large bottles of hand soap and lotion to refill from

The Refillery at Burncoat Center for Arts and Wellness

I did a recent post about Burncoat Center for Arts and Wellness (aka “BCAW”) and it generated some requests for more information about the refillery so owners, Kim Mowers and Barbara Palmgren, gave me a tour. Here’s what I learned.

large bottles of hand soap and lotion to refill from

What is a Refillery?

I had this question the first time I heard it too. Simply put, a refillery is a place where you can fill and refill empty containers with bath, body, and household products to help reduce your waste.

BCAW is Worcester’s first and only refillery and like everything else they do, it’s an expression of Kim and Barbara’s commitment to living more sustainably and helping others do the same.

How does it work at BCAW?

You can bring your own clean container (or containers) from home but If you forget or don’t have anything, you can pick something up when you get there. BCAW has an assortment of options available for sale. There are also free containers that have been donated, sanitized, and put out for anyone who needs one.

How their system works:

  • When you arrive, grab a clipboard with the refillery sheet to record the details of your purchase.
  • Weigh your empty container and record the weight and where the container came from (your own, buying one from BCAW, using a free container)
  • Fill your container and record what the product is.
  • Weigh the filled container and write that down too.
  • That’s it. You’re ready to check out.

The empty container weight will be subtracted from the filled container weight. This gives you the weight of just the product you will be purchasing. Pricing is by the ounce.

Clipboards are found in the drawer of the farmer's table / display in the refillery room
Detail of the Refill Station worksheet

Accessories for Containers

If you’re using a mason jar as a container there are pumps and sprayers to that convert your jar into a dispenser. You can find them near the other household products.

Some of the jars for sale in the store also have dispenser lids.

What sort of items can I get at the refillery?

As you might expect, there’s a good assortment of household cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, hair products, skin care products, soaps, and body care products.

But wait… There’s more, the refillery is full of items that help support a more sustainable way of living. There are linen paper towel replacements made by Kim, eco-friendly coffee filters, and dryer balls that replace regular dryer sheets, to name a few. I bought a set of the dryer balls along with some essential oils and they are great!

Popular items and Barbara and Kim’s personal favorites

This post wouldn’t be complete without a “favorites” section. So, here we are.

Barbara gave me the details on fan favorites: Little Seed Farm Deodorant Cream and their shampoo bars and accessories. Then she showed me her personal favorite, Zerra & Co. Daily Face Moisturizer. Kim’s favorite products are the Heliotrope skin care line. I can personally put in a good word for the laundry balls with lavender essential oil for scent.

Plan your visit

BCAW is located at 78 Burncoat Street, Worcester, MA. Check the BCAW website for hours and to find out about upcoming events. Follow them on Instagram to see all the great stuff they’ve got going on.






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