On any given weekend, it is estimated that around 400 residents visit the Airdrie Recycle Depot. While some residents may be dropping off items for recycling, others visit the Book Barn to browse and perhaps get some weekend reading in.
The Book Barn was constructed in 2016 by local high school students who were part of the Building Futures program offered by McKee Homes Ltd. Shelley Slevinsky, The Operation Coordinator with the city's waste and recycling underlined that the staff work diligently to create a wonderful and cozy atmosphere that is meant to foster the love of reading, which is why the Book Barn does not accept toys, puzzles, CDs and DVDs.
"It's a take it or leave it program where we welcome the city of Airdrie’s residents to come to stop by and either bring a book or take a book," she said. "We have benches that people can sit at and enjoy the book barn space and I think people really just love to read a book that they can physically have in their hands."
Slevinsky herself is an avid reader and said one of her favourite novels is The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. She described the book as discussing positivity and good energy, something that she believes Airdrie’s Recycle Depot is doing with programs like the Book Barn.
"When people drive in [to the recycle depot}, it's a really welcoming experience and we want to still create that small town feel, even though the city is growing."
She said that residents often praise the operators and the depot for how well the Book Barn is organized, especially since there's everything from novels to cookbooks, to self-help books. Staying true to the ethos of recycling, The Book Barn is also decorated during different seasons (including Halloween) with upcycled materials.
"When people drive in [to the recycle depot], it's a really welcoming experience and we want to still create that small town feel, even though the city is growing."
The Book Barn is located at 21 East Lake Hill NE.
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