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Free Recycle – Recycling Initiative At Its Best

May 7th, 2008 · 1 Comment

This article explains about free recycle recycling initiative at its best. All about free recycling groups.

If you’ve ever been involved in recycling, I’m pretty sure you’ve come across a free recycle group in your community or you’re a member of one already. Based on communication and totally-free sharing of recyclable goods, the concept of free recycle has become phenomenally successful here in the US and worldwide, in the past few years.

What made free recycle successful? One word – convenience – much like in any other widely-accepted innovation.

Do you have a sofa you want to give away? An old fridge you’d like to haul off to the dump site? An old TV set you no longer need? Old clothes? A kid’s bike? Stuff you want to dispose of but don’t know how. These things have a way of staying in your storage room or garage for months or years collecting dust – only to be transported to a landfill somewhere in the end.

No worries, free recycle can help you move that unwanted stuff. Within just a few minutes, you can find people who actually needed or want the item you are giving away, and will pick it up eagerly from your doorstep – for free. All you need to do is to post a brief description of the freebie item in a free recycle community site or forum and wait for other users to find your post and leave their responses for you. You get to choose who to give your stuff to.

One such network of free recycle organizations is Freecycle, founded by Deron Beal in 2003. Back then, Beal who was newly married wanted to dispose of a bed he no longer needed. He sent out a bunch of emails to his friends. No one wanted the bed, but to his amazement, people started emailing back or communicating with each other (through the cc in his original email) with things they also wanted to give away and things that they needed. Beal realized there was a clear need for a forum or web venue where people from a certain locality can exchange information on what reusable items are available and who needs what – all in the spirit of free giving and receiving. That’s how he started his hugely successful free recycle group – Freecycle.

If the concept of free recycle is new to you, the process is quite simple and convenient. You can locate your local free recycle group in the web, join up, and start posting items you would like to give away for free. You can also try to see what items are available and see if there’s anything you needed or would like to have. You then contact the owner and if you’re lucky, you’re chosen to go and pick up the item. Here are some recycling and environmental networks that you can visit to see which free recycle group caters to people in your area: Freecycle, Earth911, Don’tDumpThat, FreeGeek (computers).

Volunteer moderators usually facilitate free recycle groups or forums and oversee the posts and the interaction of members. Of course, just like in joining any group in the web, basic courtesy and respect for the others will make you a valued member. The basic requirement is that you’re giving away the item you’re posting totally free, no strings attached and that the items are “legal and appropriate for all ages.” Trading (or auctioning) of items in a free recycle forum is deemed inappropriate. As always, you should also exercise caution to protect your privacy, in dealing with people in the web.

It is perhaps this very simplicity of the free recycle concept that has made it very popular in thousands of communities worldwide. Free recycle networks now boast of memberships in the millions belonging to independent free recycle communities in the US and in a good number of countries abroad. Freecycle, Beal’s group founded here in the US, now has 4,356 groups within its network with 5,070,000 members worldwide. DontDumpThat, a free recycle network based in the UK, now has 21,475 members covering 184 towns in the UK.

Free recycle as a movement performs a strategic function in the recycling loop – remember “reduce, reuse, recycle?” It allows people to do their part in protecting the environment by reducing the amount of trash that gets dumped into the landfills by reusing products or items that may be second-hand but are still perfectly usable.

Ultimately, free recycle is about creating a deeper sense of community of people joined together by a common concern for the environment and selfless sharing and generosity. For you and me, as individuals, joining a free recycle group or forum is a win-win option. You get rid of unnecessary items from your household, you’re able to give it to someone who actually would reuse it (and keep it away from the landfill!), you win friends, and help build community. Join a free recycle group today.


  • People of the Web in Yahoo News – “An Online Flea Market Where Everything’s Free” by Kevin Sites
  • FreeGeek.com – “FREE GEEK is a 501(c)(3) not for profit community organization that recycles used technology to provide computers, education, internet access and job skills training to those in need in exchange for community service.” (Frm the FreeGeek Mission and Overview)
  • RecycleNow.com – “Somethin’ for Nuthin”
  • Freecycle.org – © 2008, The Freecycle Network™. All rights reserved. Freecycle and the Freecycle logo are trademarks of The Freecycle Network in the United States and/or other countries.
  • Earth911.org – “Making Everyday Earth Day”
  • Don’tDumpThat – “Give Away Things You Don’t Want, Find Things You Do, All For Free.”
  • Join a Free Recycle Group Today

Tags: Recycling

1 response so far ↓

  • 1 Nigel // May 9, 2008 at 10:34 am

    Thanks for the link to DontDumpThat, found my group. Good luck with your new blog.