Garage sale with a difference wins award




A partnership which demonstrates a viable solution to repairing and repurposing imperfect furniture to keep materials out of landfill has collected a leading sustainability award for Officeworks and the World's Biggest Garage Sale (WBGS). 

The Banksia Foundation's Minister's Award for the Environment, which recognises innovative projects with national significance that will inspire others to action, was presented by the Hon Sussan Ley MP, Federal Minister for the Environment, at the 32nd Annual Banksia Sustainability Awards in late March.

WBGS has opened Australia's first circular economy precinct in Brisbane, taking in goods from households and businesses that otherwise might go to landfill, and repairing, repurposing, recycling and reselling them. Officeworks struck a new partnership with WBSG in early 2020, diverting imperfect home and office furniture that was unfit for sale due to damage incurred during its transport.

The program has met a number of objectives for Officeworks, including increasing operational recycling rates and reducing waste sent to landfill, being cost neutral, and providing feedback to help avoid product damage in the first instance. 

"It's a partnership that we're really proud of and one that plays an important role as we work to contribute to a more circular economy," Officeworks Head of Sustainable Development and Government Relations, Ryan Swenson said. "We are now working with the team at WBGS and other interested parties to help scale the initiative across Australia as a solution for waste reduction within the retail industry."

This case study was published subsequent to the signing of the Independent limited Assurance Statement on 23 September 2020 and has not been assured.