You might want to look for "recruits" for this idea on FullCircles Ottawa, originally Ottawa Freecycle.
FullCircles Ottawa is a community of 9500+ folks involved in "gifting" their surplus stuff.
The freecycling movement has, over the past six years, grown to almost 7,000,000 people in 88 countries around the world.
In a small village in Northern Ontario where garbage is taken to the dump, I was involved with three other people some twenty years ago in starting a recycling and share shed. It was a long process but today the community has a sheltered area built by the municipality which houses the large recycle dumpster bins at one end and the "share shed" at the other. People are encouraged to bring their treasures and place them according to the general categories. Clothing is about the only item not accepted. As a result items have a huge turn over. Nothing remains for very long. The land-fill life was greatly extended and those who needed items were able to find them.
My mother lives in a condo in Toronto. They have an amazing set up for recycling, composting and swapping. Basically, there is an area near the recycle bin where residents can free cycle. The super either sends it off for donation or to the landfill if nobody from the building takes it within a reasonable time.
As for skill swapping, they have clubs to help each other out.
I am actually thinking about transforming my "Branch Out" bakery business into more of a "skills exchange" style. I want to bring value to our skills and help community members swap the knowledge they have with one another. If you are interested I would love to chat about this! I am currently working on different funding applications because I want to develop it into a Social Enterprise.
We've just yesterday set up a new "Ottawa Freecycling Community" as a pilot on the new Google+ communities. If you'd like to check it out here it is:
Awesome! Thanks both Ron and Eric. That is exactly what I am looking for, people that know what is already happening in Ottawa so we can build on it, rather then re-inventing the wheel.