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Website of the Week — Freecycle.org


The Internet is full of commercial websites that want you to buy something.

Our Website of the Week is a kind of free marketplace for getting rid of things you don't need, getting stuff you want for free and, along the way, helping the environment.

BEAL: "Freecycle.org is a website where people give things away instead of throwing them away. And our ultimate goal is a worldwide gift economy online."

Deron Beal is the founder of Freecycle.org. It's a nonprofit organization that links some 3,000 local groups in more than 70 countries. Within each group, members offer items they don't want to anyone else in the group, for free. What sort of items? Well, to give you an idea, some listings from a Freecycle group in the Washington area include cigar boxes, baby products, furniture, and camping gear. If there's a Freecycle group in your country, the mix is probably different. But Beal says there is no typical listing.

BEAL: "(laughs) You got it. There really is no 'typical.' It is funny, though. I suppose it depends on the country and what's out there. But there's really no limit, and it's whatever the individual locally wishes to give away. That's what we see being posted."

Between the fitness gadgets, the kitchen appliances, toys, and everything else, it really adds up.

BEAL: "Currently we're keeping over 200 tons a day out of landfills. That's the equivalent of a midsize landfill. So that's a lot of stuff."

There are Freecycle groups throughout the United States, but coverage is spotty in other countries. However, new groups are forming all the time, and anyone can start one. For now, the site is English-only, which obviously is a limitation, and Deron Beal says he hopes to change that soon. The site is Freecycle.com, or get the link from our site, VOANews.com.


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