Finger Lakes ReUse is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization located in Ithaca, New York. Through various activities relating to ‘ReUse’, we strive to Enhance Community, Economy and the Environment.
SERVICES & PROGRAMS
Used materials are a Local Resource
Tons of building materials, computers, electronics, household goods, appliances, and furniture unnecessarily enter the landfill. Used materials – too often wasted – are assets with overlooked economic value. Finger Lakes ReUse taps this value to strengthen our economy, build community, and protect our environment by re-directing materials from the waste stream into productive new uses.
Finger Lakes ReUse operates a community-oriented warehouse, shopping, and educational center where the maximum reuse of materials is a priority; where safety, cleanliness, customer service, good business, education, and creativity are stressed; where living wage jobs are created and supported; where mentoring opportunities are available; and where education in the skills of repair and reuse is offered. Our aim is for everyone in the community to enjoy and partake in the services offered by Finger Lakes ReUse and, in time, to also assist other communities in the region to develop reuse services.
At the ReUse Centers, underserved members of our community are finding an open and welcoming environment where they can learn job skills, take and share responsibility, be part of a team, undertake challenges, and receive recognition for their accomplishments. At the ReUse Center, the community finds answers to technical questions and discusses creative reuse solutions with other shoppers, employees, and volunteers. Finger Lakes ReUse fosters civic involvement through its volunteer opportunities and educational programs. Finger Lakes ReUse also fills a unique niche that complements and enhances human service programs. Since 2017, through our ReUse Materials Access Program (ReMAP), we have helped hundreds of community members in financial crises and in need of materials by granting store credit via referrals to our program from our partnered human service agencies. Finger Lakes ReUse collaborates closely with human service agencies, educational institutions, trade unions, local government, and existing reuse programs to provide new training opportunities for their students, apprentices, and clients. Finger Lakes ReUse is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. Our public documents are available here: ithacareuse.org/resources
In Tompkins County, 21% of the population lives below the Federal Poverty Level (2017). In addition to providing quality goods at affordable prices, Finger Lakes ReUse is creating jobs and providing skills training to move people out of poverty and into work that pays a living wage. The ReUse Skills and Employment Training (ReSET) program provides on-the-job skills training through volunteer entry-level programs, with the invitation to apply for an apprenticeship after program and training completion. Finger Lakes ReUse has created over 80 active employment opportunities as of 2020, and continues to add positions as we grow.
In 1995, Tompkins County made a commitment to develop a ReUse Center as part of its 20-Year Solid Waste Management Plan. Tompkins County Recycling & Materials Management Division (Formerly Tompkins County Solid Waste Management Division) views reuse as the most efficient, economic, and environmentally friendly way to reduce the waste stream further. Finger Lakes ReUse has reduced waste in the county by 58% after 13 years. As we continue to grow, Finger Lakes ReUse annually diverts hundreds of tons of materials that may otherwise end up in the waste stream related to construction, computers, electronics, appliances, household goods, sporting equipment, textiles, furniture, books, media and more.