New, improved Goody Pile debuts at Recycling Center

Need some good books? How about tools, kitchen items or even a vacuum cleaner? They’re at the new, improved Goody Pile, which has been relocated to a more convenient spot on the grounds of the Shelter Island Recycling Center. Among other changes, it also now has a roof to keep the rain off one man’s refuse and another man’s treasure.

Last Friday, in addition to books, tools, kitchen gadgets and the vacuum, there also were DVDs, dishes, shoes and boots.

But what’s most exciting for visitors these days isn’t just what’s available for free but the fact that it’s all well organized and protected under a lightweight roof.

Public Works Commissioner and Highway Department Superintendent Jay Card also has installed tables and labeled shelving to better organize merchandise and racks on which to display clothes. Also, the new area has been moved closer to the center’s entrance with dedicated parking.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul used clothing bins have been relocated to be conveniently close to the Goody Pile.

“What a difference,” Jessica Hubbard said, as she visited the new Goody Pile for the first time last Friday. “It’s like night and day,” she said.

Mr. Card plans to put a board on which people can post photographs of large items they want to give away. As he put it at the Town Board work session on Tuesday, someone with a boat that had a hole in it but was worth salvaging could post a picture of it at the Goody Pile message board. “Only free things” will be allowed, he told the Town Board. They might also include furniture.

There aren’t enough workers to oversee the Goody Pile all the time, Mr. Card said. He hoped the new orderly area will inspire residents to “take ownership” and help monitor it so that only reusable items are left there.

The rules are straight-forward:

• Items must be clean and in good working order.

• There’s to be no salvaging of parts; if you want something, take the entire item and don’t dismantle it for parts.

• The town won’t accept returns of broken or non-working items that result from salvaging of parts.

• The Goody Pile is not to be used for pillows, cushions or mattresses.

• No personal care and grooming items are to be left there.

• Air conditioners, refrigerators and dehumidifiers aren’t to be brought there.

All furniture and truck loads of items for the Goody Pile must be weighed at the scale house before they are left. When an attendant is on duty, he will have the final say about what will or won’t be accepted, Mr. Card said.