Harwich Officials Close Treasure Chest to Non-Residents

HARWICH – The Treasure Chest swap shop at the Harwich Recycling Center will now be officially open only to residents of the town.

Following years of personnel and merchandise issues, the Harwich Board of Selectmen has voted to prohibit out-of-town shopping, effective July 1st.

Patrons have accused volunteers at the Treasure Chest of being rude, or taking donated items home with them rather than making them available to shoppers.

“It started off as a quaint little idea diverting usable items and get them in the hands of people that were in need,” said  Lincoln Hooper is Harwich’s DPW Director, “ unfortunately the Treasure Chest is a victim of its own success. We just do not have the capability any longer to deal with people from other towns.”

Other allegations have been levied suggesting that regular visitors are taking items from the store in order to later sell them online.

That’s a trend that goes against the shop’s original purpose of recycling unwanted items to serve those in need.

When the issues began to come to a head last year, town officials considered their options for remedying the situation which ranged from a change in leadership to shuttering the program all together, to limiting the number of out-of-towners who shop at the store, before arriving at their decision.

“The majority of the complaints that we received were about rudeness of volunteers,” Selectman Jannell Brown said at the time.

“And volunteers taking items right underneath the noses of people and putting them right into their cars to take home,” she said.

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