Habitat for Humanity ReStore recycles household appliances for over 15 years

With a volunteer-based structure and a mission to prevent pollution, the Habitat ReStore has become the main source of funding for Habitat for Humanity.
Published: Jun. 14, 2022 at 4:09 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 14, 2022 at 8:28 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - Thrifting looks a little different at the Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore in Mankato.

For 15 years, the store has accepted donatable items - ranging from appliances, to hardware, to materials - all to refurbish them into usable items for customers.

“We get a diversity of people. There’s obviously the carpenters, the homeowners, stuff like that, that we get in there. You know, we get some people who are just treasure hunting, for instance, because sometimes you do find those diamonds-in-the-rough, so to speak,” ReStore Assistant Manager Adam Kane said.

Habitat ReStore operates under the Habitat for Humanity ReStore of South Central Minnesota’s nonprofit organization, with a two-goal mission. The first goal is to tackle the rising costs in the housing market by making homes more affordable through inexpensive, recycled items and provide volunteers.

“We are building homes. We are using a lot of volunteer labor to build homes for people, and that’s what makes it affordable. So we’re able to receive donated services, but we use a lot of volunteer labor as well, which then reduces the cost of that home for that homeowner,” Executive Director Sondra Herman said.

The second goal is to save reusable goods from going to landfills. Last year, the store saved 266 tons of products.

“Each year, for the past seven or eight years, I would say we diverted at least 250 tons of items, per year, to the landfill. And 99% of what we diverted is probably still being used today,” ReStore Operations and Facilities Manager Shawn Warner said.

With a volunteer-based structure and a mission to prevent pollution, the Habitat Restore has become the main source of funding for the Habitat for Humanity nonprofit.

“It is what we consider our biggest fundraiser,” Herman said.

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