NW REporter

Community reuse center notches notable numbers for 2021

The RE Store, a community reuse center that is part of RE Sources, posted some impressive numbers for its waste reduction efforts during 2021. The nonprofit organization operates a retail location in the Fountain District of Bellingham as well as an online store for curbside pick-up.

Among last year’s accomplishments RE Store highlighted were:

  • Salvage services rescued 422,393 pounds of material for reuse. Notably, this is the equivalent of keeping 40 houses’ worth of material out of the landfill.
  • The Manufacturing Waste Diversion Program diverted 57,413 pounds of materials. We helped local manufacturers make use of their leftover materials – and kept it out of the waste stream.
  • We received and processed 809,243 pounds of material from community members like you. This helped us to offset 313 metric tons of carbon emissions- the equivalent to taking 67 cars off the road for a year.
  • We welcomed 10 interns and trainees through our Community Jobs Training Program, hosted 26 volunteers, and provided 11 trial work experiences for adults with disabilities. Together, they racked up over 1,900 hours of training and work experience.
  • The Revision Division built 441 pieces of hand-crafted furniture and home furnishings from reclaimed and used building materials.

Also during 2021, the RE Store launched the Revision Division Design Build Training Institute. The new program teaches upcycled design and carpentry to underserved individuals and students. To date, the first four newly-trained participants have built more than 30 pieces.

The organization prioritizes “community, reuse, waste reduction and building resiliency” and credits “shoppers, staff, trainees, donors, neighborhoods, and the larger community” with contributing to the achievements.

Founded in 1993, the RE Store and warehouse now encompasses 20,000 square feet. The retail location features salvaged and reclaimed building materials, vintage décor, and a facility to receive lightly used donated items. The warehouse is filled with lumber, doors, cabinets, plumbing materials and supplies, electrical components, and more.

Each dollar raised through the store’s retail sales “conserves valuable natural resources, provides job training to displaced workers, and advocates for a strong, resilient local economy.” Among its annual feats, the RE Store:

  • Saves the community over $1 million in building materials costs,
  • Diverts nearly 3 million pounds of quality building supplies from the landfill, and
  • Provides more than 1,500 hours of accessible on-the-job training opportunities.