Article on FreeCycle

A small article from a towns local paper detailing what there local Freecycle is up to, always worth a look for your local group. Sadly I recently found out there was people collecting Freecycle items and selling them on eBay.. typical eBay bottom feeders at work as usual shows what there really like.

freecycle local groups


Source :

Mirror :

Richard Wallman

Richard Wallman

WHEN American man Deron Beal found that local thrift shops would not take his unwanted bed, little did he realise that his efforts to pass it on to someone else would result in a recycling scheme sweeping the world.

In a bid to protect the planet and stop the perfectly usable bed from ending up at a landfill site, Deron started a network of friends online to find a good home for it.

Before long not-for-profit organisation Freecycle was born – an internet network where people advertise and pass on their unwanted items. The one rule you have to obey is that everything must be given and received for free.

Now there are more than eight million Freecycle members across 110 countries, split into regional and local networks or groups.

Each group is run by a volunteer moderator and, through website, people can offer and even ask for items for free – with everything from jam jars to brewing kits, sofas and pianos being given away.

Richard Wallman, of Brownhills, is chief technical officer for the entire world-wide Freecycle network and also moderates the Birmingham group.

“When I first found Freecycle it was back in 2005 and I was doing some work in the garden,” explains the 34-year-old. “I had a big pile of paving slabs that were all perfectly usable and it seemed a shame just to chuck them out.

“I joined the network and found someone who was really happy to take them off my hands and I just thought it was a brilliant concept.

“I’ve been amazed during my time working on the site at the kinds of things being offered, some of it is really expensive but people don’t want to sell it they just want it to go to a good home for free.”


Richard Wallman

Richard Wallman


Items on offer in Birmingham this week vary widely, from an original prison officer’s hat and truncheon being offered by a member in Kings Heath to a pair of boys’ trainers in Winson Green.

For those who have made battling the bulge a New Year’s resolution, there’s no need to go down to the high street to spend a fortune – a rowing machine is on offer from a member in Balsall Heath and there’s some bathroom scales being given away by someone in Stirchley.

But Richard emphasised that people must give, as well as receive.

“If people just take things and not offer things then the site won’t work,” he adds.

In the last two years Freecycle members in Birmingham have quadrupled from 10,000 to 40,000, and Richard now plans to split the group into smaller networks around the city.

“The idea of the site is to ensure things don’t end up going to landfill, so I think by making the networks smaller people will have less far to travel to pick the items up so it will cut down on carbon emissions and the impact on the environment,” he says.

“By giving freely, with no strings attached, members of the Freecycle network help instil a sense of generosity of spirit as they strengthen local community ties and promote environmental sustainability and reuse.

“People from all walks of life have joined together to turn trash into treasure.”


  1. Freecycle actually all fell out over moderation terms. They split off and went and set up some other similar site. I gave up trying to list stuff on there, I kept getting my posts rejected for such stupid reasons. It was a HUGE effort to give stuff away. If I did manage to get something posted to the list, lots of people wanted the stuff, only 99% of the time people couldn’t be bothered to come pick stuff up. Some people actually expected us to deliver larger items (who live 10+ mile away) free of charge also. In the end I gave up, it was too much effort to give stuff away.

    1. I too had loads of stuff removed for stupid reasons and even got a warning once, the item that finally pushed me over was a book of Dominoes pizzas vouchers for a very specific area which I did not live in, they kept saying I could not give those away as there not a item (?), so I put them in a cup and said cup with vouchers I was basically being run down by a power tripping moderator who said if I dared to question her it would be trouble basically it was unreal so I gave it up.

      1. Those people killed the system. It could have been really good if they moderators had half a brain cell between them all. Power tripping moderators is all to common, I have long since left a lot of groups as its just too much work to fight them! Like you found out, its a huge effort to give stuff away. I did that once and got abusive emails as the item wasn’t brand new kinda thing. Items were given away and people complained. I just couldn’t deal with the mentality of the people so I just gave up.

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