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Inspiring People to Care for the Earth

How does SCARCE Funding Work Print E-mail

As you may have read in the Chicago Tribune website on April 28, 2012, Funding Uncertain for Environmental Group , or the Naperville Sun Article SCARCE is partially funded by DuPage County, and this funding may not be renewed. Let's look at how the SCARCE funding works. In round numbers:

Source Amount (per year)
DuPage County Contract 155,700
Stormwater Contract 67,000
SCARCE Fundraising/Grants 102,300
Total SCARCE Budget 325,000


SCARCE has two contracts with DuPage County to provide environmental education for teachers, students, businesses, and the general DuPage county community. You can get a partial list of these programs if you look at the site map for this site, and look at the long list in the Environmental Education Section. SCARCE also runs various reuse & recycling projects, including the Book Rescue, Tools for Schools, and Super Crayons. These are funded by donation - not by the DuPage County contracts.


As the TribLocal says, the SCARCE contract with DuPage County is for $155,750/year. This is used to pay salaries for the equivalent of 3 full time employees, and about half the rent. This is the half of the space that's used for office and classroom space - not the warehouse space used for the recycling projects. The money from the DuPage County Contract is important, because it provides a consistent cash flow, so that SCARCE can remain operational. This covers the bare minimum that allows the organization to exist, and then SCARCE actively uses other means like donations, grants, and volunteers to expand the work and provide millions of dollars of benefit to DuPage County and Illinois. The $155,750 is returned more than 10 times over in value provided each year. Lets look at a few examples.


  • SCARCE has provided DuPage county teachers with $168,000 worth of books and school supplies already in 2012. Projected to the year, SCARCE will provide over $504,000 in books and school supplies to DuPage county teachers. If you look at the entire state (including DuPage County) teachers have already taken $507,000 in books and school supplies this year, which projects to well over $1.5 million for the year. Click to see the details of Book Rescue Value.
  • The SCARCE contract is only enough to pay the salaries of 2 educators using the DuPage County pay scale. For $155,750, DuPage county gets the services of 3 full time employees, 8 part time employees, and a slew of volunteers See a more details on payroll of SCARCE and DuPage county emploees.
  • In 2011 SCARCE educated 38,000 in face-to-face educational settings. In addition, Ripples, Green Bulletin, website and Facebook reach at least 10,000 people/month. SCARCE also provides valuable phone information on recycling, composting, and energy savings for thousands of DuPage county residents each year. If the entire amount of the SCARCE contract from the county went to face-to-face education, SCARCE would be providing face-to-face education at just over $4/person.


Some other areas where we're still working on the numbers

  • SCARCE keeps LOTS out of the landfill, in their own recycling efforts, and educating the community how to recycle. Collecting details about how much is saved by all the garbage SCARCE keeps out of the landfill. On the DuPage County website, there is a figure that the tipping cost is $53/ton. This adds up to a lot, since a single extravaganza can easily recycle 10 tons.
  • SCARCE teaches schools, businesses, and municipalities how to reduce energy use and landfill disposal to save money. Collecting data on how much they save


Please contact your DuPage County Board Representative, and let them know that the SCARCE contract should be honored. This page has contact info for DuPage County Board members.