Clean Sweep, Bates' mighty 'garage sale,' slated for June 18

The ninth Clean Sweep sale takes place from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, June 20, at the college's Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St. The sale is open to the public. To learn more, please contact Rosenbach at 207-786-8367 or

 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.

In those cartons and at the college's ice arena, they drop off small furnishings, electronics, sports gear and other useable stuff they won't take along when they leave campus this spring. These goodies will be offered for sale at Clean Sweep, Bates' annual "garage sale" that keeps truckloads of useful items out of the waste stream and raises money for nonprofit organizations in the region.

(NOTE: The summer 2009 edition of "Bates Invites You," Bates College's events calendar, incorrectly stated that the public is invited to help staff or donate items to Clean Sweep.We regret the error.)

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 region. Different nonprofits participate every year and the boxes Rosenbach places in dormitories 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.

A “garage sale” on a massive scale that benefits the environment, community organizations and countless satisfied shoppers, Bates College’s Clean Sweep returns for the 11th year at 8 a.m. Saturday, June 18, at Underhill Arena, 145 Russell St.

As students pack up to leave Bates at the end of the school year, they donate to Clean Sweep all kinds of still-valuable possessions — electronics and toys, household goods and small furnishings, bikes and books, sporting goods and more. The annual sale keeps these perfectly usable items out of the landfill, and the proceeds go to local nonprofits.

To learn more, please call 207-786-6207.

Bates is one of a number of colleges and universities nationwide that hold such sales. Last year’s event at Bates raised nearly $16,000 in proceeds divided among 14 local nonprofits.

An annual tradition for both the campus and local bargain hunters, the sale is staffed by volunteers from the nonprofits, which in return receive a share of the proceeds.

Located in Lewiston except as indicated, the nonprofits taking part this year are: the Caleb Garden Club; Common Ties Mental Health Services; First Universalist Church, Auburn; the Justice, Ecology and Democracy Collective, Greene; Life Center; Lots to Gardens; Maine Fair Trade Campaign; Maine People’s Alliance; New Beginnings, Inc.; the Share Center, Auburn; Somali Bantu Community Association; TriCounty Mental Health Services; and the Trinity Jubilee Center.

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