Making a “Green” Auction
REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE
The Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale is arguably the largest recycling event on Bainbridge Island. The Sale fulfills the three tenets of waste reduction – REUSE, REDUCE, RECYCLE.
- Items that are sold are REUSED and thus REDUCE the need to buy new.
- Items that are unsold are REUSED through donations to non-profit organizations or RECYCLED to the greatest extent possible.
When the more than 150,000 donated items arrive at the “CURB” to be dropped off at Woodward Middle School between June 24 and 29, Rotarians and volunteers sort them for distribution to one of the Auction & Rummage Sale’s 36 departments. There, Department Managers evaluate which items will sell, which items need to be cleaned and/or repaired before they are sold, and which items need to be recycled or repurposed.
The “Lawn of Opportunity” is an area set aside for sorting and recycling materials that will not be sold at Auction & Rummage Sale. Throughout the donation drop-off period, Green Team members sort, recycle, and identify reuse purposes for these materials, keeping them out of the landfill to the greatest extent possible.
We do our best to sell all donated items, but there are always some items that are left at the end of the Sale. The Auction & Rummage Sale’s Green Team works to find ways for these items to be repurposed or recycled, thereby keeping them out of the landfill. A network of local non-profit organizations has been developed to take many of these items and put them to good use. We are pleased that these items find new lives and help support local community organizations.
NON-PROFIT ORGANIZATIONS HELP WITH UNSOLD ITEMS
In 2015, more than 30 non-profit organizations claimed many items not sold during the Auction & Rummage Sale, including:
- Bainbridge Island Parks and Recreation Department collected art supplies that they could use in their arts and crafts programs.
- The Bainbridge Island Senior Center picked up kitchenware, housewares, jewelry and collectibles for use in their Senior Center and for sale in their thrift shop.
- Two non-profits, Bicycles for Education and Bicycles for Humanity, picked up dozens of unsold/unsellable bikes and bike parts. They work to refurbish bikes and send them around the world to countries where bikes are desperately needed for transportation.
- Books to Prisoners, a Seattle-based nonprofit, picked up 20 boxes of books that went to prisoners around the United States.
- Kitsap Legal Services obtained much-needed supplies and office furniture for their office.
- Kitsap Humane Society picked up flower vases for an event they were hosting.
- Coffee Oasis, which provides assistance and training to homeless youth in Kitsap County, collected furniture and other small items for their office and clients.
- Multiple organizations, including the ARC of Kitsap County, Spartans Baseball Club, and Goodwill, took hundreds of pounds of leftover bulk clothing for repurposing and recycling.
- Goodwill also partnered in helping us to keep a large variety of left over housewares, small appliances, and books from heading to the landfill.
REPURPOSING AND RECYCLING
Many other items, that were unsold or unclaimed by local nonprofits, were repurposed or recycled, including:
- Three and a half 40-yard dumpsters of scrap metal (everything from aluminum soda cans to unsellable metal components of equipment and furniture) were recycled by Bainbridge Disposal.
- Cardboard that came to the Auction & Rummage Sale site with donated items were reused for packing when possible. Bainbridge Disposal recycled the cardboard not used this way.
- Car and Truck tires -Modern Collision removed and recycled about 20 car and truck tires at no charge to the Rotary Club.
- Printer Cartridges – sent to Print Cartridge Recycle for recycling, refund received and added to Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale revenues.
- Commercial flower vases – donated to two local florists.
- Packing Peanuts – were delivered to UPS for recycling/reuse.
- Plastic bags – delivered to Town & Country markets for free recycling
- Styrofoam – taken by Bay Hay and Feed for recycling.
- Our e-Waste partners, 4F&G, based in Kingston, collected 137 cubic yards of e-waste; 95% of this material was recycled.
“GREEN” ACTIONS DURING SALE PREPARATION
The Rotary Club also aims to reduce our impacts by limiting the amount of disposable items used during the preparation for the Auction & Rummage Sale. These steps include:
- Compostable plates, bowls, and cups and standard utensils are used for feeding volunteers at lunch and dinner during the Auction & Rummage Sale preparation. The utensils were washed and re-used throughout the preparation week, saving the cost and landfill impact of thousands of disposable items.
- Nearly all kitchen scraps and leftover food waste was composted by partnering with local farmers and chicken owners who took food waste from the preparation week period.
A DEDICATED TEAM LEADS THE EFFORT
This huge effort is to make sure that items not sold at the Rotary Auction & Rummage Sale go to better uses than the landfill. It could not happen without the help of hundreds of volunteers and partners including the help of a dedicated Green Team. This team works throughout the pre-Auction period and day of sale to sort, recycle, and identify for repurposing all the materials that cannot be sold. Their efforts support Rotary’s commitment to Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle at the Auction & Rummage Sale.