How Much do I Love Freecycle?

Freecycle is a great service that helps you to let go of stuff you don’t need, and get things you want or need.

Everything offered to the group must be free; people taking the goods drop by and pick them up. If you’re a day spa owner who can’t bear to toss those worn towels — and how many cleaning rags do you really need? — you can bank on finding on the art student out there who will give them a good home. Old fax machines, copiers and computers can find a new home that isn’t a landfill.

Bootstrappers will find things that young businesses can use. As I write, the NYC Freecycle group has phone cords, ethernet cables, a peace lily (plant), a computer monitor…

Maybe I’m being naive, but I don’t think that anyone makes money from Freecycle. Run through an international network of Yahoo groups (which can be a bit maddening to the unitiated, but stick with it), group moderators are volunteers who believe in recycling. My sister has had some interesting experiences as a moderator of a group near her home in Buffalo Grove, IL.

…hopefully someone will take the stack of Vegetarian Times magazines I haven’t been able to bear tossing!

6 thoughts on “How Much do I Love Freecycle?

  1. Individual participants who trade items don’t make any money. Local moderators don’t make any money. Freecycle itself (an arizona company) has received approximately $230K in grant money from Waste Management, which it has been using to sue people. See their wikipedia article.

  2. I didn’t take the comment as negative, because I frankly didn’t think of $230K as very much money, in terms of running a small business…nor is it really enough to fund serious legal work. Everyone has an opinion, right? I did write to Freecycle to ask if they wanted to comment…I wouldn’t imagine that they would choose to do so anonymously, but you never know. In the meantime, I still love Freecycle. Sorry, folks, the Vegetarian Times magazines were gone in a flash.

  3. Anne you are right on the money (pardon my pun). $230K is not really alot of money when you look at the overall picture. This money came in over two years and has been used for admin costs, website development, and various other fees. Deron has received a salary, but really the amount he has gotten is paltry, it works out to about $8.26 an hour (or less when you add in all the extra hours he works). I know that in my paid job, Idon’t work for that little. If anyone would like to see them, the TFN financials are available for the public to view athttp://www.freecycle.org/form990 and since we are recognized as a charity by the IRS, they are also available on GuideStar.org.The wikipedia is a public document and can be edited by anyone and I understand there have been some back and forth changes between the parties, so that has to be taken into consideration when citing it as a source of information. There are always going to be people who have opposing views, and that is natural. The world would be a very boring place if we all agreed all the time!We at TFN really try not to dwell on the negative and we only do what we have to, to protect the name and the intent behind our mission. Our goal is to continue to save items from the landfills around the world by gifting them to others. We really are changing the world, one gift at a time!Ellen MacGregor, TFN Admin Team

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