The state has formed a valuable partnership with Goodwill Industries for the resale of surplus state equipment.
Tight budgets are forcing state agencies, local governments and school district to downsize, which, in turn, creates more inventory at the state surplus warehouse that the Department of Enterprise Services operates in Tumwater.
The state agency has teamed up with Goodwill to transfer quality excess merchandise to Goodwill for sale at its retail stores. Revenue from the donated household items sold by Goodwill supports job training and placement programs to help people with disabilities and other barriers to employment enter the work force.
The partnership also makes good business sense for Enterprise Services, freeing up space in the warehouse and reducing recycling costs.
There have been 22 trailer loads picked up by Goodwill since the program began. More than 2,000 items have been delivered to 10 Goodwill stores in Thurston and Pierce counties.
While less than 1 percent of the state’s unsold merchandise winds up in landfills, the partnership with Goodwill should reduce the volume disposed even further.
The public is also welcome to shop at the state surplus store, which is located at 7511 New Market St., Tumwater. The warehouse store is open 12:30 p.m.-4 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturdays. Items are also sold through an online auction site.
The surplus program handles a wide variety of items, from the unusual – roller skates and used radar guns – to the more utilitarian — file cabinets, laptops and desks.
The store is a great place to shop for someone in search of home office equipment.
Overall sales of surplus goods totalled some $17 million through the three fiscal years ending with 2010. The revenues go to the state agencies donating the surplus items.
The core mission of the surplus program is to re-use materials as much as possible. The partnership with Goodwill and the sales to the public both help achieve that goal.