WESTFIELD, NJ — One person’s old record player is another’s person’s afternoon repair project.
Leveraging the popularity of “junk day,” a fee-based collection of bulk waste, the Westfield Green Team is leading a “Free Swap” event this spring at which residents will be given the opportunity to give away unwanted goods for no cost and pick up some new items in the process.
The Town Council approved the plan last week.
“The goal of it is to promote reuse, to keep things out of the landfill,” said Councilman David Contract, liaison to the local Green Team. “Because the reality is, a lot of things that are thrown out do not need to be thrown out.”
During the town’s bulky waste collection program, Contract noted, many items disappear from the curbside before the garbage collection workers pick them up.
Residents will be encouraged to bring gently used clothing, shoes, toys, books, sports equipment or other household items to the Free Swap to be held at the South Avenue Train Station Parking Lot, from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m., on Saturday, May 4.
Volunteers will screen the items to ensure those being offered up for free are suitable for the swap, Contract said.
The program will supplement Westfield’s annual bulky waste collection, which for a fee has residents drop bulk waste curbside to be collected for garbage pickup, Town Administrator Jim Gildea said.
Westfield is not the first town to recognize that folks like free stuff.
“We’re modeling it after the Summit [program], which they’re doing regularly at their conservation center,” Gildea said.
The company GreenDrop will pick up all donations that do not find a home in the collection, organizers said. Those donations will benefit the Purple Heart Service Foundation, according to GreenDrop.
Janette Filbert Spiezio, a volunteer with the Green Team, presented the plan to the council, along with fellow Green Team member Judith Paris last week.
“I think this is going to do really well because there is already a culture of reuse,” Filbert Spiezio said.
Email Staff Writer Matt Kadosh at email@example.com; Follow him on Twitter: @MattKadosh