Meeting recycling goals can be a challenge. We’re all trying to divert items from the landfill, but with a list of more pressing daily “to do’s” this sometimes gets put on the bottom of our list.
Now, how do you divert items from the landfill?
Communicating with residents about effective recycling is one thing, but designing successful recycling events that strategically (and definitely) keep waste out of the landfill in the first place, is another. Why not practice instead of preach and run a city-wide garage sale?
Here are 6 reasons why you should run a city-wide garage sale:
- It’s a cost-effective event that will fit into your budget
Running an event like this can be absolutely free. Depending on the garage sale format you choose, it can range anywhere from zero to a few thousand dollars. If you choose the curbside option, where individual homes hold garage sales on the same day, the event can be costless. With a little bit of coordination upfront and digital media marketing (Facebook, Twitter, mobile apps) to spread the word, you can organize an event like this in days, with absolutely no budget. City-wide sales with an indoor venue, on the other hand, tend to be the most expensive. But the beauty of organizing a sale like this, from the ground up, is that you get to choose what you can afford and what fits your city best-- and great freedom comes with this flexibility.
- It attracts tourists and visitors from other cities
City-wide garage sales also boost your city’s economy. When visitors from other places travel to your town, they are helping your city thrive-- eating in local restaurants and overnighting in nearby hotels. The city-wide sale in Austin, Texas brings in thousands of shoppers on any given sale weekend. And the city of Roseville, Minnesota also appreciates the visitors that the sale brings into their neck of the woods. Rick Schultz, Recreation Program Supervisor in Roseville, has been organizing his city-wide sale for 6 years and says,
“On the weekend of our sale, Roseville becomes the mecca for garage sales where people come from all across the surrounding area to shop.”
- It provides an extra source of income for residents
A small perk for residents with an event like this is that they have the opportunity to make a little bit of extra cash. Garage sales are great ways for citizens to supplement their income—and all in the name of recycling. According to Forbes Magazine there are roughly 165,000 yard sales each week in America, which brings in an estimated $4,222,375 to the sellers. That means that approximately $219,563,500 is exchanged each year as residents across the country buy and sell old items to new people. Learn about your countries tax laws and notify your residents about the ins and outs of declaring garage sale profits in their income taxes.
- It diverts items from the landfill
It’s one thing to teach residents how to properly dispose of items in their recycling bins—but it’s another to keep items from entering those bins in the first place. And keeping material out of recycling bins, inevitably (and wonderfully), keeps material out of the landfill. Diverting from the landfill not only helps you meet your monthly tonnage goals, but it’s also just the right thing to do—helping the environment and the global community at large.
- It raises recycling awareness
A city-wide garage sale provides a perfect platform for you to engage with and educate your residents. It’s a day or weekend event, where you can exploit the opportunity to elevate vendors and shoppers-- letting them know that participating in days like these, is not only great for their city, but also awesome for the planet. And having residents take part is only one part of the education process. Another key component to an event like this, is making sure residents are enlightened or empowered while participating, in an effort to ignite long-term behavior change, that can lead to efficient recycling all year-round.
- It creates a sense of community
Bringing community members together in the name of a common cause is bound to promote connection building. On the day of a city-wide garage sale, connections are being made across your municipality—between vendors and shoppers, between vendors themselves, among family and friend groups in the community, and also between you and the city you are responsible for educating. Connection building is key to healthy and happy communities, and a city-wide garage sale creates a context where your residents feel united.
These are just a few reasons you should run a community-wide garage sale in your city. And if you finally decide it’s something you want to do, read “How to run a city-wide garage sale” to learn more.
The title “City-wide garage sale” is already taken! The event in Austin, Texas has trademarked the term. Here are some alternative names you can use for your event:
- Community-wide garage sale
- Trunk sale/Trail sale
- (name of city)-wide garage sale
- Town-wide garage sale
About Recycle Coach: Recycle Coach specializes in digital solutions for municipal and private waste management services to effectively educate and engage residents. Our technology platforms for web, mobile, and digital assistants focus on education and encouragement to help residents to be better recyclers, with the goal of inspiring positive and lasting change in communities around the world. It is our constant innovation and scalability of services that allow us to meet the needs of over 3000 communities across the USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, and more.
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