)
  • Styrofoam "peanuts"
  • egg cartons or Styrofoam trays
  • magazines & plastic bags
  • paper towel or toilet paper tubes
  • prescription or medicine bottles

If you are located in the Detroit area, they will come to your site and check materials, then arrange a convenient pickup schedule. They also receive donations by freight or mail.

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