Treasures ranging from Turkish tribal rugs and African artifacts to Elvis Presley plates and antique sewing machines have turned up in Palo Alto's Citywide Yard Sale in years past. This year, residents will again have the opportunity to scour the city for such items when the sale returns June 4 from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Residents wishing to sell items must register either by calling 650-496-5910 or by signing up online before May 9. Registration is free.
A map of household sellers will be made available the week of May 30, according to Wendy Hediger, Zero Waste Palo Alto Coordinator.
Zero Waste, which coordinates the yard sale, is a program of the Palo Alto Public Works Department that aims to eradicate waste wherever possible and to encourage reuse and recycling of items rather than sending them to landfills.
Hedigar estimated that on average more than 300 sellers participate in each biennial sale.
"The one-of-a-kind items in the past have really run the gamut," Hediger said, naming hand-milled soaps, fishing waders, vintage hand-made linens, boats, a teak dining set, a 12-string guitar and even a Civil War-era bed as notable finds.
"I encourage people who are signing-up to ask their neighbors to merge their yard sales together in clusters -- it's easier for shoppers to look at them rather than to walk to multiple sales," Hediger added.
She said that the event is not only a "community builder," kindling neighborly interaction, but also raises public awareness of the importance of keeping items out of the landfill by reusing them.
Reusing items not only minimizes waste but also causes a smaller carbon footprint than purchasing new items, Hediger said.
"To make new items, it takes resources -- not only the materials to make that item, but also to grow it and transport it to the market. There's a large life-cycle cost to making new items," she said.
"Reuse is much better than recycling ... reselling used but functional items is good for ourselves, our community and the environment," Hedinger stated in a press release.