This Nonprofit Sees Would-Be Waste as Resources

SCARCE elongates the life of materials—or gives them a second life.

Khadijah Rashid, Staff Writer

Every product in your home was derived from some form of a natural resource and required energy to manufacture and transport. When humans send things to a landfill, that ensures the end of the life cycle for materials that in many cases could have still served a purpose. 

SCARCE is a nonprofit in Addison, Ill., and one of their goals is to prevent this from happening. They refer to it as “rescuing” resources from turning into waste. According to Kay McKeen, SCARCE’s founder and executive director, the first option is having items reused for their original purpose, then, if not possible, repurposed for something else, such as art. Garbage is seen as a last resort. 

The following photo gallery features ways materials sent to SCARCE have been prevented from becoming waste, including reuse, education and art.

All photos by Khadijah Rashid.