October 18, 2021

Sale benefits ReUse program

Colin Spencer/staff reporter

Bethany Baran, left, and her mother Michele look at items Saturday during the Cortland ReUse pop-up sale inside the Cortland Corset Building. Proceeds from the sale will help fund a facility for the ReUse project.

Inside a quiet, sun-filled room of the Cortland Corset Building on Saturday, Michele Baran and her daughter Bethany, 15, perused old silverware, dishes and other household items.

“We like to come out and find some unique things,” Michele Baran said.

Others throughout the day joined the two during Saturday’s pop-up sale to benefit the Cortland ReUse program. Proceeds from the sale, which ran Friday and Saturday, will be used to support the organization as it looks for a physical home, said Kat McCarthy, the sale organizer and a member of the group’s steering committee.

“I’ve been really happy with the turnout,” said McCarthy, also a Cortland alderwoman. “We’ve had a lot of people come through and people seem pretty excited about the project as well, which is great to see.”

Cortland ReUse, a project of the Cornell Cooperative Extension, would help people donate unwanted items to be sold instead of going to a landfill, she said.

It also allowed for people like the Barans to find unique items. Bethany Baran purchased an old ceramic milk jug, because she liked the design.

She also likes buying used, antique items in general because they give off a “very unique feel,” she said.

Patrick Gailor of Cortland said he came by to check out the sale as he has visited and likes the Finger Lakes ReUse facilities in Ithaca.

“I’m hopeful the new ReUse space will be open at some point,” he said. While he didn’t have anything in mind to purchase when he arrived, he ended up buying a spokeshave woodworking tool.

“As the adage goes, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure,” he said.

Louise Felker of Dryden and Brynn Wilkins of Ithaca, agreed.

“I think it’s great to be able to take things people don’t need anymore and give them a new life,” Felker said.

The two bought art supplies like fabric, frames and a staple gun for Felker and picture frames for Wilkins.

Felker said that having a ReUse facility in Cortland would be a great resource.

“There’s sometimes a stigma with buying second-hand materials and I think if there was a specific location for people to do that, it would take away some of that stigma,” she said.

“I think it also makes it easier to recycle some of your own things as well if there is some place that is easily accessible,” Wilkins added.

McCarthy said she hopes to have a facility for Cortland ReUse in the spring or summer of 2021. The organization has been raising funds and getting a better feel for how to operate through events like the pop-up shop.

“There are so many benefits of ReUse,” McCarthy said. “Hopefully, people can get a benefit from that as well.”