City Nearly Doubles Revenue from 2010, $4.6 Million More Expected in 2012
CHICAGO - Mayor Rahm Emanuel announced today that the Department of Procurement Services (DPS) collected $3.6 million in 2011 from selling City surplus materials through its online auction system,
early twice the amount collected in 2010. The online auctions allow the City to sell unneeded surplus possessions including fax machine toner, scrap metal, old vehicles parts, and street sweepers.
"It is our responsibility to the taxpayers of Chicago to leave no stone unturned or old fax machine unsold when it comes to bringing in new revenue to the City," said Mayor Emanuel. "For each dollar we bring in through our online auction system, it's one less dollar we have to find from someplace else which allows us to preserve critical City services that Chicagoans depend on. I commend the Department of Procurement Services for its aggressive pursuit of items that can be sold online. It is an example of the type efficient, ingenuity that we will continue to strive for every day."
Through increased coordination and outreach between City departments, DPS doubled the amount it collected in 2010 from $1.8 million to $3.6 million. In addition, DPS has projected that it will increase that amount in 2012 for a total of $4.6 million in revenue. Already in the first month of 2012, DPS auctions have generated over $90,000 in new revenue.
Recently successful auctions include 450 tons of scrap metal, several pieces of heavy equipment and a set of decommissioned Micro-Turbine power generators. Most auction items are sold at the City's salvage yard, though some equipment is auctioned onsite at the City facilities where they were used. DPS also works internally with City departments and Sister Agencies to identify any items that still may have potential use to the City. DPS has sold surplus items to buyers all over the United States as well as South America, Mexico, and Canada. Anyone interested in purchasing surplus items should visit the City's website at www.cityofchicago.org/procurement or call DPS at 312.744.4900.
In the municipal equivalent of selling your old stuff on eBay, the city of Chicago made $3.6 million by auctioning surplus equipment online.
In the municipal equivalent of selling your old stuff on eBay, the city of Chicago made $3.6 million by auctioning surplus equipment online, nearly twice the amount it collected in 2010. Chicago's used junk included
fax machine toner, scrap metal, old truck parts and street sweepers. As the saying goes, one city's trash is another city's treasure.
"It is our responsibility to the taxpayers of Chicago to leave no stone unturned or old fax machine unsold when it comes to bringing in new revenue to the City," Mayor Rahm Emanuel said in a statement. "For each dollar we bring in through our online auction system, it's one less dollar we have to find from someplace else which allows us to preserve critical City services that Chicagoans depend on. I commend the Department of Procurement Services for its aggressive pursuit of items that can be sold online. It is an example of the type efficient, ingenuity that we will continue to strive for every day."
Emanuel says we can do even better next year. Already this month, we've made $90,000 online by selling 450 tons of scrap metal, several pieces of heavy equipment and a set of decommissioned Micro-Turbine power generators, and the mayor thinks we can earn $4.6 million.
Right now, most of the items on sale at the city's Public Surplus site are old automobiles, including a 1998 Ford Windstar Minivan. You can also buy 204 limestone slabs, a microfilm machine, two air compressors and 13 strobe lights.
That, of course, is more than enough money to keep the libraries open on Mondays. But that's not where the money is going, because it's not the city's fault the libraries are closed. It's the union's fault. Maybe if we close our libraries altogether, we can make even more money online, by selling all our old books on Amazon.
BY SANDRA GUY - Business Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org
City officials are doing what frantic penny-pinchers have done for years: They're searching every nook and cranny for old fax machines, abandoned SUVs, unsold sports banners and other surplus property to auction online. Their efforts, per Mayor Rahm Emanuel's do-more-with-less edict, collected $3.6 million in winning bids in 2011 - double the $1.8 million take in 2010.
City officials now aim to collect $4.6 million from the online auctions this year by finding even more junk to get rid of.
"We started an aggressive outreach campaign when I said, "If you're not sitting on your chiar, I'm going to sell it," said Jamie Rhee, the city's chief procurement officer in charge of the process. "When we can reuse something, we will, but when something is outdated and we can make money off of it, we're going to sell it."
The city hired Public Surplus, a Provo, Utah-based internet auction company that specializes in government auctions, to conduct the auctions. Public Surplus collects 6.75 percent of the take up to $1 million, after which it collects 6.25 percent. The city held 661 auctions of surplus and abandoned equipment last year.
The most surprising winning bidder was a South American government that wanted old standalone fax machines, said Rhee, an 18-year city government veteran who worked as general counsel for the O'Hare Airport modernization program before being named chief of procurement two-and-a-half years ago.
Other winning bids included $20,105 for a 2008 Mercedes Benz SUV; $18,900 for a 2008 Land Rover; and $1,700 for "Walter Payton-Sweetness" Chicago Bears banners. Bidders fought for 330 Xerox copier toners, which sold for $913, and a Black & Decker table saw, which went for $26.
Rhee said she appreciates that the auctions are putting money into the city's coffers and keeping reclaimable stuff out of landfills.
"People will tear apart some of the items for their parts, down to the electrical wires, so it's turned into a "green" effort, too," she said.
Anyone interested in buying surplus items may visit the website at cityofchicago.org/procurement or by calling (312) 744-4900.