16 October 2019

Find yourself at the Garage Sale Trail

| Michael Weaver
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Garage sale

The annual Garage Sale Trail is on this weekend. Photo: Supplied.

What’s the best thing you’ve ever found at a garage sale?

You may just find the answer to that question this weekend when more than 500 households and groups in the Canberra and Queanbeyan area gather their unused goods for the annual Garage Sale Trail.

The Canberra Southern Cross Club will feature items from the city’s iconic Golden Grille which was refurbished last year. Maybe grab a piece of Canberra’s history, breathe in the nostalgia, and relive the countless birthday parties and family celebrations you may have experienced there.

Now in its ninth year, with the support of more than 146 councils across the country, the Garage Sale Trail is growing faster than waste at your local tip.

In Canberra, more than 10,000 people are expected to visit the sales, with ACT registrations up 25 per cent from last year.

Nationally, registrations are up 63 per cent and more than 400,000 people are expected to visit about 20,000 garage sales to browse more than 4.4 million secondhand items.

The average household makes more than $300 from a garage sale, while community groups raised an average of $650. Schools walked away with $1500.

Minister for Recycling and Waste Reduction Chris Steel says the ACT Government is committed to reducing the amount of waste that goes to landfill.

“This is a great way for the community to get involved and do their part,” Minister Steel said.

“Reusing is even more important than recycling in terms of minimising environmental impacts.

“For those not planning on holding their own sale, you can head along to shop the trail – grab yourself a bargain and help keep avoidable items out of landfill,” Minister Steel said.

Minister Steel said that GIVIT – a national not-for-profit organisation that matches donated items with those who need them – would be on hand encouraging Canberrans to donate unsold items at the end of the sale weekend.

“After the sale, if you still have items you no longer need or want, please consider visiting the GIVIT website at www.givit.org.au to see how you may be able to donate items and assist someone in need,” he said.

The Garage Sale Trail, which was founded in 2010 by Sydney-based Andrew Valder and Darryl Nichols, is Australia’s biggest sustainability and community event.

They have estimated that 89 per cent of Australians have unwanted stuff and one-third admit to throwing these items in the bin. On average, we buy 27 kg of new clothes every year and discard 23 kg to landfill.

Mr Valder said that last year, the Garage Sale Trail diverted more than 3.2 million kilos of ‘stuff’ from landfill.

“It’s all about reuse and encouraging people to think differently about waste, whilst also connecting with their local community.

When the whole country starts putting second hand first, the impacts are huge,” said Mr Valder.

An interactive map listing all the garage sales in the ACT and Queanbeyan-Palerang is available online.

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