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News and Notices

September Recycling Tip: Swapping, sharing, secondhand

We all love to save money, have cool stuff, and reduce waste. Now doing all three of those together has never been easier! Here are a few tips for swapping, sharing and buying secondhand:


Clothing swaps have become increasingly popular, especially among women. It can be as easy as inviting a group of friends to your house and having everyone bring clothes they no longer want. Then you all check out and try on different items, and take home what you like. Experts recommend providing plenty of space, good lighting and several full-length mirrors if possible.

If your friends aren’t a good fit for a swap, you can find clothing swap parties in the area through the website Meetup.com. You can also swap online on Swapstyle.com.


Sharing has also become more mainstream, and it especially makes sense for items you only use once or twice a year, like certain garden and home repair equipment. If you work in Seattle or regularly go there, consider joining the West Seattle Tool Library. It boasts a collection of more than 1,500 tools, from chain saws to air compressors to hedge trimmers. If there was enough interest and possibly a sponsoring organization, someday maybe we could have a tool library here in South King County.

Car sharing is another option, through services such as RelayRides.


Thrift shops in the Auburn area include Main Street Thrift, Goodwill and St. Vincent de Paul. The Budget Fashionista blog offers these tips for shopping at thrift stores:

  • Shop on Tuesdays for the best selection. Many donations come in on the weekends, and it usually takes a day or two before they make it to the sales floor.
  • Avoid items that are musty or have a strange odor. Musty smells are nearly impossible to get out of synthetic fabrics such as rayon and acrylic.
  • Wear tight-fitting clothing to the store. If you can try on clothes right in the aisle, over your tank top or leggings, you can save time and avoid waiting for a dressing room.            

Whether you swap, share or buy secondhand, you’ll be amazed how much fun you can have saving money. Thanks for reusing!

Written by Tom Watson, King County Solid Waste Division