A swap shop is a community event where members of the public have the chance to dispose of things they don’t want, that are still useable, and pick up something they need – all for free!
Many people describe it as a kind of free bring-and-buy sale. Participants do not need to bring anything in order to take away goods and vice versa. Swap Shops recognise that one person’s junk is another person’s treasure and use this fact to reduce ‘waste’.
By reusing things we cut down on the amount of waste that goes into landfill, and keeps perfectly good items in use for longer. It’s better to re-use things (and reduce your needs and the waste arising from packaging of new items) than recycle them, and obviously it’s better to do either than throw things away – into landfill. One full household wheelie bin holds about 12 kg of stuff. And then it causes pollution, global warming, and incurs landfill taxes.
Reusing instead of buying new, also means that the amount of natural resources used in manufacturing is reduced: resources such as oil, minerals, water and wood.
In Eynsham we regularly “swap” about 500 kg of items to new owners, at each 6-monthly swap shop. Since starting in 2008 we have ensured that 5.8 tonnes of things have been re-homed rather than binned. For comparison – an African elephant weights about 4.6 tonnes.
Another 1.6 tonnes has been reused via the annual Aston swap shops.
How and When?
Please bring re-usable things which may be of use to someone else. No requirement to bring anything, or to take anything. It’s all free!
No large items, please, but if you want to bring something big, you can bring a photo and details for the notice board.
Electricals can now be tested at the Swap Shop and then swapped. Electricals which fail the safety test will be recycled at an appropriate WEEE waste facility.
Swap Shops only happen every six months – if you want to know how and where to recyle-use more frequently, click here for a list of items and where to take them.
Contact: Liz Bickley Eynsham Area Waste Watchers (EAWW, waste group of Green TEA )
01865 884 496
More information on swap shops around the county
Oxfordshire’s Recycling A-Z has lots of suggestions of how you can reuse AND recycle.