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Solid waste attendants Dan Ruberto, at left and Roger Just, far right, help Daniel Atkins unload a chair that was placed outside the Hubbard County South Transfer Station for anyone to take. (Sarah Smith / Enterprise)

DAC's Salvage Depot, Henrietta Mall hope each entity can serve the public

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When the Developmental Achievement Center's Salvage Depot opens next month, it is anticipated the new business will co-exist with the Henrietta Mall, not compete with it.

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The "mall" is the euphemism given to the South Transfer Station's solid waste repository, off Henrietta Avenue in Park Rapids. Employees have for years set aside dropped off furniture, building materials and other items for the public to take free of charge so the items don't have to be land- filled.

But many of those items will also be sold through the DAC's Salvage Depot, located at the former Teamworks building off Highway 34 between AmericInn and RE/MAX First Choice realty.

"I think we can co-exist," said Salvage Depot manager Alden Yliniemi. "There's some stuff that still goes out there, but some of the stuff that used to go out there will come here, I guess."

Yliniemi said some items donated to the transfer station often sit out in the elements until someone takes them, or go to waste if no one does.

"We are getting a lot of doors and windows, just a little bit of everything," Yliniemi said. "A lot of furniture. We do have the pickup service so a lot of stuff that wouldn't have gone anywhere is now being saved."

And that may be where the two entities will differ.

The Salvage Depot's pickup service will attract donors who might otherwise not want to hassle with bringing furniture items to the transfer station.

"The way I envision it, if people bring stuff to us we'll set it aside like we normally do," said Vern Massie, the county's solid waste administrator.

"How I envision the DAC's salvage building is if you've got items you would rather not bring to us, you take it over to them. We'll set the stuff aside we know people will take from us like we normally have."

Massie said there may be some overlap but he doesn't foresee outright competition.

"What it's going to do is eliminate some of what the public has been able to get from us but I don't see it eliminating a whole lot," he said. "Kind of like the scrap yard, we still get metal."

Yliniemi said Salvage Depot, which is slated to open May 3, has already received furniture, many doors and windows and other household items.

And, with a donation of goods, people can get a tax write-off.

Massie sees the situation as more a matter of personal choice and convenience.

"What it may do is some of the wood material, instead of burying it, people can drop it off over there and it'll get reused or they'll pick it up from people," Massie said.

"Obviously there's gonna be some of that (competing for items) but it's kind of like the junkyard deal where if you want to bring a refrigerator to us and drop it off, that's fine or you can take it down the street and sell it. It's a choice thing."

Monday, the "mall" was hopping with donations. Daniel Atkins of Park Rapids was dropping off a chair he'd replaced.

"The stuff that's set out here gets picked up pretty quickly," he said. "That's a good deal."

Anne Bedford no sooner pulled up with four donated refrigerators than the solid waste attendants were out helping her unload.

She'd just replaced the older appliances at Pine Beach Resort on Lake Belle Taine.

"These work perfectly and they're all up to code," she said. "I've been doing this for years. It's a way of recycling."

She had just dropped the furniture off at a women's shelter in town. That shelter and the Headwaters Humane Society also take donated items that can potentially be resold for a small profit.

Both Massie and Yliniemi say in leaner economic times, they're seeing more people hanging on to what they have, not buying new, so inventory for all four entities may be scarce.

"People are hanging on to things a little bit," Yliniemi said. I used to work at the recycling center before I worked here and I know a few years back when the economy was better there used to be a lot more coming in, here and at the transfer station.

"We've got the place pretty full," he said. "I would like to see a few smaller things" donated.

The Salvage Depot takes furniture, building materials, sporting goods, paint and other items. To schedule a pickup, you can call 237-8523.

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Sarah Smith is the outdoors editor. She covers Hubbard County, courts and breaking news.

(218) 732-3364
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