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Lynn Anne

Freecycle is my friend. I can't STAND to keep something in the house after I've decided it's no longer wanted/needed, so saving junk for a garage sale would NOT work for me. Almost everything I've ever Freecycled - from a car (working), a truck (not working), and an electronic piano (working) to leftover project pieces and boxes of kids' stuff, old towels, and canned goods - has been picked up quickly. Whatever it is, someone's always looking for it.


We found my son's kitchen set out for the trash. I picked up, cleaned it up voila. And then, we he was done, we put out by our trash with a free sign, and one of my neighbors came and took it for her daughters. How awesome is that? When I see things our at other people's curbs, I get excited! My husband has a set of free weights he picked off someone's curb out for the trash. No shame here!! Love this post!

Mary Anne Enriquez

I see so much laid out on garbage day,...its really disturbing. I agree...incredibly lazy people. I don't understand that kind of laziness or irresponsibility. the worst are all those big old heavy which by law cannot be land-filed, or picked up by the garbage/recycling trucks. There they sit, out in the rain, and snow...for a few weeks. Same with lazy boy chairs, and mattresses, and old couches.

In my condo building, there are 2 bins...but the garbage one always needs editing...by me...the only one in the entire building who recycles. I see glass, paper, cardboard, and plastics in the garbage. Because there is a chute on every floor...rather then...going downstairs and loading the recycle bin instead.

I bought long handled grabbers just to take out neighbors daily recyclables and move to the recycle bin a few yards away. It makes me both angry, and satisfied that I can make a difference in my own little way. Same for picking up litter. If everyone felt as I did...the world would be a better place.

Now, I also try and save all the plastic films and bags and put those in local stores collection bins.

So many places to donate ....Good Will, Amvets, salvation Army, local charity shops, and thrift stores...even churches will sometimes have collections for impoverished family needs.

I found I could not be on freecycle..because I would wind up taking things home listed there! I have sold on ebay...but even that can be problematic. Sometimes, the easiest thing to do is just put it in your car and DONATE it.

There are libraries now that have used book stores...which really help offset the operating costs...donate books there. bring books and magazines to senior centers...craft supplies and craft patterns too.

Mary Anne Enriquez

Oh, I forgot to mention I once found a derelict beat up old pre-1920s piano in the alley, in pouring rain when I lived in Chicago. I went home and got tools...and pried up all the white keys I could manage. I brought them home, cleaned and polished up, and of course...they were elephant ivory!


We call the corner in front of our house, the "free corner" because no matter what we put out there with a free sign, it gets picked up within an hour. When we tore down the old, disgusting chain link fence shortly after we bought our house, someone stopped by and picked it up. He came back later to tell us he was taking a welding class at the community college and he took the fencing in there and they all made flag poles for their yards out of it - awesome!!!

We take smaller stuff in good condition to goodwill. And we give hand me down clothes and toys to the neighbor boys down the street who are 18 months younger than my boys!

Good for you for rescuing those chairs from the dump!!!!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

I've never personally used Freecycle (because I just use the "FREE" sign) but I'm very pleased to hear that it works so well for you. Such a great resource for people.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Kate, I've gotten a kids' kitchen the exact same way! My kids love it (it looked brand-new when I picked it up at the curb) and when they're done with it, we will most definitely pass it on for somebody else to enjoy. Those things last forever (plastic and all) so might as well use it!

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Mary Anne, I can always count on you to do the right thing with "garbage"--I'm surprised you didn't mention that you also create beautiful art with others' "trash."

I know EXACTLY what you mean about feeling both satisfied and angry at rescuing other people's cast-offs. I'm so relieved when one more perfectly usable thing is saved from an eternity at the dump.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Janna, that's amazing about the chain link fence--truly proof that there's always somebody "out there" who can use what we think is useless!

Alex C Jones

Speaking of throwing things away, if you click the "Preview" button, that is exactly what Typepad does with your text.

Anyway, I have used eBay, Craig's List and Freecycle to find new homes for things for years. Craigs List is local to one's general metropolitan area, but Freecycle can be very local. We have an Oak Park Freecycle. I got rid of my subway map collection and unused computer components that way.

I have a box that I fill with odd discarded things that i plan to give to one of our local artists when I get a chance.

I can't understand throwing away playable pianos. It is easy to find websites to help to find a new home for an old piano. There are plenty of people willing to pay the piano movers to remove the piano from the donor's residence at the donor's convenience. So if there is any item with very few excuses for tossing into landfills, it is a piano.

Joy @ JoyfullyGreen.com

Hi Alex,
I've had text disappear so many times (not on Typepad, but elsewhere, after writing lengthy comments--frustrating!), so I finally started hitting "copy" before "preview." That way, if it's lost, I can just re-paste it instead of retyping it. I hope that helps so you don't run into that problem again!

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