I would imagine that by now, most people are aware of the existence of sites like Freecycle-people post adverts of things they no longer want or need, for other people to come and collect. For free.
It is a great concept. You can get rid of stuff you no longer want without having to leave the comfort of your sofa, and you get the warm rosy glow of knowing it is going to someone who needs it, and is being saved from landfill.
AND you can get stuff, for FREE.
There are lots and lots of different sites out there. So I thought I would try and do a quick run down of the ones I know about, and then if I have missed any off, you can let me know, and I can try and produce a definitive list. Would also be good to try and get some thoughts on the various sites from people who have used them, so if you have any (please try and keep it fairly constructive!!), please add them in the comments section.
This is probably the biggest and most well known of all the freecycle groups. It has over 9 million members worldwide, in over 5,000 different groups. Membership is free.
If you do a search, you should be able to find a group near you. And if there isn’t, then I guess there is nothing to stop you setting up one! We have 3 groups near us, giving us lots of potential to pick up some great stuff.
I have used my local groups quite a bit, and these are my thoughts so far:
- You do get a LOT of e-mails. You can choose to just get sent a ‘daily digest’ but I think if you did this, it would be very difficult to actually get anything you wanted, as it would probably already be gone
- Quite a few of the e-mails seem to go straight to my bulk mail folder, so do keep a check on this!
- Things get snapped up VERY quickly. I have tried to get quite a few different things, and nearly always end up missing out
- When you post OFFERED things, I have had several no-shows where people didn’t bother to come and collect. One time, I even went out of my way to meet someone with some things, and they didn’t turn up, or even bother to e-mail or ring me-grrrrr!
- There is a great range of stuff, and seem to lots of groups around though, so you should be able to find something!
This is a UK based site which I think split from the US based Freecyle. There are nearly 1.5 million users and 373 groups all over the UK, and all the moderators are local. Again, membership is free.
You can do a search to find a join a group near you. I have just joined my local group, but have not yet used it, so have no feedback at the moment!
I recently came across this group on Twitter, but have only had time to have a very quick peek at their site.
I can’t see anywhere on the site to search for a local group, or even items local to you, but there seems to be a fair amount of stuff on there, and they run a system whereby you can earn credits to exchange for rewards too.
This site helps you “rent, borrow, lend or giveaway things amongst friends, neighbours, colleagues or anyone really. You control what you share, with whom & how, i.e for free, for a fee or both!”
I haven’t tried it-let me know if you have!
This is what they say “The idea is simple – Instead of hiring a real skip you upload your unwanted items to a virtual skip for other people to search and claim. vSkips is completely FREE to use, so you can protect the environment, reduce landfill and save money at the same time.”
“is an on-line forum that serves as a tool to make connections between community members who want to help each other, themselves, and their environment. In a disposable society where many items are discarded long before they have actually outlived their use, The ReUseIt Network helps get things from people who have them but don’t want them to people who want them but don’t have them.”
Looking on the website, there are groups in the USA, Canada and Australia, as well as in the UK. There are about 11 groups scattered around the country, but from the website, they seem keen to recruit new groups!
This is a classified site where you can list stuff to sell, BUT they also have a ‘Freeloved’ page featuring stuff being given away for free!
“the reuse and recycle community network”
” a grassroots movement of people who are giving, getting and sharing stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reducing, re-using, recycling and saving the planet.”
Their ‘motto’ is “don’t bin it, give it”! Which seems a pretty good one!!
I haven’t used this site, but i t looks great, and there seem to be lots of members all over the country.
If you area business or organisation, then you can use WARPit to redistribute your resources!
So what have I missed?
And what are your experiences of using any of these groups?
Would love to hear from you