Don’t Bin It – Swap It

July 24, 2006 at 6:01 am

Are you the sort of person who hoards old CDs and DVDs that you might never watch again? Is your bookcase overflowing with books that you have only read once but can’t bear to throw out? Have you got an item which you are sure might be a collectable but don’t collect yourself? Or maybe you just have a hefty piece of furniture that you need to get rid off but don’t have the facility to move it.

Well, a useful collection of websites have sprung up which could be the answer to all the above problems. They come in the form of online swap shops and are a great way to connect people who are looking for or getting rid of certain items and an even better way to reduce the amount of waste we throw out. is the place to go if you are a bookworm who ploughs through loads of books but don’t have the heart to throw all those well thumbed paperbacks into the bin. Why not pass stories you have enjoyed onto other avid readers?
The site was started by a commuter who read a lot and his computer whiz friend and has quickly developed into a large network of readers swapping all types of books – 49842 books available to swap today! Its free to use, you just have to pay the postage to send your books.

If CDs, DVDs and video games is more your thing, then is worth a browse. Swopex has been set up as an ‘entertainment trading community’ where people can swap CDs, DVDs and games they no longer want. When you send in an item you receive credits for it which you can then spend on other items listed on the site. It’s free to use once registered, you have to pay for postage and there is the opportunity to buy items if you prefer with a small fee charged for withdrawing credits.

For a more general range of items to swap, then check out
which is a swap shop for absolutely everything. It’s also free to use once you have registered. You can post anything from a car or motorbike to a musical intsrument or an item of clothing. You list your item and wait to see what people are willing to swap in return for it, or simply browse all the items listed and if you see something you would like, you can offer something of yours for it and hope you are successful.

Another two services which are great for getting rid of junk you no longer want or finding something for free that you really do need are and The first was set up in 2003 in the USA to promote waste reduction and works on the philosophy that ‘one person’s trash is another’s treasure’. It now has groups set up Worldwide and works by people offering or requesting items within their local freecycle community. You have to register for your local group and in some groups the first email you send has to be offering an item. After this you can send emails for items you want and the rest of the group will receive your email and respond if they can help.

Free2collect is simpler to use as you can quickly list anything on the site that you are trying to get rid of which people can then browse and send an email if they are interested. It’s a great way of shifting furniture that you can’t manage to move yourself as the understanding is usually that the person will collect from you at a convenient time.

All of these sites are a great contributor to reducing waste and prove that although it may be rubbish to you, it might just be exactly what someone else is looking for or needs. These swap shop type sites are also a great way of bringing communities of like minded people together and linking up collectors with collectables. So next time you think of throwing out your junk with the rubbish, check out the demand for your item online first.

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5 responses to “Don’t Bin It – Swap It”

  1. Paul Lasikiewicz says:

    I have developed a new site called ( ) where people can give there old items away instead of putting them in landfills. The site has been open for just under 2 months and has rocketed with members. Also the site will have useful facts on recycling and will help educate people about recycleing.

  2. Catherine Petts says:

    What can I do with all those free CDs that come into the house with the weekend newspapers and some magazines? I do not want any of them and at present just have to bin them.
    Likewise the plastic wrappings that encase some weekend papers, mailings and subscription post. Most weeks well over 50% of my rubbish is unrecylable plastics

  3. Aivlys says: has the advantages of freecycle without all that email.
    Don’tDumpThat [] is all about helping preserve the environment by keeping perfectly useful items out of landfill sites; with new local forums opening all around the United Kingdom and Europe it’s getting easier and easier all the time.
    Don’tDumpThat, known originally as Lincoln Freecyclers, was founded in January 2006 within weeks Lincoln Freecyclers became so popular that forums had been setup across Lincolnshire. Now there are forums established all over the United Kingdom and around Europe.

  4. Clive Whitehead says: is another good site that gets people recycling. It’s loads easier to get to grips with than freecycle as you can search listings on-line, get email updates and post ‘wanted’ listings. There are no local ‘groups’ to contend with as you set your location preferences when you register and / or search the listings. Really worth a look.

  5. Barbara Mann says:

    Hey everyone across the pond.
    I am a member of FreecyleGuelph, ON Canada. We do not require members to get daily emails thus, there is not “all that email”.
    I was really curious about trying out the
    “don’tdumpitsite” but was unable to register. Yes, I tried to register 3 times and was refused everytime. Still curious how it works.
    As for the plastic bags on newspapers. I spoke with Ken, the man who delivers our local paper. He was more than happy to take them back are re-use them. So every couple weeks, I leave on my porch one of the bags full of the rest of the bags and he takes them away.
    As for the free CD’s. Personally, I would collect as many as I can from everyone I know and I would mail them to the CEO of the comapany and ask them how they plan to do their part for the environment.
    I would cc the newspaper owner who carries the CD’s. I would also write the owner and board of directors of the paper seperately stating that you will pull your subscription because of such unenvironmentally friendly adverstising.
    Finally, I would write a letter to the editor of that particular paper and publicize my frustration and the actions I have taken to fight it. and the emails of the CEO of the advertising company and of the owner & the board of directors of the paper. I am confident that other subscribers will respond in support.
    Good luck with it!

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