Has Marie Kondo, that organizational goddess, inspired residents in your building to feverishly cull their belongings?
If the garbage room has piles of unwanted furniture and clothing that’s still in pretty good shape, there’s a way to find a new home for these items. It’s called DonateNYC, part of the city’s campaign to end all landfill shipments by the year 2030.
The Department of Sanitation (DSNY) has organized a donation network of more than 70 nonprofits that are willing to take in unwanted furniture, appliances, and a host of other items. The expanding network includes not only conventional venues like thrift stores and Goodwill Industries but also housing providers, food rescue organizations, even animal shelters. Through the use of the website and app, the program’s partners helped divert more than 98 million pounds of items from landfills in 2017.
The website (nyc.gov/donate) can be used in two ways. Say a resident wants to donate a large dining room set. The donateNYC website or app allows individual users to search for a nonprofit organization that will pass that dining room set to a new user and will also pick it up and deliver it to its new home.
“It’s not surprising that most people who use the program are requesting pick-up,” says Eszter Csicsai, senior manager of reuse and donations at DSNY. Since the website works as a link from donor to nonprofit, DSNY is not directly involved with the transaction between the two. Co-op and condo property management companies can get involved by signing up for an account to gain access to the Exchange, a list of goods that people are searching for or want to donate.
“Co-ops and condos that want to renovate their lobby in an environmentally friendly way can ask their property management firms to establish an account,” says Csicsai. They can then save money by looking on the Exchange for free furniture and fixtures – or they can find new users for their old fixtures.