Curb Your Desire to Throw Stuff Away!

March 11, 2009

old labels

We've all heard the saying that your junk is someone else's treasure. This couldn't be more true in Seattle. Over the years, my office has placed bets on how long it will take before stuff we've put out on the curb gets taken. Everything from old desks, chairs, copy machines, you name it... I still have yet to put something outside that someone hasn't grabbed. I don't want to encourage people just to dump stuff in the street, there are other great free services to post your unwanted goods. Craigslist, Freecycle, and Kashlessare just a few. If you're a business, there are other ways of getting rid of your unwanted items besides throwing them away. My office recently had left over rolls of labels from my old business; boxes and boxes of them. The easy thing would be to toss them in a dumpster. The right thing to do was to post a note on Craigslist with a picture and a note that they would be outside our office. Within two days all the labels had been picked up. My office gets several deliveries a week. Each shipment comes on a wooden pallet. Our shipping manager leans the old pallets against a telephone pole out front and within a couple of days someone picks them up (there are places in south Seattle that actually pay for old pallets that they fix and resell). Got old, left over paint? Donate it to a public school. School drama departments need paint for building sets. If the paint is old and unusable, open the can and let it dry out before taking to your local transfer station. There are other great places like Good Will, Salvation Army, etc that will except donations. Keep in mind that these groups spend hundreds of thousands of dollars a year in disposal fees for things that they aren't able to sell. Think before you just drop stuff off. That old shirt with the large hole in the sleeve might be better used as cleaning rag! There are also things that these groups do not take. I just had new plantation shutters installed in my house. The aluminum venetian blinds that came with the house were a little dusty but in great shape. I found out that the Good Will up the street from me doesn't take old blinds. Within three minutes of posting on Craigslist, I had 5 people that emailed me wanting the blinds. It would have cost me more to throw these away! What are some unwanted things you've diverted from the landfill?!

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