Online recyclers expand annual weekend giveaway

Online social networking has transformed what used to be an annual spring cleaning weekend and turned it into an ongoing virtual highway that allows people to get rid of unwanted items all year.

This weekend marks Nanaimo’s recycle rendezvous, where people lug unwanted items, such as furniture, bikes or silverware, to the curb with the hope that someone else may find treasure in their junk. But these scheduled days, usually organized by municipal governments, have become much more to those who have found a new medium for their giveaways.

More than seven million people around the globe have joined The Freecycle Network, a non-profit group of members who give stuff away in their local areas. This rapidly expanding movement has created a global and growing phenomenon. And the concept is simple. People sign up to the local chapter and start posting the items they no longer use. When people respond, the owners get to choose who gets the material. The customer then travels to pick it up.

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