ROCHESTER, Minn. – The Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Rochester has only been open for a little more than two years, but is already reaching a milestone.
Since doors opened in 2014, the ReStore manager, Abigail Davis says they’ve been keeping track of how much the store diverts from the waste stream. This week, they reached the 500 ton mark, meaning around 1 million pounds of usable material that has been donated to the ReStore has been kept out of landfills.
“When you think about the fact that we don’t actually have a landfill in Rochester, that means that everything has to go to the incinerator or we have to pay for it to be able to transport it outside of Rochester; that means that’s less fossil fuel that’s being used, that means that less landfills in other areas that are being used,” Davis explains.
Not to mention, that is a lot of useable material like furniture, appliances and other household items that shoppers have been able to purchase for a fraction of retail costs.
Davis says the ReStore continues to grow. When they first opened, she says they would average 50-70 donations per week. Now, they see 125-200 donations per week. One of the reasons they have been able to divert as much as they have in the short amount of time is because they’re seeing more shoppers as well.
But Davis says the main reason the ReStore has been such a success is the many dedicated volunteers.
“For some, their method of volunteering is just by getting the word out about us, by being our advocates,” Davis explains. “It’s not just run by Habitat for Humanity, it’s run by the people who are involved through shopping, donating and volunteering.”