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The Whistler Community Services Society is expecting to be swamped by a deluge of used goods and clothing by the time the doors of the new re-use it centre open for business by the end of March. Whistlerites have been hoarding their used wares in anticipation of the opening originally slated for the spring of 1999. Community services director Janet MacDonald said her phone has been ringing off the hook with people asking when the society will start accepting donations. "It’s frightening the number of calls we have been getting but at the same time its good, it’s encouraging." Revenue generated from the used items sold at bargain basement prices will be used to create new community services programs and fund old ones. The centre will serve as a resource for those on a shoe-string budget needing clothing, household supplies and small furniture. MacDonald said a re-use it centre co-ordinator has now been hired and a grand opening has been scheduled for April 8 but a "softer opening" will take place March 23. Maureen Liddy will fill the role of co-ordinator, bringing her retail, management, organizational and people skills to the job. The centre will be open for business from noon until 5 p.m. Thursday through Sunday. The municipality has invested more than $100,000 in the re-use it building at the Function Junction compactor site. It was anticipated the building would open before summer last year but construction delays pushed the expected opening date back. The community services society was finally handed the keys to the building in January this year. Winter, however, was crunch time for the society and it has taken this long to get all the pre-opening work completed, said MacDonald. Space will be limited in the building which means large items like mattresses, upholstered chairs and fridges and stoves will not be accepted. Otherwise, anything goes as long as it is clean and in good working order. "If someone has something that is on the fritz because it is only missing one part, unfortunately, at this point, we just won’t have the facilities to deal with it," said MacDonald.

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