Following the Christmas splurge, free online service FreeTradeIreland.ie is calling on people to reuse items such as electronic goods, garden equipment, toys and furniture, with 32,000 people having engaged with the site last year to exchange goods for free.
The online service, which is free to use, allows people to view or post ads for items once they are a member of the site. It aims to help items from going to landfill and instead allows people to claim items for free.
According to Warren Phelan, website manager at FreeTradeIreland.ie, the site’s reuse formula has helped deliver over €1.7m in savings to users in 2012, with over 290,000kg of materials having avoided landfill as a result.
“In 2012 seven out of 10 ads posted were successfully answered, which is an average of 44 items reused each day,” he said.
The Free Trade service originated as a regional reuse service for Dublin on DublinWaste.ie in 2006. In 2010 it expanded into a community initiative known as Free Trade Ireland and is now promoted by local authorities around the country.
The service currently has almost 44,000 registered users, with 60,000 items having been reused since the service first began.
If people are interested in an item, they can contact the person advertising the item via the site.
“We had over 275,000 visitors to the website in 2012 alone,” said Hugh Coughlan, spokesperson for FreeTradeIreland.ie.
Along with the site, FreeTradeIreland.ie has a Facebook page and an app for iOS and Android devices.