The GTL Circular Store will remain open in downtown Guelph for at least another year, a news release says.
The facility has operated as a thrift store and mini recycling centre in the Old Quebec St. Shoppes since February 2023. The program is operated by the Guelph Tool Library, a member-based lending library with over 1,500 tools and appliances. The Circular Store launched with limited hours but thanks to support has been able to extend the operating hours to better serve the community. In addition the Circular Store has developed connections with multiple community care organizations in Guelph. The store has worked with both Community of Hearts and the J.OE. Program to provide volunteer and work opportunities for participants in these programs.
"The store is serving a unique role in downtown Guelph. It is a thrift store with great prices on clothing and household goods. It also a unique recycling centre with items as diverse as cell phones and tooth brushes being collected," said John Dennis, chair of the board for the Guelph Tool Library in the release.
As part of the Circular Store's zero waste, circular economy initiatives, they have also connected to local artists in Guelph and Waterloo Region to begin upcycling items that are no longer usable in their current state. Local artists collect old tools, damaged clothing, and fabric to create pieces of art.
"We're really grateful to the community for their outstanding support while we launched this project, and look forward to seeing this program continue," said Circular Store's Assistant Manager Xandine Arnott. "I think the local artist connections are going to be a key aspect of ensuring our landfill diversion plans continue to succeed going forward."
The Circular Store continues to accept donations of in-season clothing, toys, arts and craft supplies, and small housewares. A detailed list of what will and will not be accept can be found on the GTL website and social media pages. Donations can be dropped off in-person from Tuesday to Saturday when the store is open.