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Meet SCARCE

SCARCE is a reuse organization that is one of the role models CCRx has for best practices in reuse, and we are thrilled to introduce them to you!



Originally known as SCRAP, SCARCE was founded in 1990 by Kay McKeen, a recycling and environmental educator in DuPage County. She saw how many textbooks were in dead storage at various schools and so she started a Book Rescue to keep gently used books (text, reference and library) from going in the landfill, and instead putting them into the hands of those who need them.

SCARCE redistributes textbooks, reading books and school supplies for individual teachers and schools districts. They have given over 9 million books to people in need and diverted millions more books and supplies from the landfill.


SCARCE is located in a shopping mall in Addison Illinois. They have a fantastic used record and used book store that is open to anyone, and a deep resource of supplies and textbooks for teachers. They do a lot of environmental education both on site in their cool Eco-Education Center and at various events. Kay and her team are go-to experts on Composting, Stormwater Management, Solar Energy and much more. They also recycle a wide range of items which are listed below.


SCARCE initiatives include Pumpkin SMASH, Green your Gig, Legislation, #PickUp5 Litter Clean-up, Solar Energy

Storm Drain Medallions, Bread Tag Recycling, and Literacy at the Laundromat


They have a global network for redistributing textbooks and for recycling items such as:

  • Books - any & all

  • LP Records

  • Holiday Lights

  • Music CDs with cases (commercially-made only)

  • Keys (household, luggage, car)

  • Inkjet cartridges (No toners)

  • Cords & wires (phone, computer, etc)

  • Smoke Detectors for a FEE

  • Bikes, Bike parts & accessories

  • X-ray, MRI, and Lithographic Film

  • Eyeglasses & Sunglasses (no cases)

  • Hearing Aids

  • Plastic Bread Tags

  • School supplies: new/like-new

  • Office supplies: new/like-new

  • Paper: unused, all kinds

  • Writing Utensils: pens, pencils, markers etc.

  • Non-working writing utensils can be brought to your nearest Staples store for recycling!

  • Art Supplies: unused/like-new only

  • Crayons

  • Poster board : unused/like-new

  • Like-new games, puzzles, flash cards

  • White boards, cork boards

  • Musical Instruments

  • 35mm Film Canisters

  • Box Tops for Education

  • Metal Jewelry - like-new, used or broken

  • Plastic can carriers - 4 or 6 packs


So next time you are out and about near Addision, Illinois, go visit SCARCE! And if you are a teacher, bring your ID and get some great supplies and books.

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