This morning, St Mary’s Ecology and Transition Rye ran the first ever Recycle Swap Shop in Rye! As a result, at least a quarter of a tonne of stuff went to a good home, and didn’t end up in landfill or just cluttering up someone’s house. We had 300 people attend, which was more than we had ever hoped for! We’d like to thank Neighbourhood Enablers for their financial and practical support, making this inaugural event possible.
If you’ve never been to a Recycle Swap Shop before, here’s how it works… People turn up during the first half of the morning with stuff they no longer need, and leave it for other people to take. Throughout the whole morning, people can browse the items there to see if there’s anything they would like to take away – at no cost! It’s not required that people bring something to ‘swap’ (despite the name) – in fact we need people who bring nothing but take stuff away, otherwise we have too much left over at the end. For people who had larger items (e.g. furniture), we asked that they didn’t bring them along, but instead left a note on the noticeboard for people to contact them about collecting the item, or join the local Freegle group if that didn’t work for them.
We put the pick of the stuff on a table out the front, staffed by cheery volunteers to pull the punters in…
…and they were certainly busy with people asking about how the event worked!
It wasn’t just swapping, there was plenty of time for a drink and a chat as well!
Most of the leftovers went directly to charity shops in Rye, and the rest was recycled at the tip – we estimate that only less than a tenth of the items that were brought in to the event went into general waste. We hope to minimise this in future by asking people to only bring items that are sufficiently clean/usable/attractive to be taken away by others.
Although the event was free, we did give people the chance to donate towards the running costs – thank you if you dropped some coins in the pot, we got most of what we need to cover a future event!
If you missed out, don’t worry, we’re doing it all again on the morning of Saturday 19 Jan 2013! Put it in your diary now!
If you’d like us to keep you informed about future events, either email and ask to be put on the mailing list, or like our Facebook page.