Having worked in the waste industry for many years I am passionate about recycling, standing in a landfill site looking at the amount of recyclable and valuable resources we were just dumping in a hole in the ground made me so angry. I don’t know about you but I love free stuff and here is how to get it.
A great discovery I have made recently is Freecycle which is a registered charity with local groups run by volunteers. I have to say I hate the name, I kept hearing about it and to be honest thought it was a cycling group, like freedom to roam so never bothered looking at their site. However a friend asked me to have a look and I was hooked.
This is what she said about it in my forum “For those of you not into recycling or interested in options to simply bashing useable, repairable or adaptable stuff into the landfill, you may be interested in Freecycle. It is a web based email group putting people with useable or adaptable stuff they no longer want in touch with those who may want it. The Givers get rid of stuff they no longer want, the Takers get stuff they DO want and the stuff stays out of the landfill. All sorts of things come and go on Freecycle, the only restriction being that all articles Offered (or Wanted) are free, legal and appropriate. No firearms, drugs, porn, liquor, prescription or otherwise drugs or unwanted family members. Freecycle is free to join, free to use and everything on it is FREE!!”
Let’s take an example - you decide to replace the old wooden doors in your home and you ring the council to collect the old ones. These go straight into landfill. What if you just send in an email and say you have 5 wooden doors to give away and someone near you wants some wooden doors either because they like the old rustic look or they want to build some rabbit hutches. You get rid of your doors without using landfill and they get free doors to use for their project. A great outcome for everyone.
What if you are the one looking for some old doors or a drum kit or a piano, why not look and see if you can get what you want free and do your bit for the environment in the process.
The first UK Freecycle group was set up in London in Oct 2003. There are now 459 groups spread across the country, with 1,002,328 members! Come on let’s increase those numbers and join Freecycle and if there isn’t a local group near you and you have some free time get in touch and see about starting a new group, you will get loads of support from the current volunteers.
Be passionate, don’t talk about change being needed for the environment, pick up your mouse and start the change yourself.
The other issue I have with recycling is with the lack of decent information available from Councils. Have a look at this list on Recycle for Hampshire which is a group of local councils working together. This is the usual standard of information available and pretty poor in my opinion. I have nothing against Hampshire and at least they are trying but not nearly hard enough, they are the first place anyone in their area will look for information about recycling.
Compare that to the ‘Can it be recycled’ list on the Recycle Now website. Now that is what I call an informative site. Imagine you are just getting around to trying to recycle, which site would get you off to the best start? Come on Councils you should be leading the way.