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  • Writer's pictureLauren Hass

Reverse-Shopping: Ode to the Orange Transfer Station

Updated: May 27

I must be a grownup -- and a Professional Organizer -- if I am thrilled at the number of tasks I can get done at my local Transfer Station & Recycling Center (aka the town dump).

In an effort to inspire my fellow Orange residents to frequent this gem and to inspire others to encourage your transfer station to up their game (if needed), here is my tribute and guide to this one-stop purging destination.

As efficient as a 1990's mall* was for shopping, the transfer station in my town is just as efficient for purging ("reverse-shopping?"). Since Clutter Kicker schleps donations - and sometimes old electronics and other recyclables - for clients, this place is a true gem!

Here are the 12 things you can do there:

  1. Dump your trash: Obvious offering, this is where household trash goes. With a smooth drop off system, the hopper accommodates trash of any size, and is a bit ingenious.

  2. Goodwill Trailer: donation drop-off! There are a bazillion bins inside to accommodate all of the household items that you don't love, use or need.

  3. Textiles Bin: Orange now has a contract with Bay State Textiles and gets paid for items put into the large white bins. There are three around town and they are perfect receptacles for your torn, stained, or old textiles...and your unmatched socks. Learn more here.

  4. Food scrap composting: If you don't keep a compost pile at home, kindly keep these items separate and insert them in one of the green bins at the top of the hill.

  5. Electronics/ewaste recycling: This is where my clients' old electronics (and their accompanying cords) go as their final resting place. You know that old computer or broken TV that's been sitting in your home for way too long? Bring it! Today I brought my old ipad, circa 2010. There was a cute video from 2011 I'd wanted to miraculously retrieve, but upon plugging it in, it is just not going to happen, so b'bye.

  6. Purge old paint cans: Saturdays only, but that's okay since Benjamin Moore and Sherwin Williams are kind enough to take those cans back during business hours. Cans must contain any amount of paint; empty cans are considered trash.

  7. Mixed recycling: cans, bottles, and glass, not in plastic bags.

  8. Plastic bags: C'mon! How amazing is this!? You should know by now that you can't recycle plastic bags in your recycling bin, but you can put them in this handy shed and they will be magically (thank you, Orange Recycling Committee) brought over to the nearby Home Depot for safe recycling. Special request from the recycling magicians: Pet food, mulch and gardening, frozen vegetable, and black plastic bags are NOT recyclable. These must be trashed.

  9. Cardboard recycling: there are two dumpsters for this; flatten your boxes and toss 'em in. If there's styrofoam inside, please remove it and drive it up to the hopper.

  10. Metals and propane tanks: I'm not here often, but seems pretty self-explanatory. The attendant when you enter can tell you more.

  11. Building materials: again, not frequented by me, but good to know.

  12. Yard clean up: And I just learned today when looking at the Orange Recycling Committee website, that the facility accepts leaves and brush, so that's handy. Of note: I never go on a Saturday, so can't speak to the traffic on those days. But during the week there's never a back-up. And always double check the hours before you head over, as they close very promptly at 2PM on some days and I never remember which ones (turns out it's Tuesdays and Thursdays).

I love some good errand bundling, so thanks for allowing me this fun recap of the dozen productive things I can do in one place. See you there soon, neighbors.

*Speaking of malls, since I imagine this may not come up again in a Clutter Kicker blog post, I was an extra in the 1991 non-hit "Scenes from a Mall" with Bette Midler and Woody Allen, filmed at The Stamford Town Center. In anticipation of where I would one day live, I wore an orange blazer.

Photo credits: Nareeta Martin and Orange Recycling Committee

Editing credit: Ilene Moyher, Orange Recycling Committee expert & dear friend

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