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Reuse, Recycle and Reap the Cash at Nation-wide Garage Sale Trail

Melissa Smith

Did you know that Australia generated 75.8 mega tonnes of waste last year? What’s a mega tonne you ask? Who knows? But 75.8 mega tonnes is equivalent to 471 Sydney Opera Houses and we all know what one of those is.

This staggering statistic as well as Australians ranking among the topmost wasteful nations in the world is a sobering thought.

Something we can do to relieve our guilt and impact on the environment is to get behind the humble garage sale and the mother of all of them, Garage Sale Trail is open for registration and held over two massive weekends in November.

Garage Sale Trail was created by two Sydney mates with a passion for the environment. A snap decision 11 years ago to include a garage sale with a tagline ‘Don’t dump It. Sell it’, as an add-on to an event they were hosting has seen Garage Sale Trail grow faster than the rate of clothes dumped in landfills – and that’s fast!

The Aussie not-for-profit social enterprise is backed by nearly 100 councils nationwide and in 2022, Australia witnessed a surge of over 15,000 garage sales occurring both in virtual and community settings. An impressive turnout of over 300,000 individuals took to the streets and online platforms, resulting in hundreds of people “blessing and releasing” over 4 million cherished possessions from cupboards, sheds, and garages.

Five Regional Councils in South Australia – Barossa, Naracoorte-Lucindale, City of Whyalla, Yorke Peninsula and Port Pirie have joined the program which provides them and their communities with exclusive access to a ready made circular economy education campaign helping them achieve waste reduction targets and engage their community. Councils are encouraged to use the Garage Sale Trail platform to unite their communities, encourage neighbourhood relationships and show their constituents that the ideal of a sustainable and environmentally conscious community is a priority, promoting a shift towards the repurposing of unwanted items.

So instead of stuffing your unwanted goods into a wheelie bin, you could make some cold hard cash. And if you’re more of a shopper than a seller, garage sales are a mecca for the savvy, smart bargain hunters.

No one demonstrates this better than Whyalla City Council who embraced the Garage Sale Trail three years ago and has seen 30,000 kilograms of products sold and reused, generating nearly $80,000 for locals – at an average of $663 per seller.

To get on board and join the festival of pre-loved stuff with thousands of others, the crew at Garage Sale Trail make it super easy with free registration, how-to guides, promotional resources and even touch-free PayPal and QR code payments.

Also included are a series of free online talks featuring an all-star cast of experts and familiar faces sharing their sustainable living tips that are kind on the planet and pockets.

And who knows… You might bag yourself a bargain like the fella in the US who bought a bowl for 45 dollars which ended up being a rare Chinese artefact worth between 380-630 THOUSAND DOLLARS.

Talk about someone’s trash being another’s treasure!

To find everything you need to know about the Garage Sale Trail, click here


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