Freecycle cuts landfill and builds networks

FREECYCLE is a novel way of reducing landfill and helping a neighbour out at the same time.

After a long break The Freecycle Network is once again working in Gloucester. Copeland’s Jackie Clark has taken on the role of moderator for the Gloucester group under the guidance of the main organisation.

Freecycle allows members to register their email address with a local group then advertise what they want to give away.

Alternatively, they can ask for something they need and it is all completely free of charge. 

“I have used Freecycle for years and received floor tiles, wall tiles, goldfish, trees, plants, a bread maker, cot and ride-on toys - among other things,” Jackie said. 

“When we moved, I got rid of unwanted crystal glasses and jugs, old chairs and other stuff. 

“It works well because there is no expectation by anyone beyond the wish to help the environment.”

Freecycle began in the US in 2003 and has since spread to 85 countries across the globe.

“It’s a great way to keep stuff out of landfill, but it’s also a really good way to establish and build relationships,” Ms Clark said.

“Everyone remembers grabbing something from the tip. This way, you don’t even have to get as far as the tip.

“Freecycle members worldwide are currently keeping over 500 tons a day out of landfill. This amounts to five times the height of Mt Everest in the past year alone, when stacked in garbage trucks.”

The rise of the ‘Buy, Swap and Sell’ concept thanks to social media has been a revelation in recent years and Ms Clark feels the Freecycle initiative can be just as successful.

Jackie has already approached Gloucester Shire Council for its support and council’s environment and waste services coordinator Tania Parkinson has agreed to raise the Freecycle concept with Midwaste.

To learn more about Freecycle visit the website www.freecycle.org

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