2016-05-13 / Community

Sustainable SoPo

Swap Shop at South Portland Transfer Station to open

The new South Portland Transfer Station is open and is the first part of the new municipal services facility to be completed. For those of you looking for yet another way to reduce, reuse and recycle, you will be happy to hear that the new transfer facility will be home to a swap shop where South Portland residents will soon be able to drop and swap all kind of items in good condition.

Located at 929 Highland Ave., the swap shop will be housed in a dedicated 20-foot by 20-foot building at the transfer station and if all goes according to plan, will be open by the end of May.

When the city was planning the new municipal services facility, many residents requested the transfer station include a swap shop. Since encouraging, purposeful reuse and recycling is part of the city’s waste reduction gal, this seems like a good idea. The swap shop will provide another avenue for useful items to be reused and kept out of the waste system, ultimately reducing the volume of trash that gets sent to the ecomaine incinerator. The hope is that all swap shop items will eventually find a new home and be put to good use.

So if you’re getting ready to clean out closets, the basement or garage (and you don’t want to have a yard sale) consider donating to the swap shop your items that are in good condition and could be used by someone else. All accepted items can be donated free of charge. Also, if you are in the market for a new item, but think it would be nice to save money, why not check out the swap shop first, before heading out to buy something new. You do not need to donate in order to browse and you never know what treasures you might find. Since there is no charge for items you choose to take home, it’s like a garage sale where everything is free.

The public works department is still hammering out many of the details about how exactly the swap shop will be run, including hours and days of operation, and since space will be limited, city staff are creating a detailed list of items that will and will not be accepted. City staff will not run the swap shop, however. Instead, it will be run entirely by a group of volunteers who will be coordinated by public works, with help from the Energy and Recycling Committee. If you are interested in being a swap shop volunteer, call the public works department at 767-7635.

The South Portland Energy and Recycling Committee meets the third Wednesday of each month at the South Portland Community Center. Meetings start at 6:30 p.m. and are open to the public.

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