What Happened to Freecycle?

For a couple of years I have been a big fan of the Freecycle Network.  I even have them listed on my list of links because I believe that somewhere the ideals of freecycle must still be running strong.  Freecycle was set up with local Yahoo groups where one offers up items no longer want or need and someone who needs it comes and takes it for you.  It also works where people post what they want and someone will respond with a free offer.

I’ve never been one to hold up to enough stuff to bother having a garage sale.  When I heard about Freecycle I thought it was great, post an offer and have someone pick the item up.  I have offered up items such as a barely working power washer, gallons of paint in a color I didn’t like, old pc monitors, and even old towels.  Even with full disclaimer I received about 20 offers for the power washer.  My garbage was truly someone elses treasure.

My local network seems to be waning in use.  I used to get a weekly update with 20-30 offers/requests.  Lately there’s about 2-3 items per week.  Also, I’ve had to post a particular offer 3 times before the moderator approved it.  After a quick online search and a glance at their Facebook page, I realize that groups across the USA are falling apart.  Ultimately, the success or failure of each local groups falls upon their moderator.

Numerous people complain that their request for membership has been denied with no explanation.  Offers and requests must be approved by the moderator.  If they’re busy or not online your post can sit ignored.  I wonder if Freecycle started as a local way to recycle items that got too big for itself.

It seems that this would be better managed from one website that you could join and then localize from there.  It’s hard to believe but I think trying to manage this through many individual “groups” pages is outdated.  I’ve noticed that the UK has several similar organizations that are managed from one website.  It would be nice to know if they have the same difficulties of Freecycle.

I really believe in the basic principles of Freecycle and don’t want to see it go wayside. Please check it out if you want or need stuff.  I believe that there are several locations that have issues but I’m hoping the majority of groups still are doing what they should. http://www.freecycle.org/

I’ve noticed people have come up with their own spin on giving away your unwanted stuff.  One idea is a biannual event, where on a specific day you leave stuff roadside for people to take.  The next date for this is September 25, 2010. I think this is a fabulous idea but it will have to get a lot of publicity to work.  http://giveyourstuffaway.com/

This is a great place to see what items can be recycled and tells you how to go about it.  As for locations, it’s in the UK.  http://www.recyclenow.com/

Here’s a US based group that tells you how and where to recycle some items that aren’t as easy as paper and glass.  http://earth911.com/

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  1. August 16th, 2010

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