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- 2009 - May - 14th -
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Saturday’s ‘Curb Day’ national swap meet

Face it, there are things in your house or garage that still work that you either don’t use or want. There’s no need to have a garage sale to get rid of one bike, a set of dumbbells and a microwave. You also don’t want to haul them off to Goodwill or the local church or — and some people do this — toss them in a dumpster behind a strip mall.

Because those items still work or are useful to someone, put them on the street Friday night. Why? Because Saturday is the first national “Curb Day.”

Created and organized through the Internet by Mike Marone of Rochester, N.Y., the idea behind Curb Day is to essentially put your useful stuff on the side of the road for someone else to pick up. In turn, feel free to roll around the neighborhood or town and check out what others no longer want.

“I have been thinking about doing this for about six months,” said Marone, who is a substitute teacher and started curbday.com.

The simple, one-page Web site sets the parameters of Curb Day and lists what’s encouraged to be put out and what’s being discouraged.

“The environmentalists and ordinary citizens think this is a good idea,” said Marone. “The municipalities think it will cost a lot to get rid of the stuff.”

Marone disagrees. He sees Curb Day as an opportunity to get rid of a working bicycle rather than have it rust to death in a garage, when it will eventually end up in a landfill.

“Over the long-term, this could reduce the costs associated with landfills,” said Marone, adding he would like to see Curb Day become a biannual event. “At some point, things are going to get tossed out anyway.”

Marone has been collecting junk all his life and sees plenty of value in having Americans put still-usable items on the side of the road for others to take.

“I have been a junk person all my life,” he said. “I have never met a junk pile I couldn’t resist jumping into.

“In America, there is this culture of ownership and we keep things way beyond their usefulness. If you put things out the night before the garbage men come, no one can get to it.”

And, what if by Sunday you still have things on the side of the road?

“I encourage people to bring them back in to be on the safe side,” said Marone.

What to get rid of

These items are OK to donate:

• Appliances
• Computers (with hard drives scrubbed)
• Electronics
• Bicycles
• Sporting goods
• Tools of all kinds
• Yard and garden equipment
• Lawn mowers and other outdoor equipment
• Tables
• Chairs
• Couches/sofas
• Desks
• Bedroom furniture
• Musical instruments
• Books
• Clothes
• Shoes
• Kitchen utensils
• Lamps
• Plants, potted trees, etc.
• Building materials
• Other durable goods

These items are prohibited:

• Garbage
• Weapons of any kind
• Dangerous items
• Chemicals of any kind
• Food items
• Illegal items

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