Freecycle

Reporter: Jackie Quist

Joseph Barrow scored himself everything from a bed for his daughter and a digital camera, to a coffee machine, “I managed to furnish my whole house. I got a couch, beds, table, shelves, all sorts of things for the house”, and he got it all for free.

Moving interstate and furnishing a new home is normally very expensive but Joseph's discovery of the website “Freecycle” made his move a financial breeze.So, what is Freecycle? Melissa Young from Freecycle says the concept is simple, your trash is someone else's treasure, “Freecycle is about recycling and it's about giving your unwanted items to someone who can put them to good use”.

“Fridges, freezers, washing machines, cats, dogs, guinea pigs, rabbits. You're only limited by your imagination. If you've got something you don't want, put it on Freecycle. Someone will want it and if they don't want it, someone will a couple of weeks later. Someone will eventually take it”, says Melissa.

And what goes around comes around. After you've given, you can then apply or post ads for the stuff you want. Lindy, a Freecycle user says, “It's been great. I've been putting things onto the computer and people have been ringing up and I've been getting things as well”.

Seasoned Freecycler, Fiona Holloway was only too pleased to give her unwanted clothing to Lindy who is a mother of five children under five. “I've picked up some ladies clothes you don't usually go shopping for yourself. It's always for the kids and so it was my treat today”, says Lindy.

Fiona's done alright out of it too, she says, “I have saved quite a fair bit. I even got 20 cans of baby food from somebody whose baby didn't eat it. So, it's helped me out with my baby”.Fiona goes on to say, “things that we think are trash to us or rubbish to us, somebody else can make really good use of. So it saves it going into landfill”.

Freecycle's Melissa says, “Obviously everything must be legal. Cheap drugs are a definite no, no. We did have somebody who wanted Viagra.” So, go through the cupboards, look under the bed and throw out all those old things you don't want. Give them to someone who needs them.

“It's recycling at its best. It's creating a sense of community that's missing, I've found, in the big city. It's a really good thing, it's a great idea”, says Joseph. “Every day could be Christmas if you want it to be”, says Fiona.

To find out more about Freecycle go to www.freecycle.org