Any members of Freecycle?

I heard reference to on the radio yesterday, described as an organization to promote free exchange or donation of unwanted things that ought not to go to the landfill and still possibly useful.  There is an Orange County group - is anyone here a member?  How does it work?



I'm not a member but I know people who are. I think I might have joined it for a day or two once. As far as I know it's just an enormous e-mail forum. People post what they have or want, and others reply to them directly if they're interested.At least, that's how it worked a few years ago (you can imagine why I didn't stay involved) but I know they've been working on developing a more sophisticated communication tool. Update: I just went and found their Orange County group and it's still based on a Yahoo group, which means you can either get lots of e-mails, a digest, or read it on the web.

I have unloaded some functional computer items on craigslist using their free stuff listings.  I pick a day with a good weather forecast, put the item outside in a public location near where I live.  Then I go on craigslist, take a picture of the item, describe the item and location, and tell people it will be available for 6-8 hours before I put it in the trash.Every time I have done this someone has picked the item up within four hours.  

If I have re-usable items that I think someone can put to use I take them out and put them in the shed at the landfill designed for this purpose.  I've often had people take items before I even get them to the shelf.  Whether they are taking them to sell or to use I don't care - as long as they find a home other than the landfill.  Of course I went overboard one day and took a bag of materials my wife intended to re-use and even though I got back there within 30-60 minutes they were all gone.  Doghouse for a week!

I use the swap shed - was there today in fact.  It's clear that it's frequented by "professional" scavengers, which only bothers me if I think they will eventually be thrown out again in the near future.  However, there are certain items I would really, really like to make sure they get to someone in personal need - bedding or other household items that would really help out someone trying to get off welfare, freshly emerged from homelessness (or prison), etc.  I have occasionally worked with Friends of Social Services, but I hate to burden them with the "small stuff" - actually I hate to burden them at all, because they do such good work and are stretched thin enough without having to worry about transport, storage, and distribution.Ruby, I went to their website and surmised what you indicated - that it's mainly a forum and likely to generate spam I don't want.  Which is too bad.

I hate to say it, but bedding would be a bad thing to get at the swap-shed.  The entire United States is experiencing something of an epidemic of bed bug infestations and used bedding is no small part of the problem.

By bedding - which wasn't the best example - I actually meant blankets, etc.  And the last time I offered anyone a mattress/boxspring by way of donation, I was told it was actually illegal for health reasons.  In any case, wouldn't leave such things at swap shed - even PTA Thrift can sometimes use linens'n'things (but not the store itself, which seems to be dying a slow death, but that's another thread).

How is a donated mattress/boxspring any more of a danger than the shared ones which get passed on from year to year in pre-furnished dorms, apartments, and houses?  Perhaps the University has a stringent cleaning policy, but given the condition of some of the places I rented or knew friends who rented over the years I was a student, I don't think local landlords are held to a very high standard in that regard.  I suspect ultimately, as far as health standards go, there's not much difference.


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