Skip to comments.Freecycle Web site helps turn trash into treasure
Posted on 08/11/2005 10:23:39 PM PDT by beaversmom
What do you do with that old couch you no longer have use for? How about the TV you just replaced? Instead of filling a trash dump, turn your trash into another person's treasure.
The worldwide Freecycle Network is a nonprofit Internet group where members can give and receive "gifts."
If a usable item that the owner does not want or need any more, that person can post it on the Freecycle network in their area, said North Port's Freecycle moderator Mike Romer.
Members send and receive e-mails, through Yahoo accounts, about items offered for free. Essentially the two types of messages are "Offer" and "Wanted" posts, giving and asking for couches, lamps, even some Freecycle groups have pets listed.
Moderators, like Romer, help make sure the different branches of the network are kept safe and clean.
"We make sure no spam, porn, or anything like that gets to the members," Romer said. "It's all 'G-rated.'"
While Romer is a moderator of the North Port group, there are about 2,981 "Freecycle Communities" around the world, including a chapter in Arcadia.
Arcadia, a relatively new member of the Freecycle group, is proud to have around 176 members.
Run by local volunteer moderators from around the world, they facilitate each local Freecycle group, stated information from the Freecycle Web site.
"It is a place to environmentally save things, as opposed to putting them on the curbs or in dumps," Romer said. He added that he has seen so many usable items go to the trash dumps, or lay on the side of the road.
Because of the Freecycle Network, about 50 tons a day out of landfills.
"There is a better way." Romer said. "We (Freecycle groups) recycle items as opposed to disposing."
The Freecycle Network was set up in May 2003 by Deron Beal in Tucson, Ariz. According to the Freecycle Web site, Beal wanted to "build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills."
Membership into Freecycle is free, though they ask that you not only get, but also give.
"It makes you feel good," Romer said. "I like it."
For more information, or to join a Freecycle group, visit www.freecycle.org.
You can e-mail Teddi Thosath at email@example.com.
Who pays for shipping?
There are regional groups...local groups. You join your locality. I'm part of one in my locality. It's really remarkable how well it works.
The misuse of the language is gifting me a headarc.
Participants in any barter exchange should know that the IRS does require barter "income" to be reported, and gets real nasty if they find out after the fact. A few years ago when I was active on a barter exchange I did declare everything and it was a pain; but not nearly the pain it was for some people who didn't and received bills for tens of thousands of dollars of extra income. Barter exchanges in the U.S. are supposed to file forms with the IRS with each member's transaction totals. Hint: the IRS does not accept barter to pay tax bills.
This isn't barter. You give it away or you get something someone else wants to give away. No trade, no exchange.
I've got a "Dem-o-crat party" here, anyone give me anything for it? (I'll even pay shipping.)
Any wealthy people who do their finances on computer and don't understand the word "encryption" are asked to send their unneeded hard drives to me.
I'll give them a good home.
I'll give you 5 bucks. But once it's mine, I can do to Howard Dean what I wish...
*rattles a dog collar, wood chipper and bungee cord threateningly*
OK, but that's ALL I can afford to pay you to take it! ;)
W00t! *becomes the legal proprietor of the democratic party*
Alright, Howard Dean, you can MoveOn right into the wood chipper. Conyers? Dance for me, biznitch. Wait, wait. Put this on. *tosses Conyers a donkey suit* And in retrospect, Hillary, you can join him in there. You can be the head, and he'll be the ass end.
The rest of you, welcome to the wide and wonderful world of salt mining. Lunch is at 1.
Zell, I am transferring you to the Republican party.
Lieberman, if you promise to drop your ridiculous vendetta against video games, you can be in charge of the saltminers. Otherwise, grab a pickaxe.
But like the man sez, you bought it, you paid for it, it's yours!
This really does work well ... AND you can get rid of a lot of junk... and get some pretty nifty stuff too!!
I've given some - but have gotten a Broyhill dresser that is in beautiful shape, a cool desk I'm using as a sort of buffet, various books for homeschooling, a palm tree that would be about 200.00 at the nursery... and tonight we just picked up 17 old 6 pane windows that we're going to incorporate into a greenhouse of sorts.. :)
I really like it.. my husband and son first thought it was a "hippy" thing.. I just pointed out that other peoples trash is sometimes out treasure... hahahaha.
I remember years ago I had an old, broken TV that I didn't want to put out with the trash - didn't know if it would be hauled away or not, so I put a ad in the local 'Buy and Sell' paper for a free TV.
I got about 12 calls the first few hours the paper came out. This is a real good idea.
I TOTALLY applaud the concept, but let me offer another point of view...
I haven't used them because I'm one of those penny-pinchers that itemize everything, so my small amount of consumer "junque" goes to Goodwill or St. Vincent's for the tax deduction, plus, they pick up if I have a big item. (Up to $500 a year, with no itemizing; over that, you need an extra form. Why give away a tax deduction?) Goodwill & St. Vincent's (or any charitable organization) do a good job of dispersing the goods over again, plus turn a profit at it to keep their good works going.
Just more gullible taxpayers/consumers out there, spending money on stuff, tiring of it and then giving it away with no tax hedging whatsoever. To me, that's just money down a rathole, and I DO keep my fiscal house in order so I CAN have the right to b*tch about what government does with our money, LOL! ;)
I am, however, glad to see items getting one or more round of use out of them prior to them going to the landfill. I know, I'm no fun, but thwarting taxes is my hobby, and I don't mind sharing the knowledge with others. :)
As far as taking free items from Freecycle just to donate them for the tax deduction or to sell it? I couldn't morally justify that for myself though sadly, I know of a person who does this. :(
Not really, it's one of the lousy websites I've ever been too, and you have to sign up on Yahoo to get to it...it's a joke...
They need to setup the same thing in a Vbulletin board..
I've tried the local chapter, but gave up after a few weeks because of the constant begging. Crap like, "Two free pairs of used sneakers to give away, and BTW, I so desperately need a car. Anything 1996 or newer would be most appreciated!" Or begging for a free TV (27" or larger), or similar crap. A never-ending stream of hard-luck stories begging for handouts, which is a blatant violation of what the lists are supposed to be about. Tried complaining to the mods, but no joy there so I bailed.
You forgot one major expense: regular voiding of milk from Teddy's man-breasts. It ain't like you can sell it like you do when you milk the cow. All the work, none of the benefit.