WBGS: Circular Economy alive and well, after the doors close
Well it was like a footy Grand Final, an Ekka and a major festival all rolled into one! Another successful World’s Biggest Garage Sale has come and gone and the WBGS team have been blown away by the amazing volunteers, partners and shoppers who contributed to make WBGS 2018 such a huge success. It really does showcase the best of community.
We had over 10,000 shoppers come through our doors on Sat 17 Nov and we saw many of those generously donated dormant goods go back out the door to a new home. We also trialed selling some new stock this year, such as brand new shoes and toys (from excess inventory and unwanted stock) being sold in support of charity partner Good360. It literally was the circular economy in action and a demonstration of what’s possible when the community comes together, united behind social good and sustainability.
As I get ready for Pitch@Palacetoday, I’m drawn to a comment that HRH Prince Charles recently made when discussing the need to accelerate from a linear economy to a circular economy. He said, “One of the challenges is how best to put sellers in touch with buyers.” This fits in exactly with what WBGS does on the big day and also afterwards when the doors close and the big event is over.
While WBGS 2018 might be over for shoppers, it’s not over for the WBGS team and partners working hard to bring the circular economy to life. Not everything walks out the door on the big day, but we’re determined to see the items that remain find a good second home or be handled in the most appropriate and circular way.
So what happens to everything post WBGS? Here’s a sample of where all the remaining product goes:
- E-Waste: Substation33 take all our e-waste. They are “an electronic waste recycling centre, providing a workplace where volunteers and employees gain confidence and skills for the transition to sustainable employment. Its purpose is to provide training and employment opportunities through the recycling of electronic waste.”
- Antiques: Albion Antiques take all the remaining antiques and collectibles and display them and the items go to auction, with the funds coming back to WBGS post auction.
- Furniture, Clothes, Toys, Household items etc.: These items went to St Vincent de Paul (Vinnies), Red Cross and Lifeline in support of their various causes.
- Books: Several of the books went to The Unknown Project “a Brisbane-based social enterprise working to connect young people from refugee and asylum seeker backgrounds with resources and opportunities” and the Tweed Valley Adventist College.
And finally, anything that was leftover went to 1800-GOT-JUNK who dispose of what remains in an environmentally friendly, socially conscious manner, recycling whatever they can.
So, it really can be done people! We can unearth and move those dormant goods around, keeping them alive for much longer. We can also ensure that when products have truly reached ‘end of life’, they are handled in the most environmentally responsible way. That way we’re continuously working towards reducing what goes to landfill.
Last but not least, we had a blast at WBGS 2018 and we want to shout out a huge thanks to our community of volunteers, partners and shoppers. You are the people who inspire us and keep us motivated to deliver greater impact for the wider Brisbane community every day. Looking forward to an even bigger and better WBGS 2019!