ELYRIA — To celebrate America Recycles Day, the Lorain County Solid Waste District is working with Lorain County Habitat for Humanity to not only reduce waste, but to help others.
The unlikely pair is partnering to collect construction materials, household appliances and other home rehab items to sell in Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore. Proceeds from the items sold will benefit Habitat for Humanity.
“This is the first year we have partnered with Habitat,” said Tiffany Barker, solid waste specialist with the district. “Typically, we promote recycling on America Recycles Day.”
The solid waste district hands out pamphlets and offers educational materials to the public for the event, which was Thursday. But this year, they decided to do something different.
“We were talking internally, just kicking around ideas, trying to figure out what works and we came up with this,” Barker said. “It’s amazing when you think about it — how much (household goods) can accumulate in a year.”
The solid waste district will act as a drop off location for items such as countertops, cabinets, windows, doors, light fixtures, hardware, tools and appliances.
All of the items donated must be in good condition so that they may be resold. Lorain County Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore also will accept items.
“A lot of people don’t know the ReStore is available,” Barker said. “If you’re redoing your half-bath, maybe you only need a half of a box of tile. They may have that.”
The Lorain County Habitat for Humanity ReStore opened in June 2010, but the store is still gaining momentum, said Kelly La Rosa, executive director of the Lorain County Habitat for Humanity.
“People are still continuing to try to get to know us on our Facebook page,” she said.
The organization received a donation of a truck in the summer from the Nord Family Foundation, which has helped tremendously, she said.
The cost to build a basic three-bedroom home without a basement is $70,000, adding a basement costs an additional $10,000. Habitat homes are typically 1,000 square feet and energy efficient.
“The idea is to build something the person can afford and that they are able to maintain,” La Rosa said.
Lorain County Habitat for Humanity has built 40 homes in its 25-year history. The last home was built in 2010.
Currently, Habitat is raising funds for its next building project and the ReStore helps.
“It would be great if we could get the word out,” La Rosa said. “We are able to recycle lots of things and help the community at the same time. The store attracts a lot of landlords, but low income people as well because our prices our geared toward the working poor.”
Sales for the ReStore totaled $52,000 last year, but profits were just $4,000, after paying overhead for utilities and workers.
The truck donation has had a big impact, however, allowing the agency to travel to pick up items and virtually doubling the store’s sales during the same time period from last year to this year, La Rosa said.
For those looking to get rid of unwanted household items, Barker and La Rosa both hope people consider donating during this America Recycles Day event. La Rosa also hopes the public takes a look at Habitat’s Facebook page to see what they have to offer because all of the profits from the ReStore go directly back to Habitat for Humanity.
And the organization is always looking for volunteers.
For more information about the ReStore and to see what items are available, visit its Facebook page.
Where: 540 S. Abbe Road, Elyria
Dropoff times: 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. today.
Lorain County Habitat for Humanity ReStore
Where: 214 E. 34th St., Lorain
Dropoff times: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays (year-round)
For more information, visit www.loraincounty.us/solidwaste or call (800) 449-5463
Contact Christina Jolliffe at 329-7155 or firstname.lastname@example.org.