Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Recycling and Reusing in Spain – Second hand and more

Recycling containers are dotted throughout Spanish cities and towns, sometimes next to the garbage dumpsters and sometimes separate. In some fancier communities you will find extensive options for recycling including the pictured receptacle for small items like batteries, cds, light bulbs and ink cartridges.

If you are looking for used items and are not quite up to dumpster diving – or the dumpsters are not providing what you want- there are stores and markets selling used items. Happy hunting!

In the Barcelona suburb of Sant Cugat you can find a variety of antique, used and flea vendors and a full on market the first Sunday of every month. The roughly eighty permanent stalls of the Mercantic are open Tuesday to Saturday 9:30 am to 8:00pm and Sunday from 9:30 am to 3:00pm. You can find just about anything here from furniture, antique typewriters, tools, weapons, art work and plenty more. Book lovers will enjoy the Llibreria El Siglo Mercantic in the heart of things selling books of all varieties and themes with a bar and often live music. Mercantic, Rius i Taulet, 120, 08173 Sant Cugat del Vallès (Barcelona); 936 744 950; E-mail:;

The non-profit Rastrell Reciclatge is near the Jardines del Real and the Jardins de Turia just across the bridge Pont de Trinitat from the historic old city center of Valencia. Rastrell sells a variety of used goods with the definite purpose of recycling and reusing. Rastrell Reciclatge, c/Vuelta del Ruiseñor 21, 46010 Valencia; 963 623 509; open Monday to Friday from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm/5:00 to 8:00 pm, Saturday from10:00 am to 2:00pm.

Also in Valencia you will find Second Market-Just Price sells a variety of used items from electronics to bikes, some clothes, and camping gear, as well as cds, dvds, and books with many English titles, so it is a great place to find a cheap read. Second Market, C/ Russafa 20, 46004 Valencia; 963 940 652; open Monday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 2:00pm/4:30-8:30 pm.

The B. Market is a good sized second hand store with everything from bikes to musical instruments with entrances on Avenida del Puerto and Islas Canarias in Valencia. You can take the #4 bus which runs along Ave. del Puerto from the old city, or get off the metro at Ayora. The B. Market, Avda del Port 202, 46023, Valencia. Open Monday to Saturday 10:00 am to 2:00pm/5:00 to 9:00pm

There is a small secondhand clothing store in the old city center of Valencia around the corner from the HI Youth hostel. Marropa (ropa de 2a mano), C/ Serranos 29, Valencia; open Monday to Friday 10:00 a.m. to 1:30 p.m./5:00 to 8:00 p.m.

Find fun vintage, new and gently used clothes, shoes and accessories at Vintage Police on a side street just a block or so from the old Silk Exchange (Lonja). Vintage Police, c/ Cajeros 2, 46001 Valencia;; open Monday to Saturday from 10:30 am to 2:00 pm/5:00 to 8:30 pm.

There is a chain of three second-hand stores called Cash Converters. Locations are dotted around Valencia city. Easiest is to Google and see where the stores are.

There is rummage to be had at the Monday morning market on the streets around Valencia's Mercado Central. Often every item will go for 3 euros or so and you can paw through a bizarre mix of used and new clothing. Sometimes there is bedding as well.

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