Since the Salvation Army announced they would be closing their thrift store, Raven Recycling has been planning for the impact on the public, the city’s landfill and our free store. We know that people donated literally tons of reusable goods to the Salvation Army to be used by others. Raven recognizes that we cannot replace the Salvation Army’s thrift store.
Raven’s free store began as a shelf with books and baby jars. Over the years, it has become a busy space that the community has appreciated but that has become difficult to maintain. Currently, items left at Raven’s free store only sit on our shelves for an average of 36 hours. That does not give them much of a chance for a second life. We bale the items that can be recycled and the rest just go to the landfill.
This is not just happening in Whitehorse. Consumers have been buying more and more goods at a faster pace as goods become more affordable. At the same time, consumers feel guilty about throwing out reusable items or about buying them in the first place.
Before bringing goods to Raven Recycling, we encourage everyone to take advantage of the numerous opportunities for reselling and reusing in the community:
– A new Whitehorse Flea Market will be held every Saturday starting May 6 at Changing Gear
– Zero Waste Yukon is hosting three zero waste garage sales over the summer at North Star Mini Storage
– A reuse and repair fair is set for June 3 in the Mt. Sima industrial area
– The City of Whitehorse’s annual tag ‘n take is set for May 13 and 14
– Garage sales offer another opportunity for those looking to give their goods a second life
– The new Whitehorse reuse Guide at the Zero Waste Yukon website. Look under tips and tools
– If you have an event that you would like promoted, please contact Zero Waste Yukon firstname.lastname@example.org
For our part, Raven has recently received support from the Community Development Fund to help promote reuse in Whitehorse over the summer months. We will build partnerships with community organizations that have relied on the Salvation Army Thrift Store for their goods and services. Because our space does not allow for storage or display, we will develop an online interactive forum to share up-to-date information about donating and locating used goods in Whitehorse. We will promote events and work on a consumer education campaign for the fall.
The closure of the Salvation Army thrift store and the city’s closure of their free store reflects that we need a new way of doing things. Raven Recycling will continue to work hard in the ways that we can to support the reuse culture that is alive and well in the Yukon.
Executive director, Raven Recycling Society