It doesn’t feel good, but the things are not worth enough to sell and taking them to the tip is a pain. This is where comes in – the website that allows people to give away and pick up unwanted goods for free.

Mandy Jackson has been using the site for years and says it’s ideal for anyone shifting homes.

“When I lived in the UK, we moved into a new house and were struggling to pay for furniture, as well as a mortgage. We needed a new washer and dryer, and found some on the UK Freecycle that worked perfectly.”

When she moved to New Zealand she used the site to give away most of her furniture and has been pleased to find it operates here, too.

“When I got to Auckland I decided I wanted a sewing machine, but they’re about $300 and I wasn’t sure if I’d stick with it. So, I put a wanted ad on Freecycle, and pretty quickly a lady responded and offered me one. People are so generous.”

She warns, however, that not everyone using the website is totally honest.

“I would say one downside – and I can see it happening here – is that there are some people picking things up to sell them on, and that is not in the spirit of Freecycle.

“Overall though, it’s a really brilliant website. Not only does it keep things out of landfills, it helps people get rid of stuff easily and without having to wait for an inorganic collection day. And, of course, it’s great to know that instead of going to a tip, it’s going to be really useful for someone else.”

Mandy didn’t stick with sewing – but instead of keeping the machine and feeling guilty about it, she put it back on Freecycle and gave it to someone else. 

Reported for our AA Directions Summer 2013 issue

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