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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Columbia Freecycle: Freecycle it --don't throw it out

      As the weather gets warmer the urge to do a little Spring cleaning will commence.  This doesn't have to be a time to make a trip to the landfill with all those items that have become clutter around the house.  The Columbia Freecycle is a great solution to rid yourself of those items which you no longer need.  I set this group up almost 10 years ago and it now has over 5000 members.  Almost all of the members are Howard County residents.
      For those of you unfamiliar with "freecylcing" it is simply an internet based website where you can post items that you want to give away.  Everything on the freecycle site has to be for free.  You can also request items that you would like to obtain.  Each post on the site identifies the area in which you live to help people determine if the item is worth the drive to pick up.  The person receiving the item has to pick it up.  The posting on the freecycle sight doesn't give your address or contact information.  You will receive an email from everyone interested in your item and you make the contact with the person to arrange a pickup.  You can even have the item left on your front step or porch it the pickup is when you weren't home or you are uncomfortable answering the door to someone you don't know.
    It is a mistake to think that only items of some value or in working order can be freecycled.  This wouldn't always be correct.  I freecycled some pine wood paneling that I pulled off my kitchen walls.  Many of the pieces were split or broken.  A gentleman who make wood picture frames was thrilled to have this wood I would have throw away.  People doing crafts are often people who will take scraps of anything you might have.
   In addition to getting rid of items you might be surprised items you might get for free.  Exercise equipment and kitchen appliances are things I have obtained.  Things like crockpots and bread machines are items frequently available.  You have to be quick to respond to the good items but if you are up for getting frequent emails when items are posted you can get amazing items.  You can select to get an email every time something is posted or daily digests.  Given that over 2000 items are posted each month the daily digest is the way most people sign up.  You can also not receive emails but can check the website on your own anytime.

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