Garage Sale Trail Launch

(Lower Town Hall Druitt Street Entrance)

Good morning, everyone, and welcome. I'd like firstly to acknowledge the Gadigal people of the Eora nation, the traditional custodians of this land.

Well this is probably the first time we've held a garage sale at Town Hall - but nobody's obliged to buy!

The items on the tables are symbolic of the stuff we all have tucked away at home, cramming our cupboards or gathering dust on the shelves. Every now and then, we'll spring clean and toss it out, sending most of it to landfill.

Along with the US and Canada, Australia is among the top three producers of waste per capita. The alarming truth is that within five years - by 2016 - Sydney's rubbish tips will be full and we'll need to send our waste 250 km by rail to Woodlawn, halfway between Goulburn and Canberra.

So the inaugural Australia-wide Garage Sale Trail to be held on 10 April makes a lot of sense. As the saying goes, one person's trash is another's treasure, and for a host of environmental reasons we need to promote a stronger culture of recycling and reuse.

With 30 local councils, from Brisbane to King Island and points in between, we're boosting the garage-sale tradition by combining a series of sales on the same day in the same neighbourhood. The City will be holding two - one in Glebe and one in Surry Hills, and we're urging local residents to become involved and visit our website at ww.garagesaletrail.com.au/cityofsydney

We're also encouraging people to attend on the day, even if they don't register a garage sale. They can grab a bargain for themselves while enjoying a fun day out with friends and neighbours.

We need to explore every avenue to reduce waste and promote a more sustainable culture. Under our Sustainable Sydney 2030 strategy, we are aiming for two-thirds of Council and residential waste to be re-used, recycled or recovered by 2014.

We conduct electronic waste collections which have gathered more than 66 tonnes of potentially toxic waste, with 95 per cent of the raw materials recovered and reused.

We collect garden waste and household chemicals and run programs and workshops designed to help people live more sustainably. The vast majority of our residents and businesses want to live more sustainably.

The Garage Sale Trail is one more way we can help them do that.

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