PBT Participates in city-wide San Mateo Yard Sale

Upcycling and treasure hunting: San Mateo hosts citywide yard sale Saturday, 230 locales


August 27, 2015, 05:00 AM By Samantha Weigel Daily Journal














In an effort to bolster opportunities to reduce, reuse, resell and upcycle, an astonishing 230 yard sales will pop up throughout San Mateo this Saturday.

A broad range of items — from a Harley-Davidson motorcycle and a doll collection to a Fitbit wristband and garden equipment — will be up for grabs and easily found through the city’s interactive website.

The citywide yard sale gained unexpected traction with hundreds of residents opting to try and turn their underused goods into a bargain hunter’s treasure. Plus, what better way to promote sustainability and divert waste from landfills by buying used instead of new?

“Part of sustainability is reusing what we have and help others in our community be able to take advantage of products and materials that others may no longer need, but that still have a useful life. This is a great way to help reuse those materials and, by offering so many different options for the community, there’s over 200 yard sale locations, provides a bounty of opportunities for those looking for their own yard sale treasures,” said Assistant City Manager Matt Bronson.

While San Mateo residents produce an average of 4.2 pounds of waste per day, which is 28 percent less than the national average, city officials are hoping to promote reusing and upcycling in its continued efforts to divert trash from landfills, according to the city’s website.

Plus, while recycling is still a worthy environmentally-conscientious goal, upcycling or reusing products is even more effective to reducing one’s carbon footprint.

Not only will Saturday’s 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. event promote sustainability, it’s also meant to encourage community engagement and bonding, said Donna Divodi, San Mateo’s citywide volunteer coordinator.

“The idea is more about fun-raising then fundraising. It’s about getting neighbors together,” Divodi said.

Plus, the city’s interactive website makes treasure hunting a breeze. Bargain hunters can search by category, preview what’s available at certain sales and even get directions to where they want to shop, Divodi said.

Visitors will peruse eclectic items at a variety of sales held at locales throughout the entire city. Some may be a single family opening their garage, others could extend an entire neighborhood block and there will even be a unique opportunity to search through decades of costumes as well as theater props.

“We do have some pretty unique players in this too,” Divodi said, noting someone’s selling a motorcycle. “Peninsula Ballet [Theater], they have 50 years of costumes that they’d like to pass on to someone who might want them. And even props too!”

With tights, harem pants, nun habits and other wacky gear, the Peninsula Ballet Theater is joining in to make room at its 8,000-square-foot warehouse. The proceeds will benefit the local theater’s nonprofit school and professional company, according to theater CEO Christine Leslie.

“It’s time to retire some of these costumes and props from productions starting in the 1960s. It is amazing how well they have held up. Others have seen better days; all can be repurposed into spectacular Halloween costumes,” Leslie said in press release.

Bronson agreed a pretty amazing assortment of community items will be up for sale. Plus, having it online should also make it much easier for people to participate — unlike the last time the city sponsored a similar event, which was 10 years ago and was extremely labor intensive for staff who had to print out maps weeks in advance and arrange trash pickups the following day. Now, the city has made tax-deductible donating to local nonprofits even easier by highlighting several locales where yard sale leftovers can be dropped off.

Divodi and Bronson, both participating by hosting their own yard sales, said they’re looking forward to the first of what will hopefully be many more engaging events.

“I just think this is all a part of building a community where neighbors have good relationships and it’s a safe and vibrant place to raise a family,” Divodi said. “That’s the end prize for us all.”


Visit cityofsanmateo.org/citywideyardsale for more information about San Mateo’s citywide yard sale running 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29.




(650) 344-5200 ext. 106

Peninsula Ballet Theater costumes and props will be sold as part of this weekend’s San Mateo citywide yard sale boasting more than 230 locales. From left to right, theater volunteers Connie DeSautles, Maria Nichols, Virginia Leslie and Louise Leslie select items to sell at Saturday’s 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. event.

Lance Huntley

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