About a year ago, we discovered that our county solid waste agency has a “swap shop.” This is just a small room with shelves, where people can bring useable products that should not go into the landfill, like paint, motor oil, and cleaning supplies. You must have an appointment to drop items off, but the public is free to “shop” there anytime during business hours. Everything is free, and there is no limit on the number of items you can take.
The swap shop has saved us tons of money. I’ve gotten many quart-size cans of paint in various colors, which I’ve used for small, household decorating projects. For example, the robin’s egg blue paint that Bee used to paint our Easter tree pot came from the swap shop. We also got enough white, semi-gloss paint to paint our small, basement bathroom, and enough grout sealer to completely seal our master bathroom shower (there was plenty of tile grout also, but we had already purchased some. DUH!) My husband found enough car wax and car cleaning products to last the rest of his life.
Now, before we buy anything for a household project, we check the swap shop first. We also contribute our unwanted, useable items, in the hope that someone else will benefit from them. It’s a great way to recycle and save money! If you’re a local reader and would like the address, phone number, and business hours of the swap shop, send me an e-mail. If you don’t live in my area, I suggest that you check with your county solid waste agency to see if they also have a program like this. Often, these programs are well-kept secrets, because county agencies lack the funding for effective advertising. It’s definitely worth looking into.