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October 29, 2013

 

Bo-Mart puts Virgil junk to good use

JunkBob Ellis/staff photographer
A box of toys, an office chair, a puzzle and beds are just a few of the items free for the taking at the town of Virgil transfer station on VanDonsel Road. In the background are station operator Bo Nelson, left, and Town Board member Jereme Stiles.

By MATT LEADER
Staff Reporter
mleader@cortlandstandardnews.net

VIRGIL — When Cheryl Daniels is in need of something for her home, Bo-Mart is always at the top of her list.
On Monday, she stopped by the town’s waste transfer station to get rid of a couple of bags of garbage and some aluminum cans. She left with a pair of picture frames, a statue and a next-to-new throw pillow.
“A lot of times I’ll get a pillow or something and put a new cover on it,” said Daniels, who has been coming to Bo-Mart for, “a long, long time.”
Monday offered slim pickings. In years past, Daniels said she has snatched up such gems as an antique rocking chair and a coffee table.
“This is always my first stop,” said Daniels, who comes to check Bo-Mart’s new stock about once a week.
The one-stop destination gets its name from the waste transfer station’s manager, Bo Nelson, who has been running the station for the last 12 years.
The concept is simple. There are no aisles and no cash register. Virgil residents can come and drop off their unwanted furniture, knick knacks or clothes, and Nelson draws his ‘inventory’ from the pieces that still have some use in them.
“I look at it and if I think it’s good, I’ll put it out,” said Nelson. “I usually leave it out for about a week.”
As with a conventional shopkeeper, Nelson has his regulars.
“I’ll get one group of people on Monday, one on Tuesday, one on Wednesday and then everybody else on Saturday,” Nelson said.
Any Virgil resident is free to come down and try their luck at Bo-Mart, Nelson said.
Everything is 100 percent free, although proof of their residency is required.
“We get everything from old wine bottles, to whole boats and golf carts,” said Nelson. “We get lawnmowers all the time.”
Nelson is not averse to taking reserve orders either.
“A lot of people can’t afford new stuff for their homes,” Nelson said. “I had a lady, she came down last Saturday and she had somebody who is just starting out and all they have is a mattress, so I’m looking for a sofa and a chair and things like that. It’ll come too. Someone will bring it in.”
Town Board member Jereme Stiles said that Bo-Mart has been a Virgil staple since even before Nelson took over 12 years ago.
“It’s a huge perk of living in the town,” Stiles said. “It’s definitely better than seeing it go to the landfill. If it ever closed down, they’d go crazy.”
For Nelson, Bo-Mart has become more than just a job.
“It’s just fun to come up,” Nelson said. “They’re neighbors. They’ll drop some stuff off and then hang around and talk for half an hour. I love this.”

 

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