Eighth annual Clean Sweep sale benefits environment, local nonprofits

When Bates College environmental coordinator Julie Rosenbach places cartons marked “Clean Sweep” in the college’s dorms each spring, students know just what to do.

They drop off the furnishings, electronics, sports gear and other useable stuff they won’t take home when they leave campus this spring. These goodies are then put up for sale at Clean Sweep, Bates’ annual “garage sale” that keeps truckloads of useful items out of the landfill and raises money for nonprofit organizations in the region.

The eighth Clean Sweep sale takes place this year from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 14, at the college’s Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St.

The sale is open to the public. To learn more, please contact Julie Rosenbach at 207-786-8367 (office), 207-240-4626 (cell) or jrosenba@bates.edu.

Bates is one of a number of colleges and universities nationwide that benefit both the environment and their communities each year by selling possessions donated by students as they head out at the end of the academic year.

Bates’ event has become a tradition on campus and in the Lewiston-Auburn region. Different nonprofits participate every year and the boxes Rosenbach places in dormitory lounges are always filled to overflowing.

“People look forward to the sale. They expect it,” Rosenbach says. “And they really like being a part of it.”

This year, at least 10 nonprofit organizations will be taking part by collecting goods from around campus, helping organize the sale or volunteering at the event.

Organizations that benefit from the sale’s proceeds provide volunteers to staff the event. Last year’s Clean Sweep raised more than $17,500 that was divided among 18 local nonprofit organizations, and approximately 97 percent of goods donated were sold or otherwise reused.

This year, Rosenbach is highlighting the existence of a hold area where shoppers can park their armfuls of goods while they continue to browse. Last year, she says, “people really took advantage of it.”

“We’re figuring out how to make Clean Sweep better each year, so this year should be great.”

Office of Communications and Media Relations

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