Exchange to open the day after Thanksgiving

  • Wed Nov 8th, 2017 3:23pm
  • Life

The new Exchange reuse facility on Orcas Island will re-open Nov. 24, “Black Friday”’, at 10 a.m.

This will kick-off a grand-opening weekend, that will run through Sunday, Nov. 26. Hot dogs and cider will be served at lunch, and The Exchange will be offering a junk-craft workshop for kids.

Going forward, The Exchange will be open Thursday through Monday, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the same hours that govern the Orcas Transfer Station.

While everyone involved with the new Exchange is excited about the opening, everyone also shares a common concern: The expected tidal wave of materials the community wants to donate.

“Without question, our biggest operational hurdle will be managing intake,” said Jeff Ludwig, Exchange Manager. “That’s why we have developed a reservation system for drop-offs.”

Reservations will be required for all drop offs through the end of 2017. On Wednesday, Nov. 8, The Exchange’s reservation calendar will go live on their website www.exchangeorcas.org.

In January, or once the initial wave has passed, donations will be accepted without reservations. However reservations will continue to be required for large loads, and reservation holders will always be helped first.

There are a number of new policies being put into place by the ORS board. Here are a few examples:

1. Value Bands. The old Exchange famously had no “official” pricing. The new Exchange will. Color-coded stickers will identify the value band of the item — from $1–$10, $10–$20, $20–$30, etc.

2. Tax Deductibility. The Exchange is now an official 501(c)(3) non-profit organization. That means donated items are tax deductible. The Exchange can now provide donors with a tax-deductible receipt.

3. Volunteer & Staff Access. Staff and volunteers will be able to purchase (not take) donated items, but only after items have been on the retail floor and available to the public for at least a day.

Eight days before The Exchange opens its doors, on Nov. 16, ORS will flip the switch on a new site-wide traffic pattern. The pattern shift, which includes switching the entrance and exit on the site, are mandated by San Juan County and are intended to improve safety.

ORS/The Exchange has developed a four-page guide with detailed information about the new traffic pattern, the new policies and programs, as well as a comprehensive list of what is and is not acceptable to drop off. This brochure is available electronically here. Printed copies are available at the Transfer Station, and at various locations around Eastsound.


Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) thanks everyone in the community for their support and continued patience as we embark together upon this new adventure, rooted in zero-waste, community service and sharing with our island neighbors.

Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange is a community-driven 501(c)(3) non-profit with a mission to:

“Build a zero-waste community through service, education, and stewardship of our waste/resource stream.”

Orcas Recycling Services/The Exchange has been in operation since 1984 and managing the Orcas Island

Transfer Station since September 2013. www.exchangeorcas.org