The ‘Take-It-Or-Leave-It’ area at the St. Paul waste transfer station is now open for business following town council’s approval last week of a policy about what is allowed at the site.
In an interview after the meeting, Director of Public Works Steven Jeffery said the goal of the area is to repurpose smaller household items that would otherwise be going in the landfill.
“You know there’s average people in need, and not necessarily everybody’s got the ability or desire to go buy something brand new,” said Jeffery.
“What we know from our neighboring municipalities, is they’ve had a lot of success with people bringing in dishes that they no longer use. A lot of people have dishes in storage. Glasses, even cookware stuff,” he said.
“The other thing that we see a lot is tools. Tools get thrown out. Somebody with a garage or they’re purging or whatever and they got a wrench here or they got a duplicate and it all gets kind of tossed and ends up in the metal. Those are things that can all be put on the shelf.”
He said the main thing to know about items being left is that they need to be in working order.
“My staff are going to be well versed in what they want to be dropped off and what’s not. So if you’re not sure, bring it on by. If your intention is to throw it away anyway, then ask my staff the question. You’re already there. So if you need to toss it, toss it, but my staff will be able to help,” said Jeffery.
According to the policy things like flooring, clothing, shoes, bedding, food, mattresses, box springs, baby walkers, cribs, car seats, most appliances, or personal protective equipment are prohibited from being left, as is anything initially placed in a waste bin.
Coun. Nathan Taylor expressed support for the policy and noted the County of St. Paul has adopted a sticker system to keep track of how long items have been there for.
“They keep it for 30 days and then get rid of it because obviously no one wants it and we don’t want this to become a storage facility for potential things,” said Taylor.
The policy adopted by council mirrors the County of St. Paul’s policy by having a 30-day limit for items left.
“I can’t believe how many people have asked for this and it’s happening,” said town mayor Maureen Miller.