IF one person's junk is another person's treasure, there is a trove awaiting nimble-fingered students and others seeking low-cost materials for art, craft and play.
A new social enterprise called ReCreate finds unwanted and surplus materials for creative reuse in schools, preschools and arts and crafts groups.
ReCreate executive director Dara Connolly said they collected the materials from businesses including Smurfit Kappa, Bewleys, Universal Records, Avoca and Gate Gourmet, who see their involvement as part of their corporate social responsibility programme.
Schools or other groups can access unlimited supplies of the materials for an annual membership of €60-€250 depending on size, with a school of more than 500 pupils paying the top rate.
Mr Connolly said their primary aim was to encourage creativity and increase curiosity by supplying products that were previously hard to source and facilitating their use as arts materials.
They currently have 120 members signed up from all over the country, but after its official launch yesterday, he is aiming for 500 members by the end of the year.
ReCreate currently employs two full-time and seven community work placement staff.
Our picture shows Fiach Connolly of High School, Rathgar, Dublin, with a swan made by Tallaght Community Arts, from materials sourced at ReCreate: the body is made of wire hangers covered in masking tape and the beak is cut out from a plastic bottle.