After several years of planning and preparation, Jason Donig will open Juneau’s only salvage yard Saturday, a project that combines his experience as a contractor and interests as a environmentally minded community member.
AK ReUse will have its grand opening from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday on Shaune Drive, near the Alaskan Brewing Company and around the corner from Costco.
Donig had hoped to open the business last summer, but wasn’t able to lay all the groundwork in time. Though there is still more to do at this point, he is eager to move to the next phase of the project and get feedback from the community.
“I could prepare for months but I just want to open and get the public in here to see what’s going on. It’s time to get going,” he said.
AK ReUse is designed to provide contractors and homeowners a green alternative to the landfill, while giving them a place to acquire materials and supplies. Donig’s inventory includes used doors, windows, cabinetry, flooring and electrical equipment, some of which is overflow from local building or renovation projects. He also carries a range of architectural salvage he hand-picked during a trip to Seattle last summer that focuses more on vintage items such as faucets, doorknobs, sinks and lighting fixtures.
Donig welcomes donations from the community, and says the business won’t work without the public’s involvement. Those who wish to donate buildling materials should call or email in advance; he will not be accepting furniture at this time.
“I am trying to gather up functional, reusable building materials of any sort,” he said. “Cabinetry, but not furniture — no tables, no chairs, no couches. I just have to be really picky.”
Donig hopes his lot will become the first stop for locals who want to get rid of usable materials before they head to the dump. If it’s something someone else can use, and it’s in good shape, he’ll take for free what would cost money to throw in the landfill.
“There’s a lot of good stuff that gets thrown away,” he said.
So far he hasn’t had much luck in building up a cooperative relationship with the owners of the local landfill, Waste Management, Inc., but he hopes to keep working on that. The dump is a privately owned business that charges customers by the pound, so there isn’t a lot of financial incentive in steering customers his way.
Moving forward, Donig said he’d like to build the business up as a hub for other projects with a green or community focus.
“Once it’s open and running, then I’d definitely like to think about getting other businesses to come in here, and get more involved with the community — maybe with Juneau Youth Services and ORCA. I think it would be a good atmosphere for people to come and learn skills.” Donig is a former JYS employee.
For now, he’s keeping it simple. He’ll be open three days a week, Friday through Sunday, so he can continue working as a speciality contractor to pay the bills.
To find out more about donating to AK ReUse, call the office phone at 586-5025 or email akreuse@gmail.
Saturday’s grand opening will run from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at 5327 Shaune Drive. For more information, visit www.facebook.com/AkReuse.