Local News

Durham nonprofit re-sells donated items

Posted August 25, 2009 5:40 p.m. EDT
Updated August 25, 2009 6:38 p.m. EDT

— A Durham nonprofit has found a way to promote environmental awareness and offer deals to consumers on art supplies and other donated items.

The Scrap Exchange, 548 Foster St., collects materials, including foam, paper, fabric, zippers, eyeglasses and buttons, from more than 250 industries and offers those items through their retail store.

Donors are eligible for tax deductions and consumers have access to hard to find materials.

Executive Director Ann Woodward said sales in the past two months have been the “highest they’ve ever been in the history of the organization” because of the recession.

“No matter what I come for, it’s cheaper than going to a mall or a regular store,” Duke University student Kelly Jones said. “I really like the fact that they’re reusing a bunch of stuff that people would normally throw out.”

The organization, created in 1991, is self-sustaining with money made from retail sales and outreach programs being used for day-to-day expenses. The remaining amount of the group’s $200,000 yearly budget comes from grants and individual donations.

Chris Rosenthal and a group of supporters started The Scrap Exchange in 1991. Rosenthal was a teacher who wanted materials for classroom. She modeled the program after The Reverse Garbage Truck, an organization she worked with in Australia.

The Scrap Exchange is holding a Swap-O-Rama in Raleigh on Saturday, Sept. 5 from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Marbles Kids Museum. They will be accepting unwanted clothes and accessories. People who bring one bag of craft items will be allowed to take home as many items as they can carry.