Matériaux pour les Arts Montréal (MAM) is a nonprofit organization whose mission is to divert material waste (currently taking up space in landfills) and make it available to educate people about the arts, through members of artists organizations, on how to use the waste materials for creative projects. On the one hand, the organization allows organizations to get rid of their waste free of charge (avoid paying storage and collection costs) and to use these materials (wood, cardboard, ceramics, paper, metal, leather, plastic, textile, glass, composites, electronics, office supplies, dry goods, etc.). For designers and artists who can not afford to buy them on the market.
Matériaux pour les Arts has developed an Interactive Bank, an Internet tool that serves as a virtual warehouse for materials and acts as a platform for exchanging materials. Industries, businesses and institutions (IBI) can offer residual materials, surplus materials and equipment to the artistic community by using the BIMAM service. The "automatic networks" allow some donors and recipients to automatically connect with someone to address their needs and interests, upon registration.
MAM's mission is to develop an innovative recovery system and reduce residual materials, while providing expertise regarding the most viable approaches to sustainable urban development, and their implementation across the city and neighbourhoods . MAM is intended to serve as an artistic and cultural hub for developing service, in fact, the artistic creation allows MAM to find an unusual use for certain residual materials that would normally be rejected by other industries for their reuse.
MAM intends to test the idea, which plays an important part in social awareness. By strengthening the links between culture and the environment, MAM aims to stimulate reflection, debate and intervene on the ground to aid sustainable development alongside experts and the general public. And by promoting more awareness of the demands and challenges of sustainable urban development, MAM will help bring significant change in terms of policies and the daily habits of Montrealers.
Matériaux pour les arts has a high potential for succeeding in other territories as demonstrated by the development of similar initiatives in the United States and Australia, like: Material for the Arts (New York), Material Exchange Center for Community Arts ( Eugene, Oregon), Scrap: Scrounge Center for Reusable Art Parts (San Francisco), RAFT: Resource Area for Teaching (San Jose), The Scrap Exchange (Durham), Reverse Garbage (Marrickville, Australia).