An Overview Of Our Solution
World's Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS) is a Brisbane based scale-up, designing solutions to commercialise the circular economy through the activation of dormant goods for good. We're building a company that maximises the value of goods already in the economy, through recycle, repurpose, reuse, and re-commerce. In doing so, we're diverting landfill, drawing wealth from waste, and creating employment opportunities. Currently, WBGS hosts large-scale local re-commerce events and is developing a digital toolkit and platform enabling communities globally to hold these large-scale re-commerce events, this allows WBGS to provide positive impact for people, planet and profit for purpose on a global level.
- Population Impacted 32500 ppl participating in events in some capacity
- Continent: Oceania
WBGS seeks to enhance the circular economy in Australia by engaging all Australians in the concept of decluttering, repurposing, and sustainability. In doing so, we ensure that products and services only end up in landfill at the end of their legitimate service life. In Australia there is an estimated $43.5 billion worth of unwanted goods sitting dormant in households, WBGS encourage the community to tap into this under-utilised resource to prevent waste creation, build value for the community, and promote new forms of circular consumption. Australians generate 50-million tonnes of landfill waste every year. The prevalence of cheap goods in the retail industries means products are now thrown out and replaced before the end of their lifecycle leading to a waste crisis which has seen 170% increase in waste generation per capita over a 20-year period. By maximising the value of goods that already exist in the economy WBGS effectively diverts goods from landfill.
Describe the technical solution you wanted the target audience to adopt
WBGS activates the Circular Economy, with focus and contribution to total reduction of domestic waste generated per annum going to landfill. WBGS also activates the increase in recovery of domestic waste recycled, repurposed, reused and rehomed.
WBGS aims for the target audience to adopt circular and sustainable consumption practices by repurposing unwanted goods from their family home before those goods become waste. WBGS do this by activating and maximising the value of those goods and providing the community members through three incentives. Donors receive value of seeing others find use and purpose in their donated goods, knowing their donated goods are generating profit for meaningful causes such as charity benefactors, and the feeling of doing something positive for the environment.
Type of intervention
Describe your behavioral intervention
WBGS events create heightened awareness on circular and sustainable initiatives, with events bringing together quality goods, with a view to educate through activation. Our business has diverted 3.3-million kilograms of potential waste from landfill, impacting not only our core team, but the wider team of over 600 volunteers involved in our community event.
We have changed the way our community feels about holding onto products not being utilised in households and businesses. Our company is passionate about supporting other community and charity groups, beyond our own major events, with generous donations of product passed on without payment, to assist location charities with their own impact initiatives.
We believe in collaboration and a concept we call co-opetition, where together we can cooperate for great impact. Originating in Brisbane, our WBGS initiative has had positive impact on many corporate companies, who now seek our services to aid them in the responsible donation of their disused items. In the past, these items may have made their way to a 'skip bin', then disposed into landfill without further thought. Instead, we have been able to rescue items before this occurs, bringing sustainable and responsible practices and mindsets to the forefront of the minds of those otherwise too busy to think about it.
As needed, please explain the type of intervention in more detail
WBGS use emotional appeal of our events to bring communities together around meaningful causes such as donating profits from events to support children's charities. WBGS is also a family-run initiative bringing together hundreds of volunteers to form a community around waste prevention and environmental causes.
Describe your implementation
Reduce Waste Generation: Australians produce an estimated 50-million tonnes of waste per year. This prevailing linear economic model of ‘take, make, use, throw away’ has led to the prevalence of a throwaway culture that has become increasingly unsustainable and damaging to the environment. WBGS preserve resources and prevent landfill waste by utilising already existing resources in the economy. Over 5 years and 5 events WBGS have successfully diverted 3.3-million kilograms of potential waste from landfill and raised $314-thousand for a number of charity benefactors.
Encouraging sustainable consumption: WBGS seeks to enhance the circular economy by engaging the community in the concepts of decluttering, repurposing and sustainability – promoting new forms of responsible consumption where consumer lifestyles are in greater harmony with the environment. The average Australian household has $5400 worth of unwanted items sitting in their home. WBGS tap into this under-utilised resource to prevent waste creation, build value for the community, and promote new forms of circular consumption that are based in repurposing existing goods over creating demand for new goods. In Australia, the sharing economy is worth over $15-billion, this is set to continue on a trajectory of growth as the circular economy (which the sharing economy sits within) is estimated to be worth $26-billion in Australia by 2025. WBGS sits within these economies of sharing and circular principles and expects to grow and develop exponentially as consumers continue to adapt and adopt to major sharing economy P2P initiatives such as Facebook Marketplace and Gumtree.
Encourage sustainable corporate practices: WBGS have also partnered with a number of corporate sponsors to repurpose and resell end-of-line goods that would otherwise risk being destroyed or sent to landfill, this is an initiative that encourages large companies to adopt sustainable, circular practices for their supply chain.
WBGS partner with corporate sponsors across retail & service industries, waste & recycling industries, media, charities & local businesses. An example of how some of our stakeholders engage with WBGS and impact outcomes are as follows. In 2017, WBGS attracted 1000s of donors to deliver their quality dormant goods to an 11,000sqm Brisbane warehouse kindly donated for use by Goodman. In 11 days, 2 million kgs of quality items were sorted, cleaned, priced and setup for sale at a large-scale community event. In partnership with News Corp, a large media campaign commenced, and more than 20,000 people visited the warehouse to shop on a single day! Items not sold at WBGS events have been donated to charities, including Vinnies, Lifeline, & Endeavour. In partnership with Substation33, we donate all unsold and unsalable e-waste products. In partnership with 1800-GOT-JUNK, we donate all items not harvested by charity partners. 1800-GOT-JUNK commit to further sorting and recycling waste products, diverting as much product from landfill as possible.
WBGS efforts connect to global environmental and economic policy around the circular economy & reduction of waste generation. Specifically, in Australia, China have recently imposed a ban on accepting imported waste from Australia which has led to a crisis in council & local governments around landfill issues, WBGS connect to this issue as a solution-based initiative that reduces the amount of waste being created and sent to landfill.
Who adopted the desired behaviors and to what degree?
A brief history of results and adoption of desired behaviours for our SINGLE DAY event in Brisbane
* 2013 | 500 customers shopping | 100 customers donating | $15,000 sold
* 2014 | 2000 customers shopping | 500 customers donating |
* 2015 | 4700 customers shopping | 1000 customers donating | $88,000 sold
* 2017 | 20000+ customers shopping | 3000 customers donating | $151,000 sold.
Over 32,000 people have been involved in five WBGS events as donors, shoppers, volunteers, or sponsors.
How did you impact natural resource use and greenhouse gas emissions?
594,000kgs of CO2 prevented from entering Earth's atmosphere
An estimated AU$58,000 of value added to the global economy through emissions prevention
Prevented 8250kgs of pesticides and chemicals from being used in production of new goods by recycling & reusing. In doing so, reducing water pollution and reducing the severe health impact and illnesses carcinogens and airborne particulates have on human health.
An estimated potential benefit of AU$360,974 to the global economy by diverting waste from landfill and incineration.
3.3-million kilograms of goods diverted from landfill
165,000kgs of garments diverted from landfill
All social value statistics have been calculated using PUMA’s 2010 Environmental Profit and Loss Report for economic benefits of environmental impact.
What were some of the resulting co-benefits?
WBGS have contributed an estimated social impact value of AU$1.7-million to the global economy. This is based around the economic impact of social values such as saving water, preventing carbon emissions, and diverting landfill waste. The following is an overview of some of the most significant results of WBGS events.
990 million litres of water saved by diverting goods from landfill
Estimated at 1076 years of water usage for the average Australian
An estimated potential benefit of AU$1,266,536 to the global economy. The figures represent the effect of water consumption on society in terms of: health impacts (malnutrition); resource depletion; subsidy cost of water; opportunity cost of water; and the environmental impacts of the water supply sector.
$314,000 raised for charity benefactors over 5 events
600+ volunteers over 5 years
8760 volunteer hours dedicated to WBGS
Total of 3,300 tonnes of goods donated
Organisational volunteer value of $315,360
WBGS is a for-profit organisation, using profits for purpose to give back to the community. WBGS events are currently run through corporate partnerships, donations of services and community volunteers, making over $361,000 in market-based revenue. WBGS have also raised $100K investment from River City Labs Accelerator to scale-up and deliver events on a national and global scale.
Return on investment
WBGS have an estimated ROI of 450%, having invested approximately $80,000 in events over the past 5-years and all profits being donated to charity. As a majority of event needs and resources are donated such as goods being sold, removal trucks, media coverage, warehouses, volunteers, and food for volunteers, there is a relatively low cost to running events. To date WBGS have had 8760 volunteer hours donated to events.
How could we successfully replicate this solution elsewhere?
WBGS is currently in a scale-up phase to create a digital platform and provide global communities with the support, technology and a toolkit to hold WBGS events. WBGS resources, event materials, and training protocols will provide impact nationally and internationally. Funding through strategic partnerships will enable capability to scale, with key stakeholders/partners aligned to the circular economy in the retail, resources, waste, transport, technology and banking sectors. With WBGS events resourced by local communities, scale capacity is limited by the size of the core WBGS team. With scale-up imminent, WBGS is engaging key partners and impact investors with aligned circular economy and waste diversion passion and strategies, to enable scale of the WBGS technology and resources for wide audience exposure and economical impact.