At the end of April I had the opportunity to attend a wonderful community event in the city of Summit, New Jersey. This event is hosted twice during the year and is totally student-run by Summit public and private school students. The Summit Free Market consists of an online program and physical events held at Summit’s Transfer Station. The online program is modeled after the popular Freecycle website. To participate it’s as simple as listing your item and then scheduling pickup with the interested party.
With Summit’s Free Market physical event, it is even easier to participate! On April 30th I attended their physical event to see how it all worked. When I arrived, there was a steady stream of Summit residents filtering in. They were showing up to drop off their unwanted items, the folding tables that were setup, quickly filled up with new and vintage items. I even brought along a few barely used items (see below) which I had rescued from a neighbor’s trash before pickup to help find them new homes.
As the student volunteers buzzed around the event area, helping residents unload, while other volunteers organized items into categories on the tables. I saw so many useful items available, from large items, which included a bedroom set, to small items, like kids toys. There was a huge range of items all free for the taking for Summit residents.
Though this event is currently held in a temporary location, I learned from event coordinator, Amy Cairns, that the city of Summit hopes to build a permanent location across the road from the temporary facility. This would allow the Free Market event to be held more regularly and help benefit local charities as well because they can keep an inventory of items.
This event is a great one that more towns should host for their residents, it is far more organized and pleasant than having to pickup items from the curbside. I support the reuse of unwanted items, as one person’s junk is another person’s treasure!