The South Portland Electric Tool Library. Courtesy of South Portland

The new South Portland Electric Tool Library (SPETL) and Swap Shop opened for the season on June 3. They are both located at the city’s transfer facility. From June through October, the resources will be open on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

The Swap Shop is a resource for reusing acceptable items and in the process reducing the waste stream. The shop will accept items such as hardware, toys, games, puzzles, small tools, garden supplies, household items, books, DVDs, crafting and art supplies, mobility assistance items, jewelry, sporting goods, office supplies, and more. The shop will be available to donate to or to take items from. For more information, including guidelines, visit

The South Portland Electric Tool Library allows residents to transition lawn-care equipment away from tools that rely on fossil fuels and toward electric options. Lawn mowers, leaf blowers, string and hedge trimmers, and edgers are all available for week-long rentals. Access is free of charge. Residents over the age of 18 can use their South Portland Public Library card to sign out the equipment. To sign out equipment, one must leave a credit card on file.

South Portland aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions 80 percent by 2050. Electric lawn care equipment is environmentally friendly as well as being quieter and needing less maintenance. One hour of using a gas-powered leaf blower emits air pollution equivalent to driving 1,100 miles, according to the California Air Resources Board.

Through the Electrify Everything! program, the city has also distributed more than $8,000 in rebates to more than 40 households for the purchase of electric lawn care products. Rebates are still available through the program, available at

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