Local Groups Put Pressure on Municipalities and Companies on Recycling

SCARCE founder and executive director Kay McKeen (third from right) with volunteers, packing books for schools in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence.
SCARCE founder and executive director Kay McKeen (third from right) with volunteers, packing books for schools in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence. Courtesy of SCARCE
SCARCE founder and executive director Kay McKeen (third from right) with volunteers, packing books for schools in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence.
SCARCE founder and executive director Kay McKeen (third from right) with volunteers, packing books for schools in North Carolina following Hurricane Florence. Courtesy of SCARCE

Local Groups Put Pressure on Municipalities and Companies on Recycling

We’re all familiar with the routine of setting aside bottles, cans, and paper for a recycling pickup. But a nonprofit based in Glen Ellyn is looking to dramatically expand what Chicagoans think of as recyclable. Starting with a program to reuse discarded books, SCARCE, or School and Community Assistance for Recycling and Composting Education, has expanded and connected with outside organizations to help residents of the Chicago area recycle or safely dispose of anything from bottle caps and smoke detectors to cooking oil and even medical waste. They get the word out through a combination of educational outreach and regular “Recycling Extravaganzas” in the city and its surrounding suburbs, where residents can bring unwanted items to either recycle or donate to other community members who could make use of them. SCARCE’s founder and executive director, Kay McKeen, joins the show to chat with Jerome and Worldview’s food, earth and culture contributor Monica Eng about how Chicagoans can work together to keep reusable items and materials within their communities and out of landfills.