Tons of donations at free swapping event

pic: Anurag Tagat

Rocking horses, reed brooms, VHS tapes and an assortment of curios were exchanged at the Give or Take day held at Lauriston primary school in Hackney on Saturday.

Sponsored by Hackney Council and organised by Waste Watch and the North London Waste Authority, the free swapping event promotes reusing items that cannot be recycled.

With over 200 people visiting the ‘taking’ stalls put up in the main hall of the school, Recycle for Hackney said approximately two tonnes of reusable donations were pulled in.  A member of the team said, “We have all got together here; Waste Watch has brought in volunteers, we liaised with the school for the venue, and Bright Sparks is helping us test all the electric items donated.”

Most visitors were parents of the school students, and other participants had heard about the event from a local newspaper. Mareli Pelzer, who allowed her daughter to pick up a rabbit’s ears headband said: “This is a good way to get rid of things from a small flat for me; it’s definitely nothing to be embarrassed about. It’s very cool to recycle things. For my daughter, it is all worth it just to make one child happy.

“We usually have a lot of toys, books, clothes and bric-a-bracs up for grabs. Hackney has been the first borough in north London to host a Give or take day, and the response has been great,” another Recycle team member added, saying that between one and three tonnes of items have been diverted from becoming landfill due to the event.

Summer Duplessis, a student, offloaded “two backpacks of clothes” and in return, she said, “I found a teacup for my mum.” About the visitors at the swap, she expected less people, “but a lot of people showed up, which is quite nice.”

Douglas Kemp, a volunteer worker picking up pots and pans, said: “This is my first time here, so I didn’t bring anything. I missed the opening rush, so I don’t think there is a lot left to pick up now,” he added.

Ed van Reenen, an adviser with Waste Watch told EastLondonLines that on an average, 230 kilos of reused items had been put up for swapping by 130 people who participated in what has been the 12th edition of the year.

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