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BVO has been in 'circular economy' for decades

Local charity encourages others to join the circular economy this Earth Day
Beaver Valley Outreach is part of the circular economy, and is using the occasion of Earth Day to remind others to join the circle too.


With Earth Day arriving on April 22 and climate change in sharp focus more than ever, how we deal with the products we buy has come under scrutiny.

What happens to the way we use (and dispose of) items like clothing, toys, housewares, electronics and other items? It is these items that the “circular economy” aims to tackle.

The following definition probably describes it best: 

The circular economy is a production and consumption model that ensures sustainable growth over time by driving the optimization resources, reducing the consumption of raw materials, and recovering waste by recycling or giving it a second life as a new product. In the circular economy, everything has value and everything is used, so that waste becomes a new resource, and the balance between progress and sustainability is maintained. 

While the concept is relatively new, Beaver Valley Outreach (BVO) has been championing the circular economy for decades.

BVO is a local, grass-roots organization made up of volunteers and a small staff team that operates programs and services to further the social, economic and environmental well-being of our community. 

Today, BVO’s well-known “Treasure Shop”, operated by dedicated volunteers and a few staff, sells gently-used clothing, household items, toys, books and other items donated by the community via on-site donation bins, at low cost to eager buyers. Proceeds go towards supporting local children, families, seniors and youth. 

In 2023, BVO diverted an astounding 425,000+ pounds of donated materials and textiles from our local landfill.

“Most donated items are sold in our Treasure Shop or used in our programs and services, which includes giving items directly to families,” BVO Executive Director Carolyn Letourneau explains. “We also divert items in other ways. Depending on their purpose, some items are ‘triaged’ beyond the Treasure Shop and go to designated organizations like Habitat for Humanity, Treasure Tails and textile recycling via Diabetes Canada, for which we are reimbursed.”

Books are recycled, as are beer, wine and spirit bottles and cans via Bottles for BVO, a program that encourages people to donate their empties to BVO. 

“BVO has long been an active, local proponent of the circular economy. It’s our way of helping to make our planet more sustainable,” says Letourneau. “Through our efforts, some products get a third, or even a fourth life. It’s a local activity that benefits the local economy, the local environment, and local people. And, it’s gentle on the pocketbook."

For more information about BVO and the Treasure Shop, visit or call 519-599-2577.