What is freecycling and how does it work?

The idea of freecycling is to promote the three R's (Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle) by making it easy for people to give away their unwanted but reusable items to people who can use them.

You can post Offers for items you want to give away or Requests for items you need. You can give and get almost anything on trash nothing including food, clothes, furniture, electronics, books, plants, toys and much more. Just make sure you follow the rules and guidelines when posting and replying.

Even things you might not consider reusable like cloth scraps, scratched CDs and broken appliances sometimes find homes with artists looking for materials or tinkerers looking for an interesting project or spare parts. Items you offer aren't expected to be in perfect condition as long as you accurately describe their condition when you offer them.

For example, here is how offering an item works:

  1. You have a bike you don't need and you want to give it away.
  2. You post an Offer that describes your bike.
  3. People in your local area who are interested in your bike will reply to your post to contact you privately.
  4. You choose which person you would like to give the bike to.
  5. Between the two of you, you arrange a time and place for them to come and pick up the bike.
  6. Your bike is picked up and you mark your Offer post as gifted so other people know that it is no longer available.
  7. You've given away your bike with little effort to someone who can use it, met someone new from your community and kept something out of the landfill. Great for you and the planet!

Similarly, when you need something, you can post a Request and if someone has what you need, they will contact you to offer it.

So next time you're cleaning out the garage, moving to a new place or about to throw something away, don't forget that someone on your local freecycling group might be able to use your unwanted stuff.