Freecycle Network

The Freecycle Network

I can’t believe I’ve not blogged about Freecycle yet. Freecycle is great.

What is Freecycle?

The Freecycle Network was started nearly three years ago in the USA to promote waste reduction and save things being needlessly sent to landfills. It has since spread across the globe. There are now groups in countries from Argentina to Turkey, Venezuela to Australia. Here is a list of Freecycle groups in the UK; there are LOADS!

The FreecycleEdinburgh group is managed on a Yahoo! Groups site. And it couldn’t be easier to use.


When you want to find a new home for something — whether it’s a chair, a fax machine, piano, or an old door — you simply send an e-mail offering it to members of the local Freecycle group.

So for example, this evening I posted this e-mail to the Freecycle group:

OFFER: Ikea futon sofa bed (Drum Brae)

We have an Ikea futon sofa bed that we no longer need. We bought it at the Edinburgh Ikea in 2001 or 2002. It has been used very little, and then mostly as a sofa. It’s in pretty good condition.

It was slept on for one night by the writer and TV presenter Danny Wallace, if that helps tip the balance towards you claiming it!

Width: 140cm (55″)
Depth: 84cm (33″)
Height: 73cm (29″)

Width: 140cm (55″)
Length: 200cm (78.5″)

Silver tubular metal frame
Dark Orange mattress that ties onto the frame (see photo).

The mattress is in need of a little cleaning as it’s had a few things accidentally spilled on it, but it’s in pretty good nick.

To COLLECT from Drum Brae, before Thursday if possible, as the removals men come in on Friday. We could possibly deliver, depending on location.

Within 30 minutes of my posting that e-mail someone had claimed it. And just after 21:30 this evening they turned up at the door in their Rover 25, and remarkably managed to squeeze it into the back and drove off with it, for (hopefully) a good night’s sleep.

To let other Freecycle members know that the sofabed had been taken I posted an e-mail to the group again saying simply:

TAKEN: Ikea futon sofa bed (Drum Brae)


It really is as simple as that. So far, in the last couple of days I’ve managed to get rid of:

  • 1 x Futon sofabed
  • 1 x Dell Optiplex 450/MX (486 DX2 50MHz) computer
  • 1 x HP DeskJet 400 printer
  • 1 x Computer keyboard (unused)
  • 1 x Proxim ORiNOCO Silver 802.11b Wireless Card (64-bit WEP only)
  • 1 x pile of unused computer cables (15-pin to 9-pin, etc.)
  • 1 x box of old Commodore 64 games and books
  • 1 x pair of Grundig bookcase speakers
  • 1 x Nokia 6100 accessories

The people that took the sofabed and old Dell PC told me that they have recently been rehoused having been homeless for some time. It’s so good that they could benefit from our impending move. The Commodore 64 games and books are being split between a couple of retro gamers and programmers. The speakers were claimed and picked up today by someone. The rest have still to be picked up.

I’m just so glad that our trip to our local Civic Amenity Site this afternoon was taking only boxes of recycling (paper, glass, aluminium, packaging) and things that could genuinely not be of any use to anyone, regardless of how creative they might be; or in the case of our old, very dodgy 14″ SVGA monitor might be recycled elsewhere.

I encourage you to check out Freecycle. You might find a happy home for something that you never use. You might find something that you want too. But you have to be quick — my old Dell 486 was claimed within 60 seconds of my having posted about it.

Published by

Gareth Saunders

I’m Gareth J M Saunders, 52 years old, 6′ 4″, father of 3 boys (including twins). Enneagram type FOUR and introvert (INFP), I am a non-stipendiary priest in the Scottish Episcopal Church, I sing with the NYCGB alumni choir, play guitar, play mahjong, write, draw and laugh… Scrum master at Safeguard Global; latterly at Sky and Vision/Cegedim. Former web architect and agile project manager at the University of St Andrews and previously warden at Agnes Blackadder Hall.

3 thoughts on “Freecycle Network”

  1. Freecycle is great, I have been a member for a while. You really can Freecycle anything, I have even managed to get rid of a whole load of cardboard boxes to someone who was moving house.

  2. It is great. I once managed to get rid of … hang on! I’ll find the post.

    Prestige Pressure Cooker Spares: Ready to serve indicators (Part no. 96410).
    Twin Pack, although only one is remaining. The rubber gromit bit has
    written on it: “Prestige . W186 . England”. Comes with the opened packet.

    I also got rid of a box of jumbo pavement chalks. Since we didn’t have any jumbo pavements they were no use to us.

  3. Have just joined freecycle. Wish I found it months ago when I was having a good clear out. Charity shops won’t take electrical items and so a lot of out stuff ended up in the skip! Am waiting for authorisation from freecycle and will hopefully soon be finding lots of unwanted items a good home.

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