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Landlord Tips and Techniques • August 1, 2005

Freecycle It!

Freecycle It!

By Roslyn Fuerman

Ever get discouraged at the amount of “stuff” tenants leave behind?  Do you have a garage or storage locker filled with good “stuff” if you only knew how to get it to someone who could use it?  Besides the mess, and the energy you have to spend at clean up, it is just downright discouraging to look at the waste. We are running out of room to bury all the “stuff” in landfill.  We know there are people out there that need a new toaster, or half a box of computer paper, but how to find them? 

FREECYCLE — is an Internet based group dedicated to sustainability and the slowdown of landfill.  The Freecycle Network is made up of many individual groups across the globe.  It's a grassroots movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. Each local group is run by a local volunteer moderator.

The Freecycle Network was started in May 2003 to promote waste reduction in Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over by landfill. The Network provides individuals and non-profits an electronic forum to "recycle" unwanted items. One person's trash can truly be another's treasure!  It is spreading like wildfire.  In 2 years there are now 1,421,318 members in 2854 groups worldwide.

The goal is to reduce waste by connecting individuals who are discarding useful goods with others who are seeking them. Whether you're looking to discard or acquire an item, this is a good place to do it.

Everything posted must be FREE and in usable condition. If it needs repair or has a known defect, please say so in the offer message.  Someone may still want it, but they should be forewarned.  However, everything is offered "AS IS," with no guarantees or warranties.

List etiquette includes that the person who wants an item replies only to the person who offers the item (not to the entire list) it to arrange an appropriate pick up time.  If the item would not be ruined, it is perfectly acceptable to just leave it on the porch tagged with the recipient's name.

Freecycle is somewhere between the garage sale and the dump, and is much cooler than both!  It's an innovative concept that harnesses the power of the Internet to do what the Internet does best: eliminate the middleman and empower the individual. Freecycle offers personal contact between donor and recipient; each gets exactly what they want, and nobody is considered a "charity case."  (Indeed, many Freecycle members both give and receive items on a regular basis.) It's a perfectly consumer-friendly circle: no overhead, no intermediaries, no money changing hands, no waste, no catch, and everyone's happy. The member list is not available to the public or even to other members, except moderators.

All postings must have a prefix of OFFER, WANTED, TAKEN or RECEIVED in the subject line. These are the only posting types allowed. Examples:

OFFER: kitchen table (Danville)

TAKEN: air conditioner (Oakland)

WANTED: bunk beds (Hayward near Mission Blvd.)

RECEIVED: misc. broken tile pieces (Concord)

Be sure to post your City as our network goes all over Alameda and Contra Costa Counties.  Someone might drive across town for a box of paper, but not to Antioch, for example.

Sign up today and see how it works.  It is ok to “lurk” and not participate for a while until you become comfortable with the process. To sign up go to the following link:


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