Resident plans petition over Swap Shop closure – UPDATED

DPW Superintendent Karen Galligan announced yesterday that the Swap Shop at the Transfer Station will close for good on December 1. Her decision garnered unanimous support from the town’s selectmen, but the same cannot be said of its residents.

Since the decision was announced last night, residents have flocked to this blog, Facebook, and Twitter to voice their displeasure.

Resident Carol Willoughby has taken the first steps at creating a petition to encourage the town to reconsider its decision. Willoughby said she had hoped to have the petition ready for residents to sign on Saturday, but due to the holiday, that won’t be possible.

“I was informed that to have a petition, I need to complete an application first. I will not be able to get the application until Monday, at the earliest,” Willoughby wrote in a recent comment. The Town House is closed on Thursday and Friday for the Thanksgiving holiday.

But Willoughby said the delay could be a good thing. “This actually will give us more time to put our heads together and come up with some ideas on what to do,” she wrote.

Many of you have asked how to make your opinions on the Swap Shop closure heard. Commenting here is one way, but if you want to make sure the town knows how you feel, you can email the selectmen at

Update: Resident Ron Morse has also started a petition drive. You can read about it – and see a video – in this article by the Community Advocate.

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D. Phaneuf1
10 years ago

Am I wrong in thinking that every pound of material that leaves the Swap Shop for whatever reason is one less pound we have to pay to have hauled away?

Raquel Morales
10 years ago

I was very upset today when I heard the Southborough Swap Shop will be closing on Dec. 1st.
My family and I use the Swap Shop every time we go to the Transfer Station. We bring items from home that we no longer need and take items that we would like at home.
My kids love finding toys. My husband and I enjoy finding books and misc. items.
I think the Swap Shop is an amazing way to recycle items from home that are still good that other people would like.
If there were no Swap Shop I would have to throw out perfectly good items. And toys that my kids have outgrown would be tossed away.
I’ve often dropped off things that I’ve seen people take right away. It always makes me feel good to share with people from town.

Closing the Swap Shop would be a disservice to the people of Southborough.
If their are issues around “traffic” and parking their should be a sign that say 5 minute parking.
I am sure problems created by the Swap Shop can be resolved without it having to close.
My family would be very upset!

Once again the Swap Shop is a wonderful way to recycle which is encouraged by our town.

-Raquel Morales and family

Marjorie Coldwell
10 years ago

The whole Coldwell Clan will be upset by this!
Some of the best toys we have ever had at our house for our grandchildren to play with have come from the swap shop! We will NEVER forget the fun that was had with the front end loader Aunt Sally found that you could pedal! The children have only outgrown it this year …and when I took it back to the Swap Shop it went to the mother of 2 small boys that I talked with who will have just as many magical minutes with it as our grand-kids did!
I did not have to put it in the metal recycling section. It is being used again.

Leo Buck
10 years ago

I for one think our Selectmen should reconsider their decision to close down the swap shop without the consideration of the people who elected them. The bookshelves in the back of the swapshop is a great resource for many people in town. I’m considering setting up a tent inside the swap shop this Sat.and staging a sit in so they can’t lock the door and shut down the swap shop. Anyone is welcome to join me…

Dick Snyder
10 years ago

I just read the reason for the closure. I am still unhappy about this as I have used the swap shop to bring home toys for our visiting grandchildren. When they have outgrown the toys, I return them for the next person to use. Even if people are taking items to sell on eBay, that seems better to me than throwing them away in a land fill.

Alfredo Requena
10 years ago

We should not let this to happen! My kids love to search for stuff and toys there! please keep us posted & let us know where to sign!

Neil Rossen
10 years ago

Has anyone asked how much it costs to keep the swap shop open? The town needs every nickel it can get to meet the overwhelming demands of the schools and the teachers unions. So, if closing the swap shop is of ANY benefit to keep our taxes from rising as much as they are likely to, I am heartily for it. We are in a recession where sacrifices – heaven forbid sacrifices by the schools or teachers – must be made.

10 years ago
Reply to  Neil Rossen

AGAIN with the teachers?

10 years ago
Reply to  Neil Rossen

I agree with Carl. How did schools and teacher’s unions come into this debate about our dear old Swap Shop closing? Please don’t turn this into more of a political issue than it needs to be. As a Southboro resident and a public school teacher in another district, I have used the Swap Shop to get supplies and books for my classroom that normally would have come out of my own pocket. Just last week I got a beautiful rug, so now my second graders have a place to spread and out read. My own donations to the Swap Shop have been appreciated by others as well. While it appears you feel strongly about some other issues Neil, they do not correlate to the closing of the Swap Shop. As an active and involved member of the Massachusetts Teachers Association, feel free to ask for my email and we can continue what I’m sure would be a lively discussion.

10 years ago
Reply to  Neil Rossen

Not everything goes back to the teachers. This is sounding like a broken record.

3rd Generation
10 years ago

Time to Occupy the Swap Shop.

Bonnie Phaneuf
10 years ago

No doubt, this should have been discussed more openly; that did not happen. The agenda was vague- the Board’s mistake. For sure, they know that now. Let’s work together on this issue, have an open forum before the Board of Selectman, revisit the rules and regulations and have a subsection on conduct and use of facilities. An example would be: if you engage in conduct that undermines the purpose and the function of the space, you will lose the privilege to use this space. This would include inappropriate language or actions towards any member of our community, not just the staff that works there. This sentiment, however, is one that must be adopted across the Town, and not just at one isolated place.

Yesterday, after reading the actions of the Board, I requested through Jean Kitchen that this appear on the December 6th, 2011 agenda. As of yet, this has not been confirmed. I, like many of you, hope that the Board will delay this closing pending further open discussion. If not on December 6th, then until after this necessary discussion takes place in a public forum.

Until that discussion takes place, I ask that we as a community act in a manner that will not undermine our goal to leave the Swap Shop open. Please act considerately, be mindful of parking, and please keep note of the closing time of the space (5:45pm).

10 years ago

There has got to be a reason that Karen recommended it being closed and the board went along. It costs money, time and manpower to operate and manage. I am fully for charging by the bag, by the item, if you want to throw you pay.

I am sick of seeing cars with no dump stickers and junkers up there as well and not from our town. Have you seen the guy who takes the cub scouts and girls scouts cans and bottles up there? One of the dump guys got repreimanded because he told him not to.

And it is not inteneded for anyone to take material and sell anywhere – get a life, selling junk on EBAY.

And, sorry you don’t want to hear about the schools, teahcers and superintenedents pay raises last year (and every 3 years) but again I had to chime in becuase I have not had a pay raise for over 7 years.

And dont go into the lame excuse that they chip in for health insureance. I pay now fully 40% (they pay a total of rougly 5% now) of the health care for my family because it is subsidizing governemnt workers. And you know the dirty little sectret? Most of them now make more thatn I do and work 30-40% fewer total hours thatn I do.

But we will hear on the swap shop. There I am sure is a responsible reason why this is happening.

John Boiardi
10 years ago
Reply to  resident2

Right on Resident2,

Every thing ends up being an issue and related to the town budget and taxes.

The BofS control a relatively small portion of the town budget. The School Committe controls 70%, the Board of Health x percent, the library x percent, town clerk x percent. I can’t say what percent is left for the BofS to control. In any case when you discuss the cost of the transfer station in my opinion it is fair game to relate the issue (costs) to school budgets.
Maybe we should move the transfer station out to Rt 85 and change the name to “Wal-Junk” and let passers by resue items from the inevitable trash pile.

Neil Rossen
10 years ago
Reply to  John Boiardi

John, of course you are right. However, I think there are now 2 threads on the topic. There is this one which may be more active
Perhaps the valued editor of MySouthborough could merge them?

Carol H.
10 years ago

Old fashion Dump pickin has gone on forever…no one complained in town…. Now that we have a more sophisicated system… it has caused a traffic problem and costly so they say.?
I would suspect that if all that goes in for recycling gets tossed into the hole will be costly to the town also. and a waste of some items that might be reused by a resident
When did this become such a problem that it is set to close dec 1?

Ron morse
10 years ago

Make it a point to go to the board of selectman meeting tuesday at 6pm town hall. Funding for the transfer station is on the agenda.

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