A retro Carabine surfboard (now a collector's item) is among people's junk that's been polished into treasure for a charity pop-up store in Wollongong this weekend.
Since February, goods turfed out for Wollongong City Council's kerbside clean-up service were salvaged by the Illawarra Shoalhaven Joint Organisation (ISJO) to be brought back to life, and saved from landfill.
Spokeswoman Nicole Parsons said nine in 10 people didn't realise their old furniture or toys put on the kerb get crushed and sent to the tip.
"The community themselves think it's going to a better place," Miss Parsons said. "They don't think it's being crunched up on a truck and sent to landfill, instead they think it's potentially being sorted and ending up in a charity, or a tip shop or going somewhere else."
For Wollongong residents, the majority of kerbside clean-up items end in the tip at Whytes Gully with electronic waste, mattresses and metals able to be recycled.
This weekend's "Second Time Around" auction and general sale of upcycled goods was born out of a study the ISJO did with the University of Wollongong in 2020, researching ways to reduce household waste going to landfill.
Recovered items will be on display at 1B/281 Crown Street and include occasional chairs, side tables, dining suites, patio furniture, children's toys, home décor, plant stands and bicycles.
Green Connect volunteers took on the restoration projects of sourced items with money raised from the weekend to go back to the charity to support work with young people and former refugees.
Around 36,000 Wollongong residents use the council kerbside clean-up service every year, most thinking it's free, although two services per year are paid for in council rates. Just 200 Shellharbour residents use their council clean-up service (as it's paid for up front), with the majority "self hauling" to a tip, said Miss Parsons.
The upcoming sale is part of a pilot project so if all goes well the ISJO will aim to get the salvage program running full-time.
"We'd love to see this as a model that can be adopted by any council across NSW - or indeed the country - because it's the same problem everywhere," Miss Parsons said.
"If we can get a charity or a social enterprise on board, because [after this weekend's sale] if we do have items left over they're going to end in up in a Green Connect op-shop or distributed to young people or former refugees."
A silent auction will be held at the pop-up on Friday night - doors open at 6.30pm with a cash bar open, bidding starts at 7pm.Registration is required accompanying a donation to Green Connect at the door on arrival.
The general sale is open 9am-5pm Saturday, 10am to 5pm Sunday, at 281 Crown Street Wollongong - next to Spotlight.