Beyond the Blue Box is one of Canada’s longest-standing and most successful community-based waste-reduction and reuse centres.
For 24 years, it has been accepting donations of reusable items from the community and diverting them from Northumberland County landfill sites. It does this by operating two bustling stores on Covert Street in Cobourg.
With the help of community volunteers, our not-for-profit operation collects, sorts and resells donated items for prices that are just enough to cover operating costs.
Beyond the Blue Box is especially proud of the employment opportunities it provides for members of the community with developmental needs. And we have fun doing it!
Since 1992, we have diverted more than 12 million metric tonnes of reusable material from county landfill sites, which represents a major saving for county taxpayers.
As its reputation has grown, Beyond the Blue Box has become a destination for shoppers from all over central Ontario. The stores received an estimated 182,000 visits in 2015 alone.
100% of the revenue from Beyond the Blue Box operations is recycled into the local economy in the form of wages, capital and operating expenditures.
As a charitable institution, through the years Beyond the Blue Box has helped more than 3,150 local families through its work with Cornerstone, the Help Centre, Salvation Army, Transition House and other community agencies.
From the friendly faces that greet you when you drop off your reusables to the people who sort and stock at the stores, it is volunteers who make Beyond the Blue Box a successful community initiative. Some are adults with special social and employment needs. Some are students from high schools and colleges seeking community service experience. Some are parolees from the justice system looking for a second chance and a fresh start. Others are ordinary citizens who drop by and become volunteers — part of a special place in our community, where neighbours help neighbours and make this a better place to live.
The Beyond the Blue Box board are: Carol Blaind, chair; Cam Christie, vice-chairman; Donna Alfred, treasurer:, Ann Stokes, Karin Wells, Lynn MacMillan, Lynn Jones, Tineke DeJong and Will Lambert.