Breathing New Life into Old Treasures
Valley Waste launched The Last ReSort Reuse Centre in 2012 to reduce waste sent to landfills. The store sells discarded but usable items at affordable prices and has become popular with customers. Due to COVID, the store closed for two years.
In 2023, the store reopened with Ryan at the helm as the ReUse Store Operator. Ryan has seen the store become a go-to destination for many people on Saturday mornings. Regular customers eagerly wait for the store to open to find the latest bargains as advertised on the Reuse Centre Facebook page. Ryan is a collector of games and toys, bringing a wealth of knowledge, humour, and personality to his role. Customers see him as an integral part of the shopping experience. Last year, the store kept almost 85 tonnes of waste out of landfills, and the money raised from sales covered the store's operating costs.
WNN Reporter: What do you enjoy about running the store?
"I enjoy discovering vintage items that raise questions about their purpose and use. Every week, I research these objects and learn something new. What I love most is the thrill of the hunt and the joy it brings when others find and purchase their new treasure. I also love seeing photos of items customers have refurbished or upcycled."
WNN Reporter: What have been some unusual items you have found?
"I have come across a wide range of interesting objects, from a prosthetic arm to a bag filled with postcards from a World War II soldier to his family. Among the items I have found are a Toyota-made Belair sewing machine, a working Victrola record player and thousands of intricately crafted fishing flies."
WNN Reporter: What challenges have you faced?
“We don’t take donations, so we rely on what people discard at the Management Centre. During the summer is hard to keep up with all the good items that people throw out. We encourage the public to consider reusing, reselling, and donating their items so they are not being brought to our sites. Ultimately, this is a good problem to have even if it means we have less to choose from for the store.”
WNN Reporter: What makes the store successful?
“People love bargains and discovering unique items they can add to their collection, restore, or even resell. Our purpose is to keep useable items from going to the landfill and over the past year, our sales have increased which makes me feel that I am providing a successful outcome for everyone.”
Article Contributed by Valley Waste Resource-Management
Follow us on Facebook @The Last ReSort ReUse Centre Open 9 am – noon Saturdays (except holidays) at 90 Donald Hiltz Connector, Kentville Industrial Park.
Learn more about Waste Reduction from the Valley Waste Outreach & Education Team: https://www.vwrm.com/education-outreach/