A brand new building for the Swap Shop at the Darien Recycling Center opened earlier this month with the help of local volunteers and the town’s Energy and Recycling Center Committee.

Darien received a $20,000 grant from the Connecticut Department of Energy & Environmental Protection towards the new building which has approximately three times the amount of shelf room of the prior space and is better insulated against the elements. The old structure will be given to Darien’s volunteer fire departments to be used as a storage unit. The town is also planning to redevelop the Darien Public Works Garage, which neighbors the Swap Shop and Recycling Center at 126 Ledge Road.

The Swap Shop first opened in 2009 with the goal of helping residents exchange or donate household items they no longer needed rather than simply throwing them away. All of the items in Swap Shop must be usable or repairable before being dropped off and residents are able to take and exchange items freely with their own judgement. All visitors must have a Recycling Center permit in order to gain access to the shop.

Residential permits for the Darien Recycling & Refuse Center expire tomorrow, June 30. Annual permits are available from the town’s Department of Public Works. A full schedule of fees is available here; seniors over the age of 65 are entitled to a permit without cost. Those with existing permits can renew them online, while first time purchasers must provide proof of residency, registration for their vehicles and proof of garbage collector, if applicable.