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Freecycle rolls into Clay Center - Clay Center Dispatch On-Line: Home

Freecycle rolls into Clay Center

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Posted: Thursday, October 27, 2005 12:00 am | Updated: 1:20 pm, Wed Jan 11, 2012.

It's an understatement to say that Maria Sexton believes in

recycling. This Idana resident has taken her recycling efforts to a higher level, creating treasures from someone else's trash.

Inspired by the book, "Trash to Treasure," Maria's current project involves the transformation of more than 2000 empty vegetable cans into a forest of Christmas trees. She decorates the canned trees with "junk

jewelry" -- costume jewelry that cannot be repaired.

Maria has received most of her project materials from members of the

Freecycle Network (tm).

"It is so important to keep stuff out of the landfill, and Freecycle

is a really cool deal. I only want things that would otherwise go to

the dump. If it's still useable, I don't want it," said Maria.

The Freecycle Network is a global, grassroots movement comprised of

people who are giving (and getting) "stuff" for free in their own

towns. Freecycle members give away things they don't want or can't

use to other members who do, and everything is done on a local basis.

Clay Center's Freecycle group began in July of 2005. The group has

close to 100 members. There are also groups in Manhattan, Beloit, Salina, and Fort Riley.

The group is moderated by Clay Center resident Kathi Hemphill.

Kathi made extensive use of Freecycle to find new homes for her

mother's belongings after her mother passed away.

"We didn't want to have an auction or a garage sale. I hate dickering

over money. I just wanted my mom's stuff to go to people who needed

it," Kathi said.

The family donated some items to the Lighthouse for Christ, but found

homes for nearly everything else through the Freecycle Network.

"It seems like people join every day. We already have 92 members in

Clay Center, and it's all been through word of mouth. The group is

open to all who want to 'recycle' that special something rather than

throw it away, whether it's a chair, a fax machine, piano or an old

door, " Kathi said.

Kathi has received a few items via Freecycle -- a rug and some

heirloom tomatos.

"But I use Freecycle more for giving. I've given away a lifetime's

worth of stuff -- a snow blower, a lawn mower, chairs, a full-sized

bed," said Kathi.

As the name implies, Freecycle membership is free. Communication is

done via email through yahoogroups, a free email subscription service.

Each local group is run by a volunteer moderator. The primarily rule

is anything offered on Freecycle must be free, legal, and appropriate

for all ages.

The Freecycle Movement was started in May 2003 by Tuscon, Ariz.,

resident Deron Beal. Beal wanted to promote waste reduction in

Tucson's downtown and help save desert landscape from being taken over

by landfills.

The concept has since spread to more than 50 countries. Currently

Freecycle has more than 1,701,236 members in 3,109 communities around

the world. Officials say that Freecycle member efforts have kept

approximately 50 tons of material out of landfills.

"Our mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces

waste, saves precious resources and eases the burden on our landfills

while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger

community. People from all walks of life have joined together to turn

trash into treasure," said Freecycle officials.

The Clay Center Freecycle website is at

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/ClayCenterFreecycle/. More information

about Freecycle can be found at freecycle.org.

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