Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore locations in Vernon, Penticton, Kelowna and West Kelowna will reopen amid COVID-19 as of Tuesday, May 19, 2020, with extra safety measures implemented. (Google Maps)

Skip the dump: Okanagan ReStores reopen amid COVID-19

Quarantine cleaners rejoice, Habitat for Humanity will begin accepting donations Tuesday

Too much time at home means several have reorganized and have plenty of items destined for giveaway or disposal. Habitat for Humanity is asking people to skip the dump as it prepares to reopen its four Okanagan ReStore locations Tuesday, May 19.

Kelowna and West Kelowna’s ReStore locations have already been open for over a week and “business is steady,” the organization said in a statement Friday, May 15.

Following the long weekend, the Vernon and Penticton ReStore locations will also reopen to accept donations between 10-4 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays.

“Many people have found it hard to find a place to drop off goods during the COVID-19 pandemic and garage sales have been next to impossible, so many people have either been dumping or keeping the items from their spring cleanups,” the statement said.

Now, people can drop them off and know their items won’t waste away in the landfill, but instead, be given a second chance in a new home.

Stores will be open Tuesday through Saturday, 10-4 p.m. with safety protocols in place to curve the spread of COVID-19.

All products donated will undergo cleaning before it is put out on the floor for resale.

“The stores were closed for a couple months and the staff were laid off,” Habitat for Humanity Okanagan CEO Andrea Manifold said.

The organization had to lay off 33 staff members when doors were shut due to the novel coronavirus.

“We are happy to see everyone coming back to work and to see our volunteers once again.”

“It is vital for our organization to generate funds through ReStore sales for our affordable housing program,” she said. “We encourage everyone to shop local and to recycle usable products.”

ReStores have diverted over 11 million pounds of usable product from landfills since operating in the Okanagan.

READ MORE: VIDEO: Downtown Vernon businesses reopening amid COVID-19

READ MORE: COVID-19: ‘We’re not done yet,’ Vernon mayor says ahead of long weekend


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Caitlin.clow@vernonmorningstar.com

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