The Swap Shop

New Canaan’s Swap Shop is Here! (Swapping Not Necessary)

Planet New Canaan’s mission is to help New Canaan become greener will now reach a new level. Finally, the Swap Shop is open at the New Canaan Transfer Station!

This initiative is another important way to reduce waste that unnecessarily goes into our waste stream, adding to the carbon footprint and challenging our vulnerable incinerators in Connecticut. Every household in New Canaan can play a part to help reduce and reuse through the Swap Shop. You don’t need to swap! You can shop and take any items as long as you have a Transfer Station Pass.

Read below for what you need to know about how you can participate in our newest initiative. We seek:

Remember you must be a New Canaan resident to participate and you must have a New Canaan Transfer Pass. 

Planet New Canana Katie and Robin preparing for the Swap Shop
View of Swap Shop from entrance showing neat shelving and organization

Reduce Waste

No question, the United States produces too much waste.

Natural resources are extracted to produce goods that are used — often briefly — before our purchases end up in landfills or incinerators. Environment America also estimates that 19.5% of what homes and businesses throw out is made up of durable goods, such as furniture and appliances, many of which could be repurposed or repaired, or have the materials recycled for other uses.

New Canaan’s Swap Shop has been established to reduce waste of our residents. Its purpose is encouraging two sustainable principles: Reduce and Reuse. Plus, there’s the bonus of giving residents with added benefit of discovering items that add value for them. All at no cost!

Planet New Canaan, working with New Canaan Department of Public Works, has been hard at work preparing the site of the Swap Shop. You’ll be amazed by the transformation. (Note the photo of Planet New Canaan’s Katie Owsley and Robin Bates-Mason who are preparing the site before the complete paint job and installation of the shelving donated by the New Canaan Library).


How It Works

What We Accept

Overview: The Swap Shop is is well stocked with shelving and bins to store all kinds of household items. The indoor space will be designated for housewares, books, sporting equipment, bicycles, toys, and small electronics. Large items will be placed outside the Swap Shop. At the end of each day, most items left outside will be disposed. Take a look at the poster to the right to see what you can donate under “Accepted Items”.

While we call it “Swap Shop”, you don’t have to donate an item to take an item. As long as you have a New Canaan transfer pass, you are welcome to come “shop”.

What We Don’t Accept

See the list on the poster of “Items NOT Accepted”. Keep in mind, we are not accepting clothing, shoes, large piece of furniture, car seats, mattresses, and more.  

We list suggested places to donate these items below.


Thursday, Friday, and Saturday (except holidays)

9 am to 1 pm

Map of Transfer Station
Reduce waste with the Swap Shop
Example of sport equipment that will be available including lacrosse sticks
View of Swap Shop from entrance showing neat shelving and organization
Where you can donate items that the Swap Shop doesn't accept
Example of housewares available in Swap Shop including glasses and mugs
Example of sports equipment available including skate boards
Example of used books that will be available at the Swap Shop

Where to Donate Items Not Accepted

We hope that you will donate items that we don’t accept to other organizations. Our goal is to find a way for all that you would like to give away finds a sustainable home, and stays out of the waste stream. Here are some resources to consider.


New Canaan Thrift Shop

DCA Thrift Shop

  • 966 Post Road, Darien
  • 203-655-4552


  • 1864 Post Road, Darien
  • 203-655-4552

Goodwill Stamford

  • 1 West Broad Street, Stamford
  • 203-363-5228

Goodwill Norwalk

  • 15 Cross Street, Norwalk
  • 203-840-0361

Large Furniture

Vietnam Veterans of America 

  • Click on the above link to schedule a pick-up. Also accept clothing and shoes.

Medical Equipment

Wheel It Forward

  • Accept donations of wheelchairs, hospital beds, walkers, canes, crutches, and other kinds of durable medical equipment in good condition. 
  • 203-652-8600


Reduce Waste: Upcycling

Think Twice Before Throwing Old Furniture

Just a reminder before you trash your old furniture, think about up-cycling it.  Or perhaps you’d like to take this approach to some of your Swap Shop fines. It’s a sustainable, creative approach of revitalizing old furniture — while keeping it out of a landfill. Learn from New Canaan resident and college student Bella Grecco about how she created an up-cycling business here.

Refurbished table from junk


How does it work? Do I need to “swap”?

No, the name is a bit of a misnomer as no swapping is required. Residents with a transfer station pass are welcome to visit the Swap Shop, during Swap Shop hours. Feel free to leave items or take items. It’s all about keeping reusable items out of the waste stream.

Do I donate to the Swap Shop?

Dropping off items isn’t a donation. The Swap Shop is not a nonprofit, just a place to drop off items to give them another life. Please see our website for a list of thrift stores and agencies in the area which accept items for donation.

Can I get a tax receipt?

No, but you can leave items to give them another life. Please go to our website for a list of nonprofits in the area which accept donations.

Do you work with organizations?

Yes, we have already reached out to New Canaan Thrift Store and Human Services and plan to work with them more closely in the future. We plan to reach out to more organizations as well.

Do you accept clothes?

No – please donate clothes to The New Canaan Thrift Shop, Darien Thrift Shop, Goodwill, or Person to Person.  If clothes can not be donated, they can go into the textile bins at the New Canaan Transfer Station.  Residents do not need a transfer station pass to drop off textiles. For a full list of what is accepted in the textile bins, please go here.

How do I get a Transfer Station Pass?

Transfer Station passes can only be purchased online.  Annual passes are $45 when a resident has private garbage collection and $75 without private garbage collection.  To purchase a pass go here.

Why isn’t the Swap Shop open every weekday?

We hope to extend the days and hours in the near future but will need volunteers to run the Swap Shop.  Once we have a bigger volunteer base we will be able to extend the days.

Can I volunteer and what is involved?

If interested in volunteering, please go to our website or email us at [email protected].  Volunteering shifts are two hours long and can be once a week, once every two weeks, or once a month.

I have a large piece of furniture, can I bring it to the Swap Shop?

We don’t have the room for large furniture but we do have a message board in the Swap Shop for people to put up fliers of what they are giving away or what they may be searching for. Is it old fashioned?  Yes, but we have found some people would rather not post online.

Who do I contact with a question about the Swap Shop?

Please send an email to [email protected]

Can I make a monetary donation to the Swap Shop?

No, but you can make a donation to Planet New Canaan.  Planet New Canaan is a 501(c)3 and maintains the Swap Shop. To make a donation please go here.

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