Local recycling - the Talyor Square "Giant Swap Party" goes off!
The rain bucketed down from early morning on Saturday 6th November and the stallholders at Taylor square were nicely drenched setting up their stalls for the regular Sydney Sustainable Market. So were we stalwarts from "2010 in Transition" as we set up three gazebos for the "Giant Swap Party" - the first event we know of in the Planet Ark "National Recycling Week" programme.
The rain continued with just brief respites of several minutes before the next rain squall blew in. It didn't look good. Our hardy band of local volunteers (God bless them!) started to appear closer to the kick off time of 10.30am. The rain continued to fall. Very few people were out and about. It definitely did not look good! We had just about decided to abandon the event when at around 10.25am the rain stopped and it actually started to look less threatening. One or two people appeared with things to swap. We decided what the heck - let's do it!.
At first there were just a few people with items to swap and it looked like the odds on the lucky door prize were going to be very favourable indeed! It looked like it was going to be positively embarrassing! But hey, we were there to swap and promote local recycling and suddenly people appeared from everywhere, our triple gazebo where the goods were laid out to be swapped was well stocked and we were surrounded by an eager looking crowd waiting for the 11.30am starters pistol to begin swapping. We had men's, women's and and children's clothing , homewares, toys , accessories, shoes, you name it, to be swapped.The rain kept away.
Our volunteers were nervous. It was obvious that some items would be hotly contested and that we would have to apply the "scissors - paper - rock" method of deciding who got those items (which indeed we did need to use many times in the ensuing melee)
Then the fun started. It was noisy and frenetic - tokens flowed and items were claimed and contests decided. Within no more than 10 minutes over 100 tokens had been exchanged for items and only a handful of items were left (which we took to the local Salvo's store).
We'll do it again - maybe every quarter. It is actually a lot of fun as well as localised sustainability in action. Next time hopeully we might have fine weather - and how big will it be then?