Thursday, September 1, 2016

Shop The Town Swap And Save The Landfill

Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.

Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.

All over the country towns are implementing "Swap Shops" at town transfer stations or recycle centers.  
Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.
They make so much sense, that I haven't figured out why every town in the US does not have a swap shop! It's a no brainer, because it not only diverts trash tonnage from landfills, but it adds up to savings on town disposal costs.  For instance, the town of Dennis, MA diverts 56% of it's residential solid waste from the landfill due to their Swap shop "Take it or Leave it". 
Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.
What is a swap shop?  
A town swap can be a recycle center for just about everything. It's a put and take: a place to bring items and a place to shop for them for free.  
Each town runs theirs differently, some towns have only single book swaps or computer swaps.   But many towns have swaps for every recyclable category, often housed in multiple buildings or recycled trailors. Many are well organized and categorized just like stores and libraries.  Some buildings even have background music!  Many swap shops are maintained by city employees and others manned by volunteers.  
Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.

What amazes me, is how much stuff actually gets reclaimed, reused, repurposed and saved from landfills.   It seems that people find use for just about anything.  Residents can not only reclaim standard items such as clothing, kitchenware, furniture, sports and gardening equipment, but also reuse building materials. No matter how the shops are configured, they have one thing thing in common, and that is that they give new life to tons of old objects and recycle it all.  Items go as quickly as they come in!
Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.

Why doesn't every town have one?  
Every town has a small space that can be allocated for this project, but many towns do not consider them important enough.  My town had a book swap and a computer electronics area for several years, but recently closed them down, mainly because they didn't want to be bothered. It's a shame, because residents are often too overwhelmed, incapable or ill informed to find someone to take their stuff away and more often end up just tossing it into the trash. Hence, it goes to a landfill and much of it will never biodegrade.

Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.
So, whether the swap shops are affectionately named "Town Mall", "Put n Take", "Last Chance" or "Treasure Chest",  it's a concept that not only saves the residents and the town, but saves the planet!
Town Swap Free and Green-Divert thousands of tons of trash from a landfill while shopping green.
If there is no swap shop in your town, why not take action and talk to your DPW or recycle committee.  It's good for the planet and greener in many ways.

Learn more about Swaps on Planetpals.com

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