I gave away a car

ONE person's junk can be another's treasure. In today's eco-conscious world, features editor TRACEY SPARLING meets Suffolk recyclers determined to give away anything from coat hangers to cars.

ONE person's junk can be another's treasure. In today's eco-conscious world, features editor TRACEY SPARLING meets Suffolk recyclers determined to give away anything from coat hangers to cars.

ACROSS the world today, people are rummaging in their houses, attics, sheds and garages to clear out clutter -which might be useful to somebody else.

Many are turning to a new internet-based network to give their unwanted items away for free, instead of sending them off to the tip as landfill. The philosophy of the international Freecycle group is simple, it's a forum to "recycle" unwanted household and other items. The main rule is that items must be freely given, legal and appropriate for all ages.

The Freecycle group's motto is: Changing the world one gift at a time.


You may also want to watch:


This week the 500,000th member joined up, and today there are 2,465 in Ipswich alone.

Their offers have covered the full spectrum, from cars and caravans, to a stack of coat hangers; a Mr Men book; a plant pot and even hair clippers.

Most Read

Richard Steele, who helps to run the Ipswich Freecycle group said: “After buying a new washing machine, fridge, TV, people need to dispose of their old one - all too often to the tip.

“By using Freecycle system they can pass items on to someone who can give it an extended life and at the same time reduce the UK's reliance on landfill as a means of disposing of unwanted goods.

Members can watch for items they would otherwise buy, or post a message offering an item or that they “Want” an item.

When more than one person responds, the gifter chooses a recipient and collection is arranged.

Weblink: www.uk.freecycle.org

N

Find more bargains in the advertising pages in your Evening Star tonight.

Father-of-two Adrian Barney gave his car away through the Freecycle scheme.

The 60-year-old from Westholme Road, Ipswich, found out about Freecycle from a neighbour.

He said: 'It sounded like a possible way of getting rid of our 15-year-old Austin Metro. We had been trying for quite a while but we didn't just want to dump it.”

Adrian's youngest daughter had bought the car about two years ago.

He said: “She bought it on a whim. She had a madcap idea that she would learn to drive, but she never did so it was just sitting doing nothing. The battery wasn't charged and it wasn't worth anything but it was still in running order.”

Adrian simply filled in a short form on the Freecycle website with all the relevant information.

He said: 'I think there are moderators who make sure you're doing it properly. I didn't have to pay anything.”

Adrian hasn't just used it to give away the car. He said: “I have also been trying to give away some old theatre programmes but I haven't managed to so far.”

He was surprised by just how many items there were advertised on the website.

The new owners of the car said it is currently being preparing for an MoT and said: "We are thrilled with the way the Freecycle group works."

182,500 items are expected to be gifted by the 500,000 UK Freecycle members in February alone, saving an estimated 557 tonnes of waste entering landfills.

396 schemes run in communities around the UK. The first Freecycle exchange took place in Tucson Arizona, in May 2003. In the UK the first group was formed in London in October 2003.

3,934 groups run in 79 countries with a total of 3,109,579 members worldwide.

Become a Supporter

This newspaper has been a central part of community life for many years. Our industry faces testing times, which is why we're asking for your support. Every contribution will help us continue to produce local journalism that makes a measurable difference to our community.

Become a Supporter