Recyclers find a home in the country

Couple starts a free service where people can both drop off and pick up used items that would otherwise go to the landfill

Jack’s Place is home to a host of second-hand treasures — and they’re free.

From old cups and toys to used windows and doors, the facility in Imperial, Sask., is a haven for odds and ends that people come to drop off or pick up.

The startup is modelled after places like the Salvation Army, says owner Shirley Klenk Flostrand, but with a unique twist.

“Jack’s Place is a set of buildings where we take in usable items from people and give them away to others for free to keep it out of the landfills. We are recycling as much as possible to help save our planet,” she said.

Added husband Murray: “A non-profit is making money for the church or something like that. We aren’t set up as a non-profit. We are just doing this as a service for people.”

They said the inspiration came from working at the local community landfill and seeing usable items routinely being thrown away.

“I used to see the stuff going into the bins, which goes to the Regina landfill. So I started asking people if they would mind if I took their items and give it away to somebody who could use it. It saves them money from putting it into the landfill,” said Murray.

Added Shirley: “Out here in the middle of nowhere a lot of people don’t want the hassle of going into the city to donate something or some don’t know what to do with it. Then there’s quite a few elderly that have passed away and their kids don’t want the stuff. Normally they would just haul it out to the local dump.”

Jack’s Place operates out of an old garage in Imperial, Sask. | Supplied photo

So two years ago using their own money, the couple began the recycling service from an old garage they bought in Imperial, about halfway between Saskatoon and Regina.

The name for their enterprise came from the town’s longtime custodian.

“The buildings used to be owned by Jack Remington here in town as far as I remember from being a young kid,” she said.

When I started doing this, people would ask where the place was located so they could drop off or pick up and I’d say, ‘do you remember Jack’s place?’ So it just kind of became Jack’s Place.”

And as the saying goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure.

To that end, they’ve been able to help many people moving out on their own with free items to fill their new homes, including young adults setting up their first household or single parents needing to start over.

“We now have many people coming out from the cities around us, including Regina, Saskatoon and Moose Jaw,” she said.

“We welcome anyone that can use the items and take in any and all items that can be used or upcycled.”

However, occasionally there’s been someone who doesn’t want something for nothing and offered to pay, which they will accept, but only as a donation toward fixing up the place.

To that end, the couple have started a GoFundMe page (gofundme.com/f/jack039s-place-repairs) to try and raise money for much needed repairs to the old building.

“We need to put on a new roof, update the electrical and fix some walls. I’d like to try and get some of the other parts of the building fixed up to expand the floor space that we have,” she said.

“We would like to keep our doors open to help those that can use the free items.”

Jack’s Place is open most Sundays and Wednesday afternoons.

People who want to pick up or drop off can contact Flostrand at 306-963-7985.

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