Good news, the Swap Shop and South Portland Electric Tool Library (SPETL) are reopening the week of April 9. Here’s what you need to know.

Swap Shop

The Swap Shop is located at the transfer station and is a space where South Portland residents can donate or pick up acceptable household items to encourage reusing and reducing the quantity of materials that go to waste stream. If you are not sure if an item is accepted, check the list of acceptable and unacceptable items on the Swap Shop website at

The Swap Shop and South Portland Electric Tool Library are located at the transfer station. Courtesy photo

This year we have a group of dedicated volunteers who will be attending the Swap Shop. Generally, the shop will be open Tuesdays through Saturdays, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., though there may be occasional shifts where we do not have coverage. We are still looking for a volunteer for the Saturday morning shift, so if you are interested, please email the Sustainability Program Manager, Susan Parmelee, at

The Swap Shop is a great example of promoting a circular economy. In a circular economy, products and materials are kept in circulation through processes like maintenance, reuse, refurbishment, remanufacture, recycling, and composting. At our Swap Shop, when goods are donated and reused by someone else, it extends the products’ lifespan which saves money, eliminates waste, and is sustainable.

The circular economy model is becoming more popular as individuals strive to be more environmentally, financially, and socially conscious by steering away from throwaway culture. We encourage you to visit our Swap Shop to donate or find a goody that needs a new home.


South Portland Electric Tool Library

The SPETL provides the opportunity for South Portland residents to borrow electric lawn equipment free of charge by simply using their South Portland Public Library card. Residents can borrow electric lawn mowers, leaf blowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, and edgers. Equipment can be borrowed for a period of one week. The SPETL opens Wednesday, April 10, and will be open Wednesdays and Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

The SPETL helps residents transition their landcare equipment away from fossil fuels, and helps us meet our goal of reducing greenhouse gas emissions 80% by 2050.

Did you know that gas-powered lawn care equipment massively contributes to air pollution? In fact, just one hour of gas-powered leaf blower use emits air pollution equivalent to driving 1,100 miles. Not only does electric lawn care equipment drastically reduce air pollution, it’s also easy to use, quieter, and requires less maintenance than conventional gas-powered equipment.

SPETL updates

Due to the popularity of the program last year, we purchased an additional two lawn mowers and two string trimmers. Further, due to many requests, we have modified our waitlist system. Lawn equipment can now be reserved through the library system. We look forward to seeing you at the Swap Shop and SPETL this year.


Inside the South Portland Electric Tool Library shed located at the transfer station. Courtesy image

Location: South Portland Transfer Station, 929 Highland Ave., South Portland

Swap Shop hours: Tuesday through Saturday, 8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. (volunteer availability depending)

SPETL hours: Wednesdays and Saturdays, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. SPETL website: Swap Shop website:

Our Sustainable City is a recurring column in the Sentry intended to provide residents with news and information about sustainability initiatives in South Portland. Follow the Sustainability Office on Instagram @soposustainability.

Jenna d’Arcy is an AmeriCorps/GPCOG Resilience Corps fellow serving in the South Portland Sustainability Office through September 2024. She can be reached at

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