Mac Free Swap

The Mac Free Swap is a free item exchange run by the Macalester Sustainability Office. The exchange has been helping Macalester achieve our Zero Waste goal since 2008, emphasizing the “reduce” and “reuse” portions of “reduce, reuse, and recycle.” It diverts useful materials to the Mac community for reuse instead of sending items to a landfill.

The purpose of this small-scale project based on the circular economy model is to keep the benefits of free items within the Mac community rather than contributing to businesses’ profits. This model relies on mutual aid to function because in order for folks to find items they need, other folks need to contribute items they don’t.

The Free Swap is open to all Macalester community members. Drop off items that are in good condition and that can fit on a shelf. Take items you love and use heavily to ensure the resources used to produce the item do not go to waste.

Location and Hours

Mac Free Swap is located in the garage behind the Sustainability Office at 1657 Lincoln (second house behind 77 Mac). The Free Swap is open 9am-6pm daily.

Accepted Items

  • Clothing, shoes, jewelry
  • Blankets, linens, and towels
  • Kitchen utensils and dishware
  • Working electronics and small appliances
  • Office or school supplies
  • Partial dispensable cosmetic products and toiletries
  • Books, DVDs, CDs
  • Small to medium furniture and household items

Non-accepted Items

  • Large items
  • Broken items
  • Heavily tattered or worn items
  • Undergarments or bathing suits
  • Food and drink (Non perishable food/drink items should be brought to the Open Pantry)

Refer to the Zero Waste A-Z Quick Sorting Index or Free Swap FAQ for information about what to do with items that are not accepted at the Free Swap. You can also learn more about the origins of the Free Swap in this case study by former Sustainability Office student staff Kate Massell.