Cindy Correll, Reuse Alliance Oregon Chapter chair and Be Resourceful partner, encourages reuse at neighborhood cleanup events.

“Neighborhoods all across Portland hold cleanup events to give residents a chance to reduce waste and unwanted items from their home, basement or garage. If you’ve participated in a cleanup, you know how satisfying it feels to get rid of clutter.

Sometimes you have things that are still perfectly usable, but you don’t need them. Several nonprofit organizations around town welcome donations of household goods, furniture, appliances and building materials, both new and used. Learning about these organizations and what items they accept, and then driving to each location to make deliveries, takes time and effort. Wouldn’t it be convenient if you could just bring your reusable items to your neighborhood cleanup event and drop all of this stuff off in one place? Reuse Alliance thinks so.

Building reuse communities

Reuse Alliance is a national nonprofit organization working to increase awareness of the environmental, social and economic benefits of reuse. The Oregon Chapter, based in Portland, supports Reuse Alliance’s mission locally. Seeing an opportunity to educate the public about the benefits of reuse while also putting reuse into practice, the chapter developed a pilot program to collect reusable items at two neighborhood cleanup events. With many cleanups already collecting reusable items, it seemed the perfect time to expand reuse options.

To prepare for the pilot, Reuse Alliance learned about cleanups from the experts – the coordinators who organize these events – and enlisted the assistance of some nonprofit organizations that regularly accept reusable goods in donation.

Working in partnership with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS), Reuse Alliance is conducting two pilot reuse events this spring. The pilot’s goal is to increase the number of cleanups that offer reuse options going forward and to inspire cleanups that already practice reuse to expand their collection of reusable items.

Pilot program events

North Tabor and Mt Tabor neighborhood associations are hosting their event on Saturday, April 26, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Mt Tabor Middle School at 5800 SE Ash St (parking lot, SE 57th Ave entrance).

Southwest Neighborhood Inc. is hosting their event for residents of all Southwest Portland neighborhood associations on Saturday, May 10, 9 a.m. – 1 p.m. at Portland Christian Center, 5700 SW Dosch Rd.

At both events, participating nonprofit organizations Community Warehouse, Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Community Cycling Center and others will collect reusable items in a centralized area, allowing residents to bring all their reusable items to one spot.

With the reuse area positioned near the event entrance, residents drop off their reusable items first. Putting reuse at the forefront of the cleanups also gives Reuse Alliance the opportunity to inform attendees about options for offloading reusable goods in the future."

Take action

If you live in one of the neighborhoods participating in the reuse pilots, bring reusable items to the eventsLearn more about Neighborhood Cleanup events in our recent post and to verify what items are accepted. Find out about Reuse Alliance and news about Oregon Chapter meetings and community involvement.