Are Freecyclers getting greedy?

December 22nd, 2009

Photo via Flickr: Nexeus Fatale

Photo via Flickr: Nexeus Fatale

I’m a big Freecycle fan. With its “one man’s trash is another’s treasure” concept, it helps keep waste out of landfills and inspires goodwill in the community, since all unwanted items are given away for free, rather than sold. There’s also a “wanted” section of the site where people can post for items they’re seeking. This can be helpful, I suppose, if you’re trying to find a match for your gently used Snuggie, but I’ve always wondered if people ever took advantage and asked for, say, a gently used BMW.

Well, wonder no longer: Evidently with Christmas fast approaching and the economy in the toilet, some Freecyclers are getting greedy, turning the message boards into a personal holiday wishlist.

From the email I received last week via the Los Angeles Freecycle moderators:

With the holiday season upon us, we anticipate a surge in the list of
WANTED posts. We get many Wanteds for expensive items. Occasionally some member will be willing to part with a treadmill, iPhone, nice furniture, a nice camper. And there’s certainly nothing wrong with asking for something you can use. But perhaps it’s time to ratchet down our expectations…. Freecycle’s aim is to keep tangible items from filling up our dumps.

I’ll admit, it kind of makes me chuckle to think that someone actually believes he’s going to get a shiny new iPhone via Freecycle (but I suppose stranger things have happened). It’s not a laughing matter, though: The moderators who sort through all these postings work for free, and advertising for unrealistic items just clogs up the process and undoubtedly results in frustrated Freecyclers with no other alternative but the dump.

–Jennifer Grayson

Do this now: Aside from not posting for frivolous items, you can help your local Freecycle community by becoming a moderator for the site. Click here to learn how.

Related post:
Reduce, reuse, Freecycle

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