A charity in Cardiff has aimed to stop people throwing away usable items and instead encourages them to pass them on for free.
The Cardiff Freegle group, part of a national charity, encourages its members to give away objects they would otherwise throw away, in an attempt to stop them being wasted. The group started around three years ago and now has nearly six thousand members.
It claims to play a significant role in waste prevention and benefit a great deal of people. Under targets from the Welsh government in 2013, people are encouraged to reduce the amount of waste through re-using products or extending the life of products and forms part of the “Towards Zero Waste” waste strategy.
Bev Godfrey, who started the group in Cardiff, said: “We have members who fix old computers and give them to charities. We have gardeners and would-be gardeners who donate and use garden-related items.
“We also have young couples just starting out and families who are simply trying to de-clutter their homes.
“Baby clothes are circulated, boxes of books often do rounds with people taking what they want, adding in what they don’t want and sending the box on its way. Items get collected, used and then ‘re-freegled’ when people are done with them.”
Ms Godfrey set up the group in Cardiff after she was left feeling let down by other organisations she had been a part of.
Ms Godfrey said: “Our role is to facilitate interaction between people so that they can donate or receive useful items that might otherwise end up at the tip.
“We don’t have many rules; as long as it is legal and genuine, it can be put on the group.”
In Wales there are nearly 65,000 members of Freegle, spread across 22 local groups. Nationally there are more than two million members and 403 groups.
Kate Oakes, who regularly uses the Cardiff group, said: “I use the site all the time. I have been very successful in getting wood for my log burner. I have two sheds full of wood which will last me a long time.
“I have been lucky to get items for my dog when he was a puppy – bedding and towels. I have put items on the site myself. I think it’s nice to help out others and this is a great way of giving back to the community.”
Cat Fletcher, Freegle’s national representative and head of media, said: “Freegling (reuse) displaces the need to always buy new, encourages repair and upcycling, builds community spirit, prevents waste, redistributes wealth/assets in local areas, saves local authorities money and significantly reduces user’s individual carbon footprint associated with consumption – so in short good for People, Planet and Pocket (the 3Ps).”