Spring swap meet blooming good
Russell and District Horticultural Society members Peter Van Die, Carole Van Die (front), Linda Duhamel and Lindley McPhail (back) were four of the many volunteers helping at the March it on Out swap meet at STACHS in Russell on March 24.   Vetter photo

Candice Vetter
Villager Staff
RUSSELL – The annual March it on Out swap meet organized by the Russell and District Horticultural Society in partnership with St. Thomas Aquinas High School in Russell welcomed what organizers estimated may have been the biggest crowd yet on Sat., March 24.

“People were lined up outside the doors at ten to seven on the morning of the sale,” said Ann Jackson, who is both a Horticultural Society member and a teacher at the high school, and has been closely involved in the event since its inception a few years ago. It wasn’t only buyers who were eager either. Donations of swap meet items were also numerous. “They started bringing in items the day before about 3:30,” Jackson said. “Last night the tables were piled high.”

The swap meet had a very simple premise. Donate unwanted but still functional items the evening before and pay $10 to enter the swap meet, in exchange for taking as many items as wanted. The donated goods covered a huge range, including electronics, children’s toys and clothing, sporting goods, books, collectibles, kitchenware, furniture (including a complete set of outdoor wicker), shelving, lamps, and much more.

By 10 a.m. on Saturday, the tables were clearing and most of the goods which had been brought in were on their way to new homes. The event provides a great opportunity to clear out unwanted things just as spring cleaning ramps up.

“We’re keeping all this stuff out of the landfill,” said Horticultural Society member and former president, Lindley McPhail. One of the reasons the event was started was in response to the growing problem of garbage, which was really brought home to Russell residents when Taggart Miller informed the community in 2010 of its plans to establish a mega-landfill nearby. Since then community leaders in the area have continued to seek better solutions to garbage.

More items can be kept out of landfills in the near future as well. Residents can take hazardous waste to Russell Township’s Hazardous Waste Day at 857 Route 400 on Sat., May 5, from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. It also offers the options of disposing of household batteries, aerosols, antifreeze, empty oilcans and oil filters through www.makethedrop. ca, and to dispose of other products such as light bulbs, fluorescents, pesticides, flammable products, fertilizer and paint see www.regeneration.ca. Barry’s Home Hardware at 120 Craig St, Russell, Ont.) accepts residential paints and batteries only (not commercial). Restrictions apply so call 613-445-2171 before bringing products.

In addition, the Township’s Curbside Exchange Days for 2018, when anyone can leave items at the curb and anyone else can pick them up, are Sat. April 21, July 14, Sept. 15 and Oct. 20, from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

And now that the snow is melting, residents can help keep the Township clean by picking up garbage left behind in parks, ditches and along the road. The garbage bags (no tags required) can be left on the side of the road or at an intersection and they will be collected during the following week. The 2018 spring cleaning is also April 21.