Turn your unwanted items into treasure

Curbside Giveaway encourages you to leave unwanted but useable items on the curb May 27 and 28

What do an old picket fence, a fishtank, some bar stools, a steamer trunk and an antique chair have in common? They were all kept out of the landfill and put to use by happy new owners thanks to last year’s Curbside Giveaway Day.

Spearheaded by the Sustainable Enviroment Network Society (SENS), this year’s Curbside Giveaway is this Saturday and Sunday. SENS board members Heather Miller and Sheila Campbell were thoroughly pleased about the community response to last year’s first Curbside Giveaway Weekend and hope it will become a regular community event.

“We regularly witness and hear of multiple stories about perfectly useable items that are disposed of in the landfill,” said Campbell. “Sometimes it is simply that people have to move and are unable to have things picked up in time. So we were inspired when we learned that other communities — provincially and nationally — had implemented similar events where unwanted but re-useable items were picked up and subsequently used by someone else for free.”

Miller and Campbell also point to the event’s positive social contribution: it may help those who are unable to afford to buy new or second-hand items.

“And it can be a lot of fun,” said Miller, “we saw people posting on Facebook, and messaging others about various treasures that they had spotted. So we encourage folks to post their treasures and have a day of fun that also saves many items from the landfill.

“We also heard stories about how people met neighbours for the first time because they were all out on the street trading and socializing – it’s good for neighborhoods.”

SENS would also like to encourage the development of a “free store,” where various things are made available for re-use. These have been developed in many other communities so renovators, gardeners, artists and others can repurpose things that may appear to be garbage into great and creative projects. SENS seeks to partner with a local non-profit organization to develop this resource. If you are interested please message us at our SENS Facebook page.

Giveaway items may include things such as: books, CDs, DVDs, furniture, small appliances, sports equipment, toys, tools, yard and gardening supplies, construction materials, paint, electronics, clothing, art materials, etc.

Rules for setting out items:

All free items must be placed at the curb on your front street on Saturday morning

Label items with a “Free” sign

Ensure items you do not want to give away are far away from the curb

Remove leftover/unclaimed items from the curb by dusk on Sunday

Giveaway items should still be in good condition for re-use

Unclaimed items left at the curb will not be picked up with regular garbage collection

Please keep an eye on weather conditions and protect items that might be damaged by water.

Giveaway etiquette:

Respect other people’s property – don’t walk or drive on lawns, gardens or go up driveways

Take only the treasures marked free at the curb

Please don’t discard previously picked up treasures on other people’s lawns

For more details or to share your stories about your successful or exciting score or how you creatively repurposed a treasure check out the SENS Facebook or SENS event page.