Marketplace takes a look at 'freecycling': a new alternative to bringing your unwanted consumer items to a landfill.
Freecycle.org: Want not, waste not
Broadcast: February 6, 2005
Nancy Daniels has two obsessions: one is her parrots. She loves them so much she’s turned her home into a parrot recovery and adoption agency.
But running a bird rescue site is expensive, and that's where her other obsession comes in: an online site for free stuff.
It’s called Freecycle, a website that’s mushroomed from a handful of people two years ago, to a massive extended family of small communities across North America.
If a member has an old couch she doesn’t want anymore (but it’s too good to throw out), she simply puts a posting on her local Freecycle website. Another member who wants it replies to the posting and comes by to pick up the couch. No money exchanges hands - one member gets a couch, the other gets rid of it.Click here
Freecycle phenomenon piques corporate interests
Broadcast: February 6, 2005
The Freecycle movement was founded in 2003, but it wasn't until late 2004 that interest in the idea really ignited. Now, Freecycle groups are popping up in communities, big and small, all across North America.
Now there are over 2,000 local groups, with anywhere from one to 13,000 members.
It all started in Tucson, Arizona, with a Deron Beal -- who’s obsessed with recycling.
Before he started Freecycle, Beal worked for a non-profit recycling company (in fact he still works there, and manages the Freecycle movement in his spare time).
From his first day of work at the recycling gig, it drove Deron crazy to see perfectly good stuff being thrown away:
“I live here in the middle of the Sonora Desert, which is one of the most beautiful deserts in the world. And smack-dab in the middle of this desert, you’ve got this hideous landfill, half of which is full of perfectly good reusable stuff.”
Deron Beal, founder of Freecycle.
Other related links
Bronx FreeCycles with FreeCycleBronxNY
DALLAS: Web Site Offers Free Merchandise
ALASKA: Something for free
DALLAS: Thousands in area reduce, reuse, freecycle
FOX Carolina: "Free Cycle"
STERN: Hier gibt's was umsonst
Electronics recycling fee begins in Alberta (February 1, 2005)
Reduce, reuse, Freecycle (April 23, 2004)
Province applauds recycling program (July 30, 2003)
Montreal rethinking the value of recycling (August 8, 2002)
Environment suffers as recycling costs rise: expert (August 8, 2002)
Freecycle: A victim of its own success?
Rise Inc. (website for Deron Beal's day job, a non-profit recycling company)
Waste Management Inc. (the company that's now sponsoring Freecycle)
Freecycling to the rescue(USA Today)
Don’t need that old blender? ‘Freecycle’ it (MSN Money)
Freecycle.org could be next craigslist (Inland Press Association offers a perspective from the newspaper industry, which sees Freecycling as a competitor to traditional classified advertising)
Kicking your castoffs to the virtual curb (USA Today)
|Number of Freecycle™ Communities:||2,244|
|Number of Freecycle™ Members:||894,647|
The worldwide Freecycle™ Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe. It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator (them's good people). Membership is free. To sign up, find your community by clicking on the region on the right. It will generate an automatic e-mail which, when sent, will sign you up for your local group and send you a response with instructions on how it works. Or, go directly to the Web site for your local group by clicking on your community's link on the left. Can't find a group near you? You might want to consider starting one (click on "Start a Group" for instructions). Have fun!
The Freecycle™ Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfills. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!
How does it work?
When you want to find a new home for something -- whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door -- you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of your Freecycle™ group.
Or, maybe you're looking to acquire something yourself. Simply respond to a member's offer, and you just might get it. After that, it's up to the giver to decide who receives the gift and to set up a pickup time for passing on the treasure.
One main rule: Everything posted must be free, legal, and appropriate for all ages.
Non-profit organizations also benefit from The Freecycle™ Network. Post the item or items you want to give away and a local organization can help you get it to someone in need.
Who can use The Freecycle™ Network?As Abe Lincoln once said, "Think globally, recycle locally." The Freecycle™ Network is open to all communities and to all individuals who want to participate. Freecycle™ groups are run by local volunteer moderators from across the globe who facilitate each local group - grassroots at its best!
I discovered freecycle thanks to my brother about a year ago. Since then I have picked up 2 desks, 38 12' 2x6's from a deck i took apart, plus other lumber including several 20' 2x10's, a hot tub, hot tub controls, pump, heater and blower, antique kitchen cabinets, a leather coat, 3 piece sofa sectional, 4 drawer dresser, refrigerator, built in dishwasher, woodstove, wood slat curtains, and a canoe. Prolly a few other things I might have forgotten. I have given away many things myself. A Sofa, a hidabed, a bike, desks and the smaller fridge.
All of the things I got for free through freecycle were not new, but all are completely useable, though some needed minor fixing. I don't take garbage into my home. However, I have no issue with stretching my dollar and don't mind using my own elbo grease! I am not a rich man and these things have helped me considerably. But lets suppose I were wealthy? I would most likely buy new things and the old stuff, well I'd have to pay someone to haul it off! Instead, I could simply post an ad on Freecycle and someone who is not as economically well off as I am, will come and get it! I don't have to hassle with having it hauled off!
Really, the things I have seen people throw away, it outta be a crime.
Freecycle is one of the greatest inventions of our time!
Find a freecycle in your area and sign up today!