Category: waste


Recycling used to mean reusing such as the earlier practice of reusing items such as milk and beer bottles which were sterilised and then refilled with the original product..

Sadly in the UK. the verb recycle g has degenerated into the Newspeak meaning of presort into the council supplied containers so that the salvageable items are not simply adding to the mounting landfill crisis. This crisis has been exacerbated by the apparently endless increase in the amount of packaging used by the retailers who claim customer demand. If you. are young and have never shopped anywhere but a UK supermarket then you will not remember the time when stuff was bought by weight rather than by packet. This is largely, but not solely, how most people buy foodstuffs nowadays and the packaging is usually designed so that you buy more than you wanted or needed.

There are places called ironmongers that will sell you a pound of nails rather than a number of packets of nails and also markets where you buy by weight rather than packet. Who actually prefers to shop like this? The large retailers such as Tesco prefer the packaged method and assert the same all the way back through their supply chains using their awesome power to bully suppliers into submitting to Their terms for homogeneity in everything so that everything is suborned to making stuff look good on the shelves regardless of quality, texture and taste. The customers are assuaged into believing that they are doing their bit for the environment by diligently sorting all the stuff into the correct containers but the reality that far more energy i.e. oil goes into maintaining the nation’s food supply. Simple example – a 38 tonne truck carries more actual potatoes that it possible could carry 38 tonnes of pre-packaged spuds in portion sizes that are cleverly calculated to be too much or too little for end-buyers.

There are ways of genuinely recycling stuff that you don’t need any more – one facility I have been using very successfully for the last couple of weeks rather than binning stuff I no longer use or need,, I have been posting items on the freecycle website closest to me.


Tidying six years of accumulated stuff from my small flat is one of those chores I just had to get round to. The various options available to me were:

Just leave and let (or whatever its called this week) sort it all out.

Sell stuff on but taking into account, packing, postage and my time costs, I would probably make a net loss for much work and petrol (its quicker and costs less to use one of the village post offices rather than the one in town with parking costs and long queues)

Sell locally via the classifieds, cards in shop windows etc but that takes time too and even for private sales the exchange of money imposes a certain legal liability for the items. Good for big ticket items but not for assorted stuff

Take to the tip (sorry recycling centre) but that’s problematic because it’s not open all that often and has a number plate recognition system so that too frequent a visit by one vehicle deems it to be trade and charged or just barred.

Freecycle is therefore the only practical solution for who hates waste hence http://groupuscules/group/freecyclefrome/ read the small print to see how it works. And work it does!

A few tips for those unsure about the whole process:

Do not publish your address or a telephone number in the advertisement, conduit negotiations by e-mail until someone is definitely coming to collect

Be honest with your item description – collectors who know exactly they are coming for are unlikely to be disappointed and leave empty handed. The Frome group allows you to add photographs so use the facility, again so that potential collectors know what you are offering. Or you can use a link to the same or similar item in the IKEA or Argos catalogues.

Be courteous and people will be courteous back – when you’re arranging for something to be collected, make sure the collector knows where they are coming; what may seem obvious to you might be opaque to someone who has never been to your area before.

Beware the car-booters who spiel some story about why they want an item for ther aged parents or their barefoot children  when actually they are simply harvesting the site for whatever thay can sell at a profit at a car-boot sale. Frome Freecycle seems to be free of them at the moment.

Don’t be pissy if someone does not appear at the agreed time – you don’t know them or anything about them and they probably have more pressing concerns than that item that “needs a little attention”.