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Using Freecycle.org to Recycle Household Items

written by: Yolander•edited by: Bill Bunter•updated: 8/12/2010

Freecycle.org is the perfect way to connect with members of your community and exchange unwanted items for free.

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    An Easier Way to Recycle

    You know how to recycle plastic bottles. Your fingers are black from recycling newspapers. Your plastic bags, crushed aluminum cans and old magazines blanket the bottom of your local recycling drop off center's bins. You have studied, memorized and practiced the basic tenets of recycling with flawless execution. Do you still feel empty inside? Does your stomach churn at the thought of throwing away those old plastic hangers you no longer want? If so, then Freecycle.org is the site for you.

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    How the Freecycle Network Works

    Freecycle.org is the Craigslist of recycling sites. Comprised of a network of neighborhoods across the United States and 84 other countries, Freecycle.org offers members the opportunity to post their unwanted items to a newsgroup full of people located within their community. Each member posts descriptions and pictures of their unwanted items to the group. The posts are then received by other members of the group, who can reply to the group when they see an item they want or need. The groups are accessible through Yahoo.com, and a simple search of the Freecycle.org, “Browse Groups" page connects new members to their local group.

    Once you are a member, you will begin receiving emails from the group with lists of items available for pick up at other members homes. The items on the list range from used fencing, to unused baby clothes. Computer items, kitchen and household goods also make frequent appearances. In addition to the reduced waste in landfills, Freecycle.org provides a much needed charitable service in these unsure economic times. Many families, saddled with bills and unemployment, are not able to make ends meet, much less buy new household goods. Freecycle.org offers them the ability to get daily necessities including baby formula, clothing, coupons, diapers and furniture free from other Freecycle.org members.

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    History and Accomplishments

    The site was created in 2003 by a non-profit employee named Deron Beal. Participation was originally limited to Tucson Arizona residents, but the success of the site has opened the floodgates to communal recycling and Freecycle.org is now available in over 85 countries. The Freecycle.org websites states that members are keeping 500 tons of trash out of landfills each day. Freecylce.org is a nonprofit 501(c)3 organization. Donations make it possible for this nonprofit to run and thrive. The success of Freecycle.org is also due, in large part, to the volunteers who moderate the groups, answer questions posed to the Freecycle.org website, and administer their ever-growing database.

    Freecycle.org is a one-stop, green, mega-exchange where everything is free. So whether your goal is to recycle the unused computer in your garage or to paint your bedroom for free, your neighborhood Freecycle.org group could be the key to accomplishing your goal while lessening the burden you place on your planet.






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