SERVICE PROVIDER Nobanker Youth Commune,NYC

PRICE Free, but donation is welcome

SERVICE RATING Great Idea.The first of its kind in Hong Kong. The service helps you comply with the Vacant Possession clause when moving out of your apartment.  Everything collected from your apartment will be sent to its warehouse. Anyone can then drop by to take the items free of charge.

GREEN RATING Deep Green. Rescuing furniture and stuff which would otherwise be sent to landfill gives these items a chance at a second life right here in Hong Kong.

Although there are other more established organizations which facilitate re-use of furniture and stuff, such as Crossroads and Second Hand Community Store, the former limits its beneficiaries to NGOs and charities, while the latter operates as a shop. NYC is a unique “clearing service” because it does not buy or sell.

In Hong Kong, on completion of a sale, the seller is obliged to deliver the property with vacant possession which means clear of objects which are not included in the sale. The same also applies at the end of a tenancy.  There are service providers you can hire to help you empty out your apartment.  They may sell whatever you have left behind on second hand market (or as scrap metal). However, due to the high transaction cost, it is not surprising that a lot of the items which are still in usable condition will simply be discarded in the landfill.

NYC tries to resolve this problem by going into the “clearing service” market.  Instead of sending usable stuff to the landfill, NYC brings them back to their warehouse, and lets anyone come by and pick out what they need.

We haven’t had a chance to use NYC’s “clearing service” yet.  But we did drop by their warehouse in Kwai Chung last weekend.  We spotted a pair of leather sofas, in very good condition, which had been rescued from Mei Foo that would have been perfect replacement of our damaged second hand sofa.  Too bad that we acted too slowly and someone else got it.  Nevertheless, we snagged a few household items which are useful to us.

We are not sure whether it is financially sustainable for this group of passionate young people to operate based on donations.  But their effort is truly admirable and we wish them every success.