Take My Junk: Abu Dhabi

Downsizing or moving away? Don't just throw away your stuff Discuss this article

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So you spent a considerable amount of time kitting out your pad, and now that it’s all swanky, you’re bidding farewell to Abu Dhabi and half the furniture you own. Such is life. Or wait, better still, maybe you’re not bidding farewell to anything at all, but an insolent itch for some change has got you eyeing those old sofas with ill intent. Now you could whip out the digi-cam and snap lots of pictures that will eventually get put up on Dubizzle...eventually. Or maybe you have no time to wait for the browsing populace to stumble upon your junk and fall in love. In fact, you might have a plane to catch at the end of the week. What do you do?
It’s just plain wrong to dump it in the street, and paying for someone to move it is painful. There are a number of second-hand furniture places about town, which will be happy to take the stuff off your hands and make a pretty profit of it. And then there’s Take My Junk, who pretty much do the same thing, but with the added bonus of doing a good deed mixed in. We spoke to Take my Junk founder, Faisal Khan to find out more.

So what’s the story?
Take My Junk is an environmentally friendly social initiative that hails from back home (Canada). We buy unwanted items from people and sell the stuff on at considerably low prices to low income families or individuals. We also give things away for free, and organize drop-offs at labour camps. In effect, we’re connecting people who want to donate to those who need donations.

Where do you get most of your stuff then?
We collect from homes, companies, schools, hotels, garage sales – anywhere.

What kind of junk do you take?
All household and office items, big or small. I must emphasise though, that we take ‘junk’, not garbage! Junk is reusable, and garbage simply isn’t.

So how can we arrange a pick-up?
Call, SMS or email us to schedule a pick-up appointment at a time which suits you, and we’ll dispatch a truck and a team of guys with tools. These guys will dismantle and remove whatever items need to be collected and take them to our warehouse in Ajman.

Do we have to pay for that?
Not at all, rather we pay you. If you choose not to take the money, we’ll donate it on your behalf to a local medical clinic in Ajman, which offers free medical treatment to labourers.

Where does all the junk go?
It goes to our big warehouse in Ajman.

What do you do with furniture that’s unsellable?
We take it apart and separate the wood, metal, plastic, glass etc. And then we recycle it all.

Do you make a profit, and if so where does it go?
Yes, we do make a profit. A share of this goes towards covering our expenses, and some of it goes to the Ajman Medical Clinic.

Why the Ajman Medical clinic?

A labourer makes about Dhs800 a month and needs to send that home. Spending Dhs100 to Dhs200 on medicine or consultation fees is often beyond their means. We’ve joined up with the Ajman Medical Clinic and created a special fund. This fund pays for the medical bills of labourers who can’t afford to pay for treatment themselves.

You also have another initiative, the gift pack project?
Yes, the idea for the gift pack initiative was originally coined by the students at Jumeirah English Speaking school. The pack consists of new, needful items such as toiletries, a towel, a t-shirt etc. Companies, schools or individuals buy the items, and we collect and distribute them throughout Ajman labour camps. Recently we did a distribution of 800 packs which were donated by the American School of Abu Dhabi.

We have no junk to give you, but we still want to help. How can we get involved?
A good word is treasure! You can spread the word in your communities, and on social media sites. If you know of anyone moving or getting rid of stuff, let them know about us. We will take whatever they can’t sell.
For more info about Take My Junk, go to www.takemyjunkuae.com or you can contact them at info@takemyjunkuae.com (050 179 4045).

By Elest Ali
Time Out Abu Dhabi,

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