‘Around Again’ opens in new location

Of trash and treasures

  • Monday, March 24, 2014 11:25am
  • Life

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Around Again, Sequim’s popular recycling center, has moved into new digs.

Or to put it another way, they’re now recycling the old Olympic RV site on U.S. Highway 101, across from Taylor Cut-Off Road.

With the move, the store, formerly located near the corner of Seventh Avenue and West Washington Street, has lots more room. That means lots more stuff.

Around Again founder Gavin Wuttken calls the nonprofit operation a "used building materials, home furnishings and selected collectibles store."

But he’s got a shorthand version of that, too: "You say ‘garbage,’ we say ‘treasure.’"

The primary purpose of the nonprofit store is simply to keep stuff out of the landfill. To do that they sell usable, recycled items at discounted prices. Most of the stuff they sell is donated.

Since opening in Sequim about a year and a half ago, Around Again has kept 32,000 pounds of "treasures" out of landfills, Wuttken said proudly.

Learn to recycle

In order to maximize the operation’s eco-friendliness, the folks who run it also provide customers with information on conservation and environmental issues.

That includes occasional classes on recycling opportunities. This summer, for example, Around Again will teach youths how to make a terrarium out of an old light fixture. They also will have classes on building shelves and other household items with old hollow-core doors and additional classes on creating art from leftovers.

Sequim’s Kathleen Potter attended one of Around Again’s classes and was inspired: Several of her pieces now are for sale at the store, including a really cool bird bath fashioned from an old satellite dish. She said the mosaic that lines the concave interior is "stone, floor tile – all kinds of things. And almost all of it’s from (Around Again)."

She also sells rustic coat racks created from recycled dressers along with recovered rosettes and drawer pulls – "a hodgepodge of stuff," she said.

Peter Rosen purchases old planks and hardware for his craft works, including boxes of all shapes and sizes. When he’s done putting them together, his wife, Rachel, provides the finishing touch with her paint and brushes.

"My wife’s an artist and we were looking for materials. When this place opened it was a treasure trove."

Rosen said "What costs $50 at Home Depot" can be purchased at Around Again for pennies on the dollar. "Mahogany, oak … things I wouldn’t be able to play with. And I am playing."

Rosen sometimes is pure business, too. Last summer at Sequim’s Open Aire Market "We sold a lot of boxes," he said.

Jim Stuart and April Larson constantly are seeking treasures at Around Again and have found quite a few.

The two, who are commercial painters and professional photographers, use the stuff to create any number of items, from the greenhouse in their yard to artfully rustic frames for their photos.

They’re now building a workshop in their backyard where they can ply their various crafts all winter long. It will be constructed with windows, wood, wiring and more drawn from Around Again. "Those guys are fantastic," Stuart said.


Elbow room needed

Mike Jaquish, who serves on Around Again’s board of directors, sometimes is referred to as a "pallet artist." He said he first started pulling them apart for firewood. "Then I started noticing some of it is pretty good wood. Aspen, ash, cherry, alder, pecan, mahogany … and pretty much anything else."

Now he makes furniture – all kinds of furniture – from that wood.

He also picks up a lot of his working materials from the stuff donated to Around Again, including one memorable delivery of 42 board feet of Honduran mahogany.

Jaquish said Around

Again had "pretty much maxed out what we could do" in the old facility. Going bigger just makes sense, he said. "There’s definitely no shortage of material and the quality of the stuff has gone up."

In addition, the store is expanding the materials it can recycle to include No. 5 plastics (it already takes in 1 and 2) and old tennis shoes, which Nike shreds for use in playgrounds.

Jaquish said people should consider the store for more than just used furniture and appliances. "Also think about us for hardware, lighting, a little paint," he said.

For more information or to schedule a donation pick-up, call 683-7862


Reach Mark Couhig at mcouhig@sequimgazette.com.

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