Harwich Selectmen Consider Future of Embattled Treasure Chest

Photo Courtesy of the Town of Harwich

HARWICH – Ongoing issues with the swap shop at the Harwich Recycling Center recently came to a head as town officials weigh how best to move forward.

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.

Other allegations have been levied suggesting that workers and 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.

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

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

At a recent selectmen’s meeting, board members 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.

Selectmen Chairman Michael MacAskill said that the problem of day-to-day operations at the shop is getting too big for the board to deal with,

“What I am convinced of, is that over the years since the Treasure Chest has been open, it has gotten completely unmanageable,” he said.

Harwich Town Administrator Christopher Clark told the board that he has been in contact with members of the Treasure Chest Committee and the Public Works Department and feels that improvements are forthcoming.

By DAVID BEATTY, CapeCod.com NewsCenter

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