Westmoreland County has about 12,000 covid-era disposable plastic face shields looking for a new home.
Unused personal protective equipment accumulated during the early days of the pandemic is among the nearly 200 lots up for bid in an online auction of surplus county equipment.
It’s not just face shields that are on the block. The county is looking to move used vehicles, old pedal boats and even a set of skis.
“This is to free up some space. These are just sitting there. There’s a lot of stuff here at the courthouse and around the county that are not being used by us and could use a better home,” said Kris Cardiff, the county’s purchasing director who is overseeing the sale.
A catalog of auction items is available on the county website.
The county last auctioned off surplus equipment in 2021.
This year’s sales list includes dozens of boxes of plastic face shields. Public Safety Department Deputy Director Scott Stepanovich said the face shields were primarily collected through distributions by the state and private donations at the start of the pandemic, when routine personal protection equipment was hard to come by.
At one point, the county had about 25,000 face shields in stock and doled out thousands to local agencies and personal care homes. About 12,000 remain in storage as better quality masks became available for use.
“We decided to let these go. We have excess supply, and these are not being used. We’d rather they not sit in storage,” Stepanovich said. “Hopefully, they land with someone where they can get some use.”
The county is seeking minimum bids of $5 for a box of 400 face shields.
Nine vehicles that are up for sale have received the most interest since the auction went live earlier this month, officials said.
Public Works Director Greg McCloskey said the vehicles, which include a couple of passenger vans and an older model police cruiser, are all in need of some repairs. None of the vans and cars up for sale have up-to-date inspections and some require work to make them roadworthy.
“Some are in decent shape, but won’t pass inspection,” McCloskey said.
The county in years past hosted in-person auctions, but since the pandemic has moved to an online format to sell its surplus equipment.
Cardiff said 45 potential bidders have registered for the auction and as of Monday, more than 1,400 bids were registered.
Proceeds from auction will be funneled to the county’s budget. Winning bids incur an additional 10% service charge that will be paid to Bill Anderson Auctioneers in Export, which is operating the online sale.
Bids are being accepted through Oct. 2.
Rich Cholodofsky is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Rich by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .