On August 24th-25th, 2021, the St.LawrenceNeighbourhood Association Waste Reduction Group (SLNA) hosted a donation event called REmarket. The event focused on the 6R’s “REduce, REuse, REpair, REpurpose, REcycle, REthink,” says Nancy Fung, SLNA board member and REmarket event coordinator. The 6R’s update the well-known 3R’s of recycling to focus more on reusing old items rather than disposing of them.
The two days were a great success thanks to a motivated team of collaborators, including Renewed Computer Technology (RCT), The Salvation Army, Charlie’s Freewheels, Repair Café Toronto, and Home First.
During the two-day event, the Salvation Army received 45 skids of donations, RCT received six skids of technology donations, and Home First received one skid of donations for homeless shelters. While Charlie’s Freewheels assisted many with tuning up their bikes, and Repair Café Toronto helped others breathe new life into broken home appliances.
Fern, an employee at Repair Café, said, “all our volunteers are really happy to be fixing again,” after a prolonged hiatus due to COVID-19. And employees from Charlie’s Freewheels had the opportunity to speak with St. Lawrence community members about their youth programming, which includes LAB Grads, a program created to teach people the basics of fixing bicycles.
Knowing how to repurpose old or damaged items is critical to fostering better environmental practices. Events like REmarket create opportunities for community driven environmental stewardship, which unburdens a stressed landfill system and keeps potentially hazardous waste out of our environment.
Behind the scenes, RCT helped organize the pickup and delivery of skids and created a brand and promotional materials for the event.
“[The success of REmarket] is attributed to partners such as RCT who assisted us from logo/poster design and logistics to helping out with donation intake on the actual days. They are a wonderful team to work with, and we look forward to future collaborations,” says Nancy Fung.
“The members of the SLNA recognize that REmarket has the potential to be a mainstay in their community, so everyone was really motivated to create good work. As a designer that made my job easy,” says Daniel Melnyk, the design lead on the project, who works full time at RCT under their youth intern program.
The SLNA hopes to expand REmarket into a community staple where people can donate, and repair used items at their convenience.