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Not for Profit: ReSource Depot

William Willigerod (from left), Christie O'Neil and Karen Vahling of ReSource Depot.While the goal is to keep usable building and other similar materials out of the landfill, the non-profit Island Green Building Association’s ReSource Depot provides very low cost goods to residents. Some of the items are new and still in the box. Others are used but still have lots of life left.

“It’s less than half price and in some cases, we’re almost giving it away,” Island Green Building Association President William Willigerod said, referring to retail price.

ReSource Depot is located in three trailers sitting across Gifft Hill Road from the entrance to the Susannaberg landfill. It’s open 10 a.m. to noon Saturdays only.

The inventory changes constantly, but during a recent visit the trailers were stocked with toilets, sinks, tile, paint, hurricane clips, gardening items, light fixtures, electrical panel boxes, light fixtures, windows, doors, nails, tools, hardware, and more. ReSource Depot even had a pickup truck rack for sale.

The materials are donated by builders, people who built houses and had leftovers, homeowners, and even stores like Sea Chest on St. Thomas getting rid of inventory.

IGBA’s web site lists some of the inventory, but director Karen Vahling said that for an up-to-the-minute look at what’s available, a personal visit is best.

“The highlights are on the website,” Willigerod added.

ReSource Depot also keeps a wish list of items people want. Should they come in, they’ll get a call to let them know.

The money goes right back into operating the ReSource Depot. IGBA director Karen Vahling said rent for the trailers runs $600 a month.

Volunteers keep the store open, but both Vahling and Willigerod said more are needed to staff the store and do pick ups of goods too large to transport in a car.

“We’d like to create a job for someone,” Vahling said.

IGBA is also looking for donations to pay for a media advertisement listing the current inventory and to pay rental on a trailer.

“The goal is to raise enough money to keep doing it,” Vahling said.

IGBA had a Waste Management Authority grant lined up, but just a couple of weeks before the check was due, the program closed, Vahling said.

Board member Christie O’Neal often puts in the two-hour shift on Saturday morning.

“I love working here. It’s fun,” she said.

The volunteers accept donations. If the value is under $5,000, those donating get a simple receipt recording the donation and its value. If it’s over $5,000, it must be appraised.

IGBA has been around since 2004. Early on, its members developed green building standards but it wasn’t until Vahling came on board three years ago that the organization gained traction and began to branch out to efforts like the ReSource Depot.

As for the environment, the most recent calculation indicated ReSource Deport is keeping 125 pounds for every hour its open out of the landfill, but Vahling estimated that the number is now up to about 200 pounds an hour.

Business is brisk, Willigerod, Vahling and O’Neil all said.

“It’s an idea whose time has come,” O’Neil said.

For inventory highlights and more on IGBA, visit www.igba-stjohn.org. Call 227-1110.

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