Squamish ReBuild is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this weekend.
The not-for-profit organization helps divert used construction and building materials from the landfill and puts them into the hands of its customers.
Over the last 10 years, the organization has diverted about 1,000,000 pounds of material, according to Shanda Dosanjh, operations manager of Squamish ReBuild.
Dosanjh took over managing the organization from Inis LeBlanc, founder of the organization who still is a member of the board. Her idea to start the organization came from a book by David Suzuki, LeBlanc said.
“I read about the rebuilding center in Portland, Oregon,” LeBlanc said. “And that was it. I was like, ‘That’s what I want to do.’”
Diverting the material from the landfill is one aspect of the organization, said LeBlanc.
According to the federal government, the decomposition of organic waste, such as untreated and unpainted lumber, creates methane. This greenhouse gas contributes to climate change and landfills contribute to about 20% of national emissions of methane.
But LeBlanc said the organization wasn’t just about diverting materials from the landfill.
“We're sort of trying to create an opportunity for people to be part of the solution,” she said. “People used to think about this stuff as garbage... but now people are sort of changing the way people think about things.”
“Our mission is really to change the way people think about and deal with waste.”
And business has really been booming, even during the pandemic, said Dosanjh.
“You have no idea how many chicken coops I've built,” Dosanjh said. “There are some kids in Squamish. I would like to see the pictures of some of these playhouses.”
Dosanjh also said donations come in from all over B.C. and she estimates they get about 600 to 800 pounds of donations per day.
One time they got a donation of about 8,000 pounds worth of cabinets, Dosanjh said.
“But they’re gone. We had a lineup of people who wanted them,” she said.
As far as the future goes, Dosanjh said they would love to cross 2,000,000 pound marker when it comes to diversion from the landfill.
Additionally, the education aspect remains important as well, LeBlanc said.
“Our goal is always the same,” said LeBlanc.
“Yes, we want to keep stuff out of the landfill. We want to keep things circulating in the community, reusable stuff circulating in the community. We want to continue to educate and learn. And we are going to keep learning. It’s us too.”
This weekend, Squamish ReBuild is offering special discounts and prizes in store as part of the anniversary celebration.