Stray building materials aid homeless animals on Whidbey

Bobby Bryant, supervisor of Barc Re-tail, stands before the store’s sign at the Island County Solid Waste Complex just south of Coupeville.  - Justin Burnett / The Record
Bobby Bryant, supervisor of Barc Re-tail, stands before the store’s sign at the Island County Solid Waste Complex just south of Coupeville.
— image credit: Justin Burnett / The Record

Whidbey Animals’ Improvement Foundation has opened a reuse store on Central Whidbey.

The building and reclamation center, dubbed Barc Re-tail, aims at capturing construction and building materials from the waste stream.

It is operated by the nonprofit animal shelter, known as WAIF, in collaboration with Island County Solid Waste.

“We’re making a little bit for the animals and saving some from the landfill,” said Bobby Bryant, store supervisor.

The store is located at the solid waste complex in the pole building just before the weigh scales. Hours are 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday through Saturday.

The animal shelter was awarded the contract to open the reuse store in January. Solid Waste officials were looking for a way to reduce the county’s trash and recover certain recyclables, specifically building materials.

“This is inspired by the reusable items we see in the waste stream every day,” said Jerry Mingo, recycle and hazardous waste coordinator for solid waste.

The primary goal of the program is to capture and sell construction materials, such as roofing, siding, sheet rock and acrylic paints. The plan is to accept oil-based paints as well pending the acquisition of safe storage facility, Mingo said.

The program also seeks to recover hard-to-recycle electronics not covered in the state’s E-cycle program, such as clock radios, blenders and keyboards, along with employing a dump monitor.

Staged at the dump bins, the monitor will help educate customers about what can be steered toward the reuse store. The program carries no requirements that force customers from utilizing the store.

“There’s no teeth that way,” Mingo said.

Bryant said building materials are being accepted but it may take a year before all the other goals are realized. It’s a matter of available financial resources, he said.

In the meantime, Bryant, a quick-to-smile- retired Navy man with southern roots, will be on hand to help out however he can.

“You all come see me, ya hear,” Bryant said.

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