When I first heard about the Reuse Centre I thought it was a fantastic idea to have a place that promotes reuse and keeps items out of the landfill. But what I couldn’t know at the beginning was how successful it would turn out to be. Now, six years later, Edmontonians donate about 12 tonnes of material every month, and over 700 people each month benefit from the Centre by making purchases.
I realize now how important the Reuse Centre is for teachers, artists, daycares, charities and citizens that benefit from the goods donated. I have had the chance to hear the positive feedback from customers and I saw firsthand how teachers incorporated reuse items into their classroom activities.
The Reuse Centre is celebrating its 6th anniversary on July 6, 2013. Since it opened, it has diverted over 726,000 kgs of material from the landfill and helped 105,000 people purchase reusable materials at an affordable price. Just as importantly, it provides a sense of community with two common goals in mind: To be creative and to help the environment by reducing our waste.
The success of our Centre is mostly due to the hard work and passion of our staff and volunteers. In 2012 alone, our 400 volunteers contributed over 4600 hours. The Goodwill Power of Work program, which helps people living with disabilities to learn job skills, contributed over 1600 hours last year. Volunteers are the core of our operations and we are very grateful to all of them.
The Reuse Centre educates children and adults about the importance of reuse and encourages the idea that our earth is worth taking care of. Edmonton is known for its leading waste management system, and the Reuse Centre is an integral part of that. With the environmental issues of today, we often wonder, “what can I do to help?” One way is to donate to the Reuse Centre, items such as crafts, school supplies and party decorations. You can find a complete list of acceptable items at edmonton.ca/reuse.
Let’s try and reduce the amount of waste we throw away, by reusing and getting the full potential out of items before they are disposed of. Our future depends on it. I want to see my children grow up in a sustainable world, not a wasteful one.