DEVENS -- On April 12, 31 area schools, non-profits, municipal departments, and small businesses took advantage of a The Great Exchange distribution event to obtain nearly 3,000 pounds of items and supplies they use in their daily activities and achieve significant savings.

This innovative program is hosted by the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center, a 10-year-old non-profit that provides services that help commercial and industrial facilities, institutions, organizations and municipalities make better use of resources.

Since its launch in 2009, The Great Exchange has found new use opportunities for almost 500 tons of valuable resources donated by manufacturers, commercial facilities and other institutions. The categories of items shared has continuously expanded; currently over 600 types of materials are organized for sharing in its Devens location. Offerings include office furniture and supplies, corporate kitchen and cleaning supplies, safety products, packing materials and containers, by-products used for crafts, classroom materials, and more. Pictures of the ever-changing inventory are posted at www.tinyurl.com/DEECTGE.

The Great Exchange is an easy to use alternative solution for local manufacturers and other businesses that would otherwise trash items they had no internal use for. It also helps schools and non-profits direct more of their limited budget for valuable programming activities.


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The program's distribution events are held throughout the year to provide access to donated and rescued materials. Area entities pay a nominal registration fee and leave with boxes full of supplies. Larger pieces of furniture and equipment are also available for fees less than 50 percent of their value.

Recently the Devens Eco-Efficiency Center and The Great Exchange received recognition by MassRecycle, a statewide non-profit coalition dedicated to waste reduction, with an "Institution Recycler of the Year" award. The Center is also a finalist for the Massachusetts Nonprofit Network's 2018 Nonprofit Excellence Awards in the Innovation category.

Businesses and institutions can celebrate this Earth Month by looking around their facility to identify waste streams and idle inventory that could potentially benefit another organization. To donate materials and to receive announcements of future Great Exchange distribution events, contact Executive Director Dona Neely at 978-772-8831 or donaneely@ecostardevens.com.