There has been an epidemic this past month in East Ballard with furniture and trash piling up in the medians along 14th Ave NW. On a recent walk from NW 65th to Market St, almost every block had something dumped in the median or on the sidewalk at the intersection. Even if the original owner believes that perhaps someone would find their beat up couch or lumpy mattress valuable and take it into their own home, the truth of the matter is that your unwanted items end up just sitting there for days or weeks attracting more people to dump their own stuff into the pile and contributing to a neighborhood trash pile until the City comes by and hauls it away.
Is this the community we want to be? Whether you’re a resident (owner or renter), business owner or just passing through, you are part of this community and only you can either continue to contribute to this problem or help resolve it.
Heroes to the rescue
Thanks to EBCA’s awesome relationship with the Seattle Conservation Corps, who have been watering the planters and weeding the medians on 14th these past years, their work crew this week took it upon themselves to gather up most of the furniture and haul it off in their own truck and take it to the dump. They gathered up what they couldn’t take into a pile at the corner of NW 60th and 14th for another truck to pick up later. Kudos to Michelle and Fred at Seattle Conservation Corps for taking the initiative and being part of the solution!
Now here’s how you can be part of the solution too!
What to do with your unwanted furniture
There are resources available to help you find a new home for your furniture. None are probably as easy as dumping it in the street, but you’ve already decided you’re not going to do that, right?!
If your furniture is in good, usable condition, you may be able to sell, exchange or donate it:
- Buy Nothing Ballard – Facebook Group page for giving away unwanted items – This is a closed group, so you must request to join
- Freecycle-Seattle – A Yahoo! group for giving and receiving free items. This is a closed group, so you must request to join.
- Craigslist-Seattle – a good ole standby for buying, selling and giving away your stuff.
- Goodwill (or any other donation drop off spot) – If your items are in good condition, this is an excellent option if you have the means to transport
- Salvation Army – This charity will pick up certain furniture items for free (couches under 8ft long, e.g).
- Northwest Center – This charity will pick up certain furniture items for free (no mattresses or sleeper sofas though)
- GetWagon.com – This courier service will pickup items and drive them to places like the Goodwill for you for $15 per 15 minutes. It looks like they’re quick to respond and since the Goodwill is so close, this could be a great option.
If your items aren’t in good shape and need to be thrown out, here are a couple of options:
- City of Seattle Bulky item pickup – For about $30 per item, you can schedule a bulky item pickup by the City.
- Seattle Transfer Station – If your items are not in good shape to resell, then sending them to the dump may be an option. Unfortunately, the North transfer station is closed right now and you’ll have to go to the Shoreline or South Seattle station. The cost is $30 per vehicle.
How to report illegal dumping
Of-course, there will be folks who will not have read this post and will dump their items into the streets and medians. Regardless of whether these actions are good-intentioned or just lazy, the fact is that illegal dumping will happen. It’s your responsibility as an engaged member of the community to report this to the City as soon as you see it.
- Find it Fix it App – Install this nifty app on your phone, take a picture and report it to the City
- Report online – Fill out the City’s online report to report illegal dumping
- Give the City a call at (206) 684-7587
There are many more options that we missed and we’d love for you to share your ideas on our Facebook page.