Borders Scrapstore takes unwanted materials from local industry and households and turns them into valuable resources for play, arts and crafts, benefiting some 4,000 users right across South East Scotland.
In 1992, a group of teachers decided they needed low-cost supplies for local schools and set up Borders Scrapstore to collect, sort and store unwanted material from local firms. Now, 23 years later, Scrapstore supplies schools, nurseries and community groups right across the Borders, Edinburgh and the Lothians.
Manager John Cannell said: “Anyone can come and use the Scrapstore. We operate a membership scheme, from just £7 per year for groups and individuals, which helps to defray delivery and rental costs.”
The Scrapstore has generated three part-time jobs and is a registered charity (SC020023). Day-to-day running is organised by John, who has two members of staff as well as a team of 11 volunteers across the two bases in Selkirk and Musselburgh.
There is also a van outreach service which visits outlying areas.
While Scrapstore doesn’t take in normal domestic waste such as yoghurt pots, “We encourage people to reuse such items themselves. Reuse is more eco-friendly than recycling, which can involve expensive and polluting transport and input of processing chemicals,” said John.
The Scrapstore collects donations of unwanted fabric and textiles, wool, sewing materials such as zips, binding, knitting and sewing needles, buttons, beads, paper and card as well as art and craft material of all sorts.
These are sorted, stored and sold cheaply to anyone who has a use for them.
“We also carry a range of new craft supplies,” explained John, “Things like pipe cleaners, glue, stick-on shapes and stars and a good range of paint and brushes for children.”
The Scrapstore at Shepherds Mill, Dunsdale Road, Selkirk, is open on Tuesday and Wednesday, 10am-4pm and on Thursday, 2-5.30pm. Tel 01750 725961, or check out the Facebook page.