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CASH IN THE TRASH
Written By Al Jones
Every Wednesday morning, the warehouse at Scoop Central is near empty. You would think that nothing gets done here. But, come Wednesday afternoon, you almost need a map to navigate between the pallets and boxes to get to the front office. We begin the task of sorting, counting and tagging everything to go out to our hardworking couriers, and one by one, the pallets become empty. As you can well imagine, by the weekend, we have empty wooden pallets coming out of our ears. Many get sent back to our suppliers, but inevitably, not as many get picked up as delivered. The environmentalist in me won’t allow staff to pitch them in the garbage, so my lovely wife/business partner came up with a plan to get rid of all those pallets.
She started posting ideas on the Here’s the Scoop Facebook page on how to reuse wooden pallets. She encouraged people to try some of them out and to send us photos of their finished work for posting on our page when they were done. She then offered up to anyone that may have a use for the old pallets, the opportunity to help themselves to any and all wooden pallets left behind at our warehouse. They can chop ‘em up for campfire firewood, or use them to build something cool. Either way, the pallets are getting reused and staying out of the landfills.
Needless to say, we have some very imaginative folks living in our community. And many of them are very artistic. Her pallet project challenge to our Facebook followers has seen a children’s playhouse, lawn furniture, coffee tables, entertainment centres, shelving in garages, flower pots, picture frames, beds, bird feeders and a wack of other great things, built from the recycled wood that once was wooden warehouse pallets. Much of it, I dare say, these talented individuals could probably sell. Best of all, I can honestly say, none of our wooden pallets ever make it into a landfill anymore.
So why am I telling you this? Partly because I want to encourage others to participate in my wife’s pallet project - there is always a stack of pallets behind our warehouse every Thursday, Friday and Saturday… free for the taking to anyone that can put them to good use. The other reason is because I think we can be creative with a lot more things. We seem to live in a disposable world and I’m not sure we fully take advantage of all that we have. When we have no more need for a household item, we are quick to pitch it in the trash, not even considering that someone else may have a need for it or that maybe it could be recycled into something else.
So, here’s my spring challenge for everyone: Try and avoid throwing anything in the garbage while you are spring cleaning this year. Old clothing can be donated. Household items can either be taken apart to be recycled, recycled as a whole, donated to a cause or sold through a garage sale. If you have a garage sale and end up with leftover items, offer them up for free or consider donating them to goodwill, who can then sell them for charitable needs. If you, at one time bought it, then you at one time valued it. That means someone else may now see the value in it that you saw when you originally purchased it. You wouldn’t throw a hundred dollar bill in the trash, would you? Picture that item as the money you spent on it. If we do that, then we will be repurposing or donating our hard earned possessions instead of throwing all that money away.
This weekend is the Annual City Wide Garage Sale. We market this outside our community as well. Garage sale enthusiasts from Calgary come to take advantage of having access to many garage sales in a very small geographical area. Take advantage of this weekend and the high traffic of garage salers that will be touring from sale to sale by having a garage sale of your own. Don’t have a lot? Then team up with some neighbours. It’s a great excuse to get together, maybe fire up a BBQ and share some liquid refreshments. This is also the second year we are doing a City Wide ‘Take it or Leave it’. If you only have a few items and want to rid yourself of them but don’t want to have a garage sale, then you can place them on your front lawn between Friday, May 24th and Sunday, May 26th with a sign that says ‘Free for taking’. People driving by can either leave it if it doesn’t interest them, or take it if they think they can use it.
Do us a favour, folks, if you have friends and family within driving distance of our great city, invite them via Facebook, Twitter, email etc., to come and enjoy our City Wide Garage Sale. The more buzz out there, the more people will visit and the more items that will avoid filling our landfills.
P.S. Don’t forget a couple of charity garage sales going on this Saturday, May 25th. The Boys and Girls club is having one, so stop in there. And the Scoop Rack Pack is hosting one in the parking lot of All Fitts Auto. CJAY 92’s Babes with Benefits will be on location. Besides the garage sale, there will be a BBQ and there will also be a car that, for a donation, you can take a swing at with a sledge hammer. All proceeds from this event will go to the Canadian Breast Cancer Foundation. (Has anybody seen my car? I can’t remember where I parked it).