Thursday, July 19, 2012

Bayview's creative gem: SCRAP

A SCRAPpy customer finds treasure
for cheap.  Photo: Skow
by Elizabeth Skow

Calling all scroungers! Winnowing down a junk collection?  Looking for creative ideas and materials?

SCRAP,the Scroungers’ Center for Reusable Art Parts, located at 801 Toland Street, is one of Bayview's most unique resources.

Everything inside SCRAP’S warehouse could be mouldering away in a landfill, but instead it’s in well-presented rows for sale at bargain prices. Customers can easily find fabric, magazines, buttons, psychedelic spirals, notepaper, lumber, tile, crayons, feather boas and pretty much everything else one might or might not imagine.

“I like that it’s overwhelming at first,” said Malaika, an art teacher paying out-of-pocket for materials she will use to teach a class at the Janet Pomeroy Recreation Center near the zoo. “Then you just start looking…one thing leads to another and soon you have an idea.”

“This is very creative stuff,” said Darren Ow-Wing, director of “Language Alive,” a Chinese language program in Alameda. “And it’s really well-organized. I was looking for crayons, and here I’ve found them.”

Ow-Wing also noted that the prices were excellent. That is important in tough budget times that force educators to reach into their own pockets in order to obtain creative materials for teaching.

SCRAP also appeals to parents, artists, designers, program directors and community groups of all kinds .In addition to affordable materials, SCRAP offers workshops for teachers, class tours, and special free days each month.

Customers mill about in a friendly atmosphere, dropping items they need into bags that they then take to the register where a cashier calculates one low price for the bag. In addition to generally low prices, there is a large selection of “free stuff” every day.

For the scrounger who wants to thin her or his collection, donations of quality materials are encouraged, diverting those materials from landfill.  SCRAP will even pick items up by prearrangement.

SCRAP is a nonprofit organization which receives financial support from the San Francisco Department of the Environment, and in-kind support from the San Francisco Unified School District.

SCRAP is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm
801 Toland Street (entrance on Newcomb)
Find SCRAP online, contact via email, or call 415.647.1744

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