My company 2cg, among other things, undertakes waste audits for the private and public sectors. We have been doing this for the last 20 years. Typically, I send out an able crew to undertake these audits.
Every once in a while when we are busy or I want to get in touch with things I’ll don a Tyvek suit and dig in so to speak. While waste auditing is no one’s favourite job I find that it quickly puts me in tune with what people throw out.
In my latest waste audit I am noticing that people throw out a considerable amount of durable goods and clothing. While we certainly don’t assess the quality of these items during the waste audits it is clear that some if not all of these wastes have some value. Indeed some of these wastes have a monetary value. The value of course is lost when it is thrown away.
Unless we are a hoarder when we generate garbage we feel this need to get rid of it as quickly and conveniently as possible. I suppose this is fair enough but it often means the garbage bag to be placed at the curb or dropped off at a depot. This is convenient but inefficient.
Of course there are options.
I sit on the Board of Directors for Goodwill Industries Inc. (Great Lakes) and have done so for the last five years. When I started with them I thought what many of us think… a place to drop off unwanted goods and a place to buy inexpensive items.
It is important to understand that each donation helps hire and employ people. It helps employ some folks that have some challenges entering and staying in the workforce. It gives people the time to identify and understand their own skills. It gives people the opportunities to work on their challenges and in turn set themselves up for new opportunities. The only cost is some waste.
The durable goods and clothing in the wastes that I audited represent lost opportunities.
With a little bit more effort and taking these wastes to a Goodwill Donation Centre their value can be converted into cash and then jobs.
To find out how much your donation is worth and to find the location closest to you please see http://locator.goodwill.org/