L to E: Take It or Leave It, don’t go—we love you!

April 11, 2014
by Nancy O’Neil

There is a place, in our very own community, where you can bring your slightly chipped turkey platter and go home with four picture frames and a stuffed bear.  Or, on a good day, you get a twin stroller and a potty chair, someone else gets your pink princess phone.

After securing your new possessions in the trunk of your car, you can stroll over to three hearty bins of books.  Mysteries, romance novels, text books, self help books, children’s books—they are all there for the taking.  You might want to bring back the copy of “Estonian Cooking Made Easy” that you picked up last week and whose title proved to be deceptive.  No problem.  Toss it in, along with the picture book of house plants you never heard of.

You know the place.  It’s the Take It or Leave It shed at the Recycling Center, and we love it.


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I agree with your comments above, unfortunately the reality is that the dynamic on “Taking” has changed over the years. I find that when I try and drop something off, there are three or four people approaching my car and in some cases fighting over whatever it is I am leaving.

There are a number of people ( I don’t believe from Chappaqua ) that hang around for hours waiting to pounce on anything people are dropping off.

This process should be for Chappaqua residents only.

By Agreed but not happening on 04/12/2014 at 7:51 am

Does it matter who takes the items? Theidea is to recycle and avoid waste and landfills. If non-residents need basic items I would not deny them. I agree that non-residents should not dump items forcing New Castle to eventually pay for disposal.

By Dmg on 04/12/2014 at 9:24 am

I think (as in other communities) that driver’s licenses should be required for people taking items.  It has become somewhat uncomfortable going there because of the people who are hanging around waiting to see what is coming. It has gone from a genteel space to one that is too competative.  There are many places that they can go for items.  I think this is a Chappaqua treasure and should be for Chappaqua residents.

By to agreed on 04/12/2014 at 6:54 pm

TIOLI shops are common in New England and any one I’ve known about is available only to residents of the town. Clearly, the purpose of that requirement is to manage crowd control.

Based on what I understand to be the issues of our TIOLI shop, limiting to New Castle residents (sorry, not just Chappaqua) would address the issue.  In fact, I wrote the Town Board stating this as one of the solutions to the problems that were raised by anti-TIOLI proponents.  Ultimately, I mentioned, whenever someone encounters an issue, the solution should always be tailored to specifically address the issue. 

So, for example, if the perceived issue is too many non-New Castle residents taking up parking spaces and lingering around too long for that hot ticket item, then the solution would be to restrict the TIOLI to New Castle residents. 

I think New Castle is only now figuring out what many New England towns have already know for years . . . .

By Bill B. on 04/17/2014 at 7:04 pm

The plan to close the TIOLI shop has been in the works for 3 maybe 4 years now, and on the recommendation of the former Recycling Foreman, Bart Carey, currently the Commissioner’s assistant and the new Recycling Foreman, Bill Powers.  The Recycling foreman and the DPW Commissioner often complained to the former Town Administrator that residents would just “dump” items when the shop was closed, leaving piles that often created safety issues.  So, when you say DPW workers, please be sure to direct it to the correct department. 

By J.G. on 04/18/2014 at 5:00 pm

I wholeheartedly agree with Nancy’s comments about the TIOLI shed.
On the occasions I have gone there, I have not encountered “out of town pouncers” to the extent that is implied in other comments. Nor have I had any issues parking at the recycling center. Bill B. has a good point: if there ARE parking issues, then those would be addressed at the time by the volunteers there. And then perhaps there should be a process for checking drivers’ licenses if it comes to that. Please keep the TIOLI shed. It’s such a nice place to drop our “Estonian Cooking Made Easy” copies. (I thought I was the only person who had one of those!)

By Suzanne Keay on 04/19/2014 at 8:49 am

I love take it or leave it.  Not only do I avoid the guilt of throwing away something in perfectly good condition, but every week is an adventure, where I might find something new to love.

By Lori Robinson on 04/19/2014 at 10:32 am

Yes, we discard many things that have value to others. Let them take it and make a few dollars on it. If they spend the time to sell it, well, the items are being recycled.

By Lori has it right on 04/20/2014 at 11:11 am

I am an ” out of Towner” who loves the shed. I do not “dump” any items there. If I want to get rid of something I have Red Cross donation sites available in my own town. If I have something in really good condition I think someone would love I will contribute because I feel it is the right thing to do if you are going to go there. I don’t “hover” either.  There is clearly a 15 per day file which I think is fair. I don’t have a place like this is my own town and wish I did. I don’t think the issue is a in Towner or out of Towner issue I think it’s an issue of common courtesy and decency. There are plenty residents who are not courteous when there. So I would ask that you keep all of this in mind when making a decision to exclude out if towners. The staff is courteous and I am the same an follow any and rules when there. Would hate to lose this treasure.

By Kris on 04/25/2014 at 10:40 am

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