WILTON — Rachel Jackson Hodsdon hates to waste things. Self-described as a pack-rat in recovery, she is concerned about the cost for the town to get rid of items that can be used, and adding to landfills.

Her concerns led her into discussions with the town’s transfer station manager, town manager and then to apply for a Maine Community Foundation grant to create a share shack at the transfer station. A grant of $5,000 was received this week for the project, which includes teaching children to recycle and reuse, she said.

People can bring items they don’t want but other people might, Hodsdon said. Farmington has a similar site where residents can leave items and take items.

While local thrift shops will accept clothes and other items, there are some things they don’t always take, she said.

“Why throw out a couch and add to a landfill when someone needs one?” she asked.

Built with local lumber and metal roofing, the proposed 30- by 24-foot building will also feature one special, small door where children can leave toys or perhaps find some, she said.

“It’s a way to encourage kids to recycle and learn there are wonderful things at the dump,” she said.

Working with Darlene Paine, principal at Academy Hill School, the grant includes taking students on a field trip to the transfer station this fall where they will learn more about recycling, she said.

Hodsdon has asked about having students from Foster Regional Applied Technology Center build the share shack. If they have no time, the town will provide a crew, she said.
The crew would probably consist of workers at the Transfer Station, Town Manager Rhonda Irish said.

Hodsdon plans to continue working on the idea with the town’s Recycling Committee and Hollis Tyler, the transfer station manager. The grant covers getting the project up and running and the student field trip; then it becomes the responsibility of the town to manage, she said.

The Recycling Committee and selectmen were told of the plan quite a while ago, Irish said.

“Hodsdon did the work to apply for the grant for the town and we’re grateful,” she said.

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