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DAC Depot welcoming customers, donations

The DAC Salvage Depot has opened on 320 Career Path with, from left, site manager Alden Yliniemi, Eva Gruis, instructor/artist, and director Ed Ranson welcoming customers and donations. (Jean Ruzicka / Enterprise)

The DAC Salvage Depot, a work-in-progress for several months, is now open for business at 320 Career Path, the former TeamWorks site on Park Rapids' eastern perimeter.

The Depot is a stopping point for those looking for building materials, furniture and appliances and those willing to donate items for the ever-changing inventory.

Whatever is donated must be useable, explained Ed Ranson, director of Hubbard County Developmental Achievement Center. "We're not in the scrap business. Our aim is to recycle via retail," he said, citing the donation of cabinets during home remodeling as an example.

The DAC team scouted stores in Brainerd, Bemidji and Moorhead to gain ideas and now networks with them.

Key items accepted at the site include usable plumbing and electrical fixtures, parts and supplies; windows; hardware (knobs, hinges, locks, nails, cabinet pulls and more); lumber; clean carpet; tools - garden and working; wood, ceramic tile and vinyl flooring; trim and millwork; furnaces and air conditioners; large appliances (less than 10 years old); kitchen and bath fixtures; and bricks and tile.

"It's to the county's advantage," Ranson said of finding a use for articles that would otherwise have been brought to the transfer station.

A product's first stop at the Salvage Depot is the workshop, where it is analyzed and repaired as necessary. DAC clients will assist with the task, the site licensed for 18.

Essentially, it's based on Bearly Used principles, Ranson said. What's not repurposed will be recycled.

Looking for a gas can, wheel rims, lights, cooler, a bird feeder, exercise equipment or canning jars? Look no further. And if you don't find it today, head back tomorrow. It's an ever-changing inventory. Or add it to the "wish list" and be contacted when it arrives.

The DAC started in 1973 with seven clients, the numbers steadily increasing through the years to today's 90.

"And they all need jobs," Ranson said. Park Rapids has numerous employers, including downtown businesses, St. Joseph's, the schools and Heritage Living Center. Clients also arrive for duty at the original DAC, Bearly Used, Tin Ceiling and the recycling center at the transfer station.

The Depot serves as another source of employment, including those with developmental disabilities and mental illness, as well as a recycling option.

The Salvage Depot provides a pick-up service by appointment but drop-offs are preferred.

Drop-offs will be accepted during regular Depot hours, 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. and weekends by appointment. Come summer, the Depot will be open six days a week.

Those unsure of an article's recyclable use may call the center at 237-8523. Televisions will not be accepted.

Donations are tax deductible.