Web page keeps items in needy hands, out of dumps

CENTER CITY - October 15, 2008

Knapp is a freecycle moderator. She says, "Freecycle is a place where people can get rid of things they no longer want, or people can find things they're looking for, so as to keep things out of landfills and keep useable items in use.

Someone saw Knapp's phone on the Freecycle web page and is going to pick it up, fix it, and use it.

Worldwide, more than five million people are involved in the freecycle network. Local online groups list people who have stuff to give away... And people who have stuff they want.

When the "wants" and "needs" match up, they exchange emails. And the "stuff" changes hands.

About 16 tons of items pass through the Philly Freecycle list each month. 16 tons that don't go into landfills... And don't cost anyone any money.

It's free to join a freecycle group. You become a member through Yahoo! Groups.

Knapp says it's a great way to get rid of things without the hassle of holding a yard sale, or taking it to a thrift shop or dump. And you never know what you'll find.

She says someone once listed a bag full of unmatched socks. A kindergarten teacher picked them up to make sock puppets.

Another moderator, Michael Simons, says that recently 30,000 anatomical rubber hearts were given away through the list.

There are different freecycle groups in the city, in various neighborhoods and the suburbs. For more information about becoming a member of the freecycle network, click on this link: Freecycle.org

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