AnniversarRE: RE Sources Celebrates Building
Healthy Communities for 30 Years
A Brief History:
A small band of idealistic volunteers started picking up recyclable materials in Bellingham with a borrowed truck in 1982. That crew included now well-known public figures like Harriet Spanel and Louise Bjornson. By 1985, Bellingham Community Recycling (BCR) had expanded its operations to cover ten neighborhoods, owned its own truck and employed a paid crew. Moreover, BCR had begun to conduct programs in the schools designed to teach students the ABC’s of recycling. In 1989, after the citizens proved it could be done, the City of Bellingham began offering curbside recycling to all city residents. Shortly thereafter, in 1991, Whatcom County followed suit, making it the first County in the State to offer curbside recycling.
The non-profit organization changed its name in 1995 to RE Sources for Sustainable Communities aka RE Sources. Two years prior to the name change, it had started The RE Store. This cherished community asset featured building material retail stores for used building supplies as well as pick up, salvage and green demolition services along with educational workshops and green jobs training. Programs continued to be started out of RE Sources, like the North Sound Baykeeper, RE Lectronics electronics recycling and reuse(now an independent non-profit), and Sustainable Connections even rented its first office in the conference room at The RE Store’s former facility on Holly Street. The nationally recognized Pipeline Safety Trust was also incubated by former RE Sources executive director, Carl Weimer, in response to the 1999 Olympic Pipeline tragedy.
Challenges along the way have included overcoming many hurdles, including broken down vehicles, outdated computers and other tools, and raising funds for purchasing a permanent home.
Today the organization owns its own compound at 2309 Meridian Street, has a store in Seattle, a field office for the Baykeeper, visits thousands of locations each year and is on track despite the challenging economy.
And thanks to the Bellingham Business Journal for their article about our anniversary:
Our Twitter feed
TheREStoreTweet: Natural ways to restore your salvage and reclaimed wood projects of any size or type: http://t.co/rwlUFcwMqw http://t.co/7nBfxEX0xy
TheREStoreTweet: Hey Ballardites - join us this Saturday with our neighbors at Apex Automotive for their 49th Street Open House, 4-9p! http://t.co/EDnh8CHoDG
TheREStoreTweet: Seating fun with salvaged doors: http://t.co/yMtsBDbWQa http://t.co/tmZLlL2ToN
TheREStoreTweet: Have you stretched today? Donate to us through Seattle Foundation before midnight tonight, and your donations... http://t.co/v7YuaEyycz