Winter Stop ‘N’ Swaps Offer Cure for Post-Holiday Clutter

As 2011 begins, so does the annual ritual of cleaning out the old and beginning anew.  Familiar resolutions of being more organized and having a smaller environmental footprint raise the same question: what to do with all this “stuff?”

GrowNYC, a local environmental non-profit, offers one solution with Stop ‘N’ Swap events which will span the five boroughs in January and February.  The community is invited to bring unwanted but still usable items to donate to a good home.  Participants can also bring a bag and fill up on items they would like to take with them.  The group asks that all items be portable so others can easily carry them away. 

From books and toys to fashionable clothing, house wares and working electronics, items come and go throughout the day, landing quickly in the welcome hands of a new owner.  Whatever is left at the end is sorted and donated or recycled.  The group estimates that 90% or more of what comes in ends up getting reused. 

GrowNYC has partnered with local schools, a library branch and community group to co-host a winter swap in each borough: 

Bronx (Mott Haven): Saturday, February 5, 11am-2pm
BronxWorks Betances Community Center
547 E. 146th St at St. Ann’s Ave
Queens (Jackson Heights): Saturday, February 12, 11am-2pm
Renaissance Charter School, basement cafeteria
35-59 81st St. b/t 37th & 35th Aves
Brooklyn (Ft. Greene): Saturday, February 26, 11am-2pm
M.S. 113 lobby, 300 Adelphi Street b/t DeKalb and Lafayette

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Stop ‘N’ Swaps have developed a regular following among the thrifty and environmentally conscious.  “Stop ‘N’ Swaps have hit at the right time. In this economy, they’re a great way for residents to find things they need without having to pay and they are reducing the amount of garbage that NYC generates,” said GrowNYC Executive Director Marcel Van Ooyen. “In fact, it’s a triple-win; in addition to economic and environmental benefits, they also build community as New Yorkers come out and meet their neighbors.”
“While our primary mission is to help increase recycling in NYC, reusing items is even better, as waste is prevented at no cost,” said Christina Salvi, the Assistant Director of GrowNYC’s Office of Recycling Outreach and Education.