Written on: 23/03/2006 by lewist (37 reviews written)
Easy to use and friendly
Could be giving things to traders - but is that all that bad?
Freecycle is not a website in itself, but a collection of Yahoo user groups. To find your local user group, use a search engine to find Freecycle and go from there.
The idea of Freecycle is to keep usable items out of landfill sites, and to prolong the use of things that might not be worth much money but still have some life in them, by offering them free of charge to anyone who would like them.
I found the Edinburgh Freecycle group when my wife decided it was time to start to declutter our lives recently, and we have disposed of a number of good items, both to individuals and to charities. My old computer went to a Leonard Cheshire respite home. Someone took my old speaker brackets, someone else an old smartmedia card reader I no longer had a use for.
What happens is you register and then you list offers (or Wanted) on the site and people will then email you to ask if they can have the item, or offering if you have asked for something. I generally wait to see who replies and what reason they give for having the item. When you get a lot of replies it is not too easy to decide who to offer it to, and sometimes the first person fails to show, but people seem to accept they may not be the lucky one. When the item has gone you post a 'taken' on the forum to thank those who responded.
You have to make an arrangement for the pickup or delivery, and there are personal safety considerations involved in that, especially for anyone living on their own. The user group gives advice for that, and there is friendly but quite firm moderation of the groups to make sure the site is being appropriately used.
In some cases I have delivered, especially if something was going to a charity, or I have met people outside work, or they have collected from my home. So far there have been no problems, and my lady keeps finding things we no longer have a use for.
All in all I am happy with my use of Freecycle. I am a member of both the Edinburgh and Bathgate groups, and strangely have found I have personal contacts with the volunteer moderators in both.
If you want to declutter your life this is a good way to do it! Please note that I have to give 10/10 for value for money - after all it is 'free' cycle and what could be better value than that?
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