Sixth annual Clean Sweep sale to benefit environment, local nonprofits

Clean Sweep, Bates College’s sixth annual “garage sale” of electronics, furnishings and other goods donated by departing students, takes place from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday, June 17, at the college’s Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St.

Proceeds from the sale benefit local nonprofit organizations. The sale is open to the public, and members of the public are also invited to donate items and/or volunteer to staff the event. To learn more, please call Bates environmental coordinator Julie Rosenbach at 207-786-8367 (office) or 207-240-4626 (cell).

Bates is one of a number of colleges and universities nationwide that benefit both the environment and their communities by selling usable goods — clothing, electronics, furniture, appliances, athletic and outdoor equipment and myriad other items — donated by students as they head out at the end of the academic year. Organizations that benefit from the sale’s proceeds provide volunteers to staff the event.

Clean Sweep is an important way for Bates to reinforce its connection with the community, says Rosenbach. She adds, “it’s a lot smarter to reuse all this good stuff than to put it in a hole in the ground, to bury it in a landfill. That just doesn’t make any sense.”

Last year’s event raised approximately $12,000 for participating organizations. This year’s beneficiaries include the Maine Fair Trade Campaign, Androscoggin Head Start, the Maine People’s Alliance, the Lewiston High School track and field program, Nana’s Dream Museum of Miniatures, the 100 Pine Street Center and the Maine Center for Justice, Ecology and Democracy.

Rosenbach started at Bates in April. With a B.A. from the University of New Hampshire and an M.A. in international environmental policy from the Monterey Institute of International Studies in Monterey, Calif., she previously worked as a specialist for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency in Washington, D.C.

“I’ve always wanted to work at a college or university, and I had decided to move to Maine” when the Bates job came along, she says. “I wanted to get back to where there are students and where there are some new ideas.”

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