Freecycle - One mans junk is another mans treasure.
(or how to keep things out of landfill)
What exactly is Freecycle? It's a very simple concept that was the brainchild of Deron Beal in 2003. He started a Yahoo group and sent emails to around 20 of his friends. The email listed usable items that he no longer wanted or needed but were too good to throw away, and he offered them for free. And so, Freecycle was started.
Within a few months, Freecycle groups on Yahoo were springing up all over America. The idea spread to Canada and the UK and today there are over 4800 groups and 6.7 million members worldwide. Freecycle is now an international organisation and Freecycle UK is a registered charity. Amongst the thousands of people who work for Freecycle, only two are paid a salary, all the rest are volunteers.
Freecycle today, still retains the original concept, everything offered must
Suitable for all ages
The Freecycle Network (TFN) has moved forward with the times,
although many groups are still operated on Yahoo, Freecycle now have their own dedicated servers and all new groups start off there. The new look is called MyFreecycle and eventually it is likely that all groups will migrate across.
There are five Freecycle groups in Powys*, three are operating on the new MyFreecycle servers and the other two are still with Yahoo groups. To find any Freecycle group, simply go to www.freecycle.org and enter a postcode of town name, You will then be shown all the local groups to enable you to join the nearest. It's easy to join, just follow the link and sign up, all you need is an email address. What could be simpler?
After joining the group, all you need to do is send an email message to the group and it will be distributed amongst all the other members. Then you just wait for the emails to come back to you asking for the item, select who you want to give it to, and arrange a time for them to collect it.
As an added bonus, members can also ask for items that they want. Send off the message in exactly the same way and hope that someone has that item that they no longer want.
But isn't it all junk? No. Bread makers, washing machines, cookers, three piece suites, computers and earlier this year in
the Machynlleth group, a fully working Nobel two oven range (it even ran the central heating) and a laser printer. It never ceases to amaze me how generous people can be when they're either upgrading or decided they don't like something they've bought. The best thing about it is that these items don't go to landfill.
Why not get the council to collect it? Powys council are good with collecting bulky household items, where possible they will supply them to re-use organisations who will refurbish it and sell it, Powys CC will also recycle the items if possible, but some things still end up in landfill. You will also have to pay the council £25.00 to take the items away. It makes sense to use Freecycle, it's free!
There are other recycling/re-use groups in Powys, www.your-part.org.uk lists Freecycle and Freegle groups.
Join a local group today, it's free, easy and besides de-cluttering your house, you might just be surprised at what you can pick up.
* Editor's Note:
Since this article was published it has been drawn to my attention that certain recent events in the free gifting movement have led to problems in locating some local existing groups who have changed their name.
The following information from Llandrindod Freegle http://groups.yahoo.com/group/LlandrindodFreegle/ , formerly Llandrindod Freeecycle, sets out to clarify the position:
"To find your local group it's worth knowing that last year many locally run long established freecycle groups in the UK had to change their name (due to international legal wrangles about trademarks, not of their choosing) To find any locally run freecycling group, with or without freecycle in the name try http://recyclinggroupfinder.com/ "