Fundraising Goal Met for Re-Opening The Exchange

Thanks to the incredible generosity of the Orcas community, Orcas Recycling Services (ORS) has met its fundraising goals for re-opening The Exchange reuse facility.

Fundraising to re-build the Exchange has been on-going ever since fire consumed the original Exchange in Feb. 2013. And in late 2016 ORS determined it still needed $90,000 to cover the cost of the interior build-out, start-up expenses, and contingencies.

Donations crossed that threshold over Memorial Day weekend, which released a $10,000 matching grant offered by a generous local family.

“We have received hundreds of donations—from $5 to $10,000 since this all began,” said Tim Blanchard, ORS Board President. “That’s really exciting because it shows that there is commitment from every economic level on the Island.”

By Apr. 1, ORS had raised $55,000 on the way to the goal of $90k. That inspired a spring donation drive, which was capped with a late May donor appreciation event. At that event, a local supporter offered a $10,000 bonus gift if ORS could reach the goal by the end of the month—which they did.

Construction of the new Exchange has already begun. The exterior “shell” of The Exchange is being constructed by San Juan County. ORS will be responsible for building out the interior.

“Thanks to our generous donors, we expect to be able to start working on the interior of The Exchange in late July,” said Pete Moe, ORS Executive Director. “And now we feel comfortable that we have the funds to do it in a responsible way.”

ORS says it intends to use as much reusable material and volunteer labor as possible in the project. Potential volunteers are encouraged to sign up to help by calling or registering at