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One Man's Trash: Stop 'N' Swaps Offer New Yorkers A Different Way To Recycle

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) - One man's trash is another man's treasure.

The old adage holds especially true at Stop 'N' Swaps, where discarded items that get dropped off are up for grabs.

New Yorkers kick three million tons of trash to the curb every year, recycling just about 17 percent of that.

Now some are opting to swap as well at Stop 'N' Swaps.

You might come across a Scooby Doo pinata or a taxidermied mongoose battling a cobra, CBS2's Vanessa Murdock reported.

"The coolest item I've seen is a model ship," said Yazmine Mihojevich, the Stop 'N' Swap coordinator for GrowNYC.

Mihojevich says the Stop 'N' Swap is a free community reuse program.

"You can bring anything you don't want, but you can also take things for free," she said.

All items must be portable, clean and reusable, according to Christina Salvi of GrowNYC.

"As long as someone can pick it up and use it the same day, you can bring," Salvi said.

Stop in and you'll find a group of volunteers collecting swappable stuff, then sorting it. Loads of clothing, household goods, and perhaps those furry slippers Santa forgot to drop off await you.

You don't have to drop something to take something.

"We want recycling to be fun, and one of the ways to do that is free stuff," Salvi said.

More than 440,000 pounds of stuff has been swapped so far, keeping it out of the landfill.

"It's not the biggest volume of what we collect on a daily basis, but it's really important and it's a little bit of fun," said Department of Sanitation Commissioner Kathryn Garcia.

The Department of Sanitation funds Stop 'N' Swaps, Commissioner Garcia says its an important part of the city's mission to be zero waste by 2030.

"We want to be encouraging people to not only recycle, but the higher use: reuse," Garcia said.

Murdock asked New Yorkers what they think about swapping.

"We do that, by just leaving it on the street," said Prospect Heights resident Jezra Kaye.

Jack Sal of Midtown West told Murdock he might try it.

Others seemed truly thrilled with their free finds, Murdock reported.

For more information, including when and where the swaps occur, click here.

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