Urban Ore – Berkeley, California - Atlas Obscura

Urban Ore, a sprawling 3 acre warehouse in Berkeley, California, is a retail store for reusable goods and a disposal service for salvageable items. What makes it unlike any thrift store or antique shop is its massive size and variety, as well as its bold sense of environmental purpose.

Items sold include furniture, doors, windows, records, books, electronics, kitchen wares, tools, musical instruments, sporting goods, clothes, and camping equipment - everything but the kitchen sink (actually you can buy one of those too!).

Recycling and an environmentally friendly vision is a key component to all aspects of the Urban Ore operation. Their mission statement is to the point. “Our purpose is to end the age of waste by advocating and developing total recycling.”

Roughly seventy five percent of all items received come from community drop-offs. All other merchandise is picked up by the Outsider Trader Department in response to calls from the community, or the Salvage and Recycling Department, which actually salvages trash that was on the way to the dump.

Urban Ore serves the DIY home-builder, home furnisher, and kitschy shopper alike. While bargains are aplenty especially for bric-a-brac, one should expect to pay reasonable sums for furniture and items with antique appeal.

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September 30, 2009

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