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Treasure in the trash

Posted on September 7, 2016 by Dale Woodard
Photo by Dale Woodard Kathleen Sheppard, executive director for Environment Lethbridge of Reuse Rendezvous, is ready for the annual event which starts on Friday.

A household item that someone no longer needs may be someone else’s treasure. In the spirit of removing unwanted clutter from one’s home that may be right at home in someone else’s household, the Environment Lethbridge-hosted Reuse Rendezvous is once again taking place Sept. 9-11.
“For Environment Lethbridge it’s our second (year hosting the event), ” said Kathleen Sheppard, executive director for Environment Lethbridge of Reuse Rendezvous, which has been taking place in the city since 2011.
“Everybody who has some extra stuff can put it out in front of their house Sept. 9 and leave it out for the weekend and throughout the weekend people can come by and pick up whatever they would like that might be a treasure for them.”
Those wishing to participate in Reuse Rendezvous can get a free lawn sign at the Helen Schuler Nature Centre or the Environment Lethbridge office at 319 6 St. S. Participating households are also encouraged to register their items on an online map hosted by Environment Lethbridge.
“For anyone who is interested, go to our website, (www.environment
lethbridge.ca/reuse), and sign up,” said Sheppard. “That way we can put your address onto the map. Everybody can log onto the map and see where the different locations are. You can also come to the office or to to the Helen Schuler Nature a pick up a lawn sign which has the Reuse Rendezvous logo on it.”
It’s recommended the home owner displays a sign indicating there are free items to pick up.
“But just put them out on your front lawn and leave them there for the weekend,” said Sheppard.
The Reuse Rendezvous benefits the house cleaner and the house decorator alike.
“A lot of us want to go out and find things, whether it’s practical things like students looking to furnish their apartment at the beginning of the school year or for people who like to go out and look for treasures and things like that,” said Sheppard. “Last year we had about 165 households participate. This year people are still registering and signing up. But there is lots of interest for sure. One fellow had a barbecue and lawn mower to lots of people with various household things. Some people have TVs or some furniture — desks, shelves and all of those kinds of things. I think you can also anticipate some small household items like toys and kids’ clothes.”
In a new developement this year, Environment Lethbridge has teamed up with Efutures Renewable, which has agreed to pick up electronics on Sunday evening from any household who requests pickup when they register their location for Reuse Rendezvous.
Among the items eligible for pickup include computers, printers and televisions along with household electronics such as small kitchen appliances and fans.
“We’ve worked with Efutures Renewables on a number of projects,” said Sheppard. “They’re a fairly new company and they’re looking at establishing themselves in Lethbridge. They approached us to say they’d love to be a part of this and they think they could help out by picking up the electronics after after the event is over. So they’re really excited to be involved and we think it’s a great addition to the event.”
The other big winner of Reuse Rendezvous is the landfill, which avoids unnecessary waste.
“By reusing things, you’re keeping things out of the landfill,” said Sheppard. “We always think of recycling as the most important thing, but really the reduce, reuse, recycle parts are the most important. You’re not buying new stuff that comes with new packaging and throwing the old stuff away. So there’s a real benefit there to helping the landfill.”
With this year’s Reuse Rendezvous just days aways, those interested can still get involved.
“There’s lots of time, we’ll take people registering their locations right up to until Sept. 8,” said Sheppard. “We’ll keep the map up to date on the website, so people who are eager to go and check things out can pull that up and there will be locations added on an ongoing basis.”
The event is over as of Sept. 11 at 7 p.m. Anything remaining after that time must be taken back in by the owner. The city will not be collecting the items.
Those wanting further information can also visit Environment Lethbridge’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/
As Environment Lethbridge gets ready for another year of the Reuse Rendezvous, the goal is to keep it going.
“It’s certainly our intention to repeat it and if we can work with some other companies like Efutures Renewables I think there’s potential there as well,” said Sheppard.
Established in 2013, Environment Lethbridge helps people to create widespread community action and engagement towards sustainability and are always looking to involve the community in the work it does. Community members and anyone who wishes to volunteer can contact Environment Lethbridge through their website at http://www.environmentlethbridge.ca.

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