Harwich Considers Return of Treasure Chest Service

HARWICH – Harwich town officials recently discussed the potential return of the Harwich Treasure Chest.

The Treasure Chest is a sticker-based town service that seeks to get usable items to residents that would otherwise be destined for waste streams.

The program also cuts down on landfill charges for the town.

There is no cost for dropping off or picking up items from the Treasure Chest and residents may pick up items for a charitable organization of their choice, though a free Treasure Chest sticker from town hall is required to utilize the service. 

The service was open on Saturday and Sunday from 9am to 3pm, but was closed until further notice due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. 

During the service’s pause during COVID, the town’s Department of Public Works was able to make use of the facility 

“We realized that there are two interests,” said Eric Fahle, clerk for the Treasure Chest Committee. 

“We’re trying to see if we can accommodate both needs at the one facility.”

Board member Larry Ballantine recommended to the select board that the DPW have use of the facility during the winter months as a maintenance warehouse, while the Treasure Chest can utilize it during the summer months. 

Select board members raised concerns about how the Treasure Chest would be run and how to handle the potential split in land use between the two services.

Board member Donald Howell said the town has several potential applicants that could be sourced for a committee to run the Treasure Chest, and more could be found in the coming weeks and months. 

Members said that they would like to see different plans for both shared use of the facility and more concrete plans for the Treasure Chests operations, which could see the service return next spring, contingent on board approval. 

“What we have is a concensus of the board that they want to see it open, and the majority of the public does. But we still need a plan—something that we can actually vote on,” said Chair Michael MacAskill.

About Grady Culhane

Grady Culhane is a Cape Cod native currently living in Eastham. He studied media communications at Cape Cod Community College and joined the CapeCod.com News Center in 2019.

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