Posted by: Anna Webb | December 29, 2009

Recycle Through Freecycle™

In this materialistic, disposable world in which we live, we find ourselves inundated at times with “stuff”. Electronic, automotive, household, construction and clothing items, for example, take a lot of energy to manage. And, when we decide to upgrade, remodel or simply clean the house or garage we discover many extra items we no longer need.

One option is to have a yard sale. This requires planning, organizing and advertising not to mention a lot of work the day of the sale. It can be a fun way of at least making a bit of money back on these items. Online sale venues such as EBay or Craigslist is another option to make money back on these items.

Another practical venue that has grown in popularity not only in the U.S. but in other countries as well, is Freecycle™. Freecycle™ began as a Yahoo!™ group and was created to keep these items out of the local landfills. There are some rules and regs associated with Freecycle in that the item has to be given freely with no strings attached and there are no trades allowed. In addition, services are not allowed to be posted. But when you’ve exhausted your avenues for trying to make money from these items, rather than load up the trunk and pitch them in the local dump or bag them up for the weekly trash pick-up, post them on Freecycle™ and give the item to someone who can use it! The main idea is to keep it out of the landfills.

Here in Hawaii our “real estate” is limited, therefore, our landfills are also limited. The landfill here on the Big Island is estimated to reach its limit by 2012. Then what? *Will we send barges of trash out into the ocean looking for another state or country to take it off our hand?  In my opinion, this fact alone makes it much more imperative to be cognizant of what we are tossing into our trash.

You’d be surprised to know the happiness that can come from one man’s trash given to another in need. We may perceive our computer printer to be an antiquated piece of junk as we gladly install a new one, but someone without one would be glad to take it off your hands!

Freecycle Yahoo!™ groups have sprung up all over and you are likely to find one in your immediate city or town. All you have to do is go to the link listed below and go to the “Find a Yahoo Group” box and enter Freecycle™ and your town. It’s easy to join and you will enjoy posting your items knowing you will be passing on your favorite, but wornout, drill or toaster to someone who can use it!

And, the next time you and your husband or wife are discussing how nice it would be to get your kids a swing set for the backyard, give Freecycle™ a try. You can post a WANTED: Swing set – Your Town, and just might be surprised when someone replies that their kids have outgrown theirs and it is just sitting in their backyard waiting for you to pick it up! It might even be a neighbor of yours just around the block and you could discover new friends in the process.

Check it out! I was a member of the one in Ohio for two years before I moved here and easily found this one when I arrived.

Search this link for the local group in your area:

Freecycle Big Island link: (Special thanks to Sonia for founding and operating this group on the Big Island)

*I wrote this draft back in the Summer waiting to find the logo. When editing it for posting, I realized since that time, my question, unfortunately, was answered.

Regarding Hawaii shipping off its trash. 8/26/09 “Oahu trash to be shipped to Washington State”

And, from 12/22/09 – “Tons of Hawaii Trash Piles Up Awaiting Shipment”

Recycle folks!!


  1. Mahalo nui for this always timely reminder, Anna!
    Our Freecycle Big Island group was started in May of 2004 and we are now 2,323 members strong and have quite an active group all around our island!


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