I am a firm believer in trying to recycle as much as we can, and in making as good a use of the earths resources. One site we have used for some time now is freecycle. Essentially it’s a board that matches up people who are getting rid of stuff with people who want bits and bobs. You can either post an offer of an item when you want to freecycle something, or a wanted post when you need something. We used it extensively in London getting rid of wardrobes, blinds we no longer needed and even baby clothes. We also asked for the occasional item such as a pasta maker which we then freecycled at the end of our need for it. The only thing that you need to bear in mind is it has to be completely free, no charge from either side.
Since we have moved to Dorset, we have been using the North Dorset Freecycle group. Freecycle is divided up in to different areas and there are different characters to each group. My mild frustration with the North Dorset group right now is that there are so many wanted posts compared to offer posts. It could be down to the current economic climate, but I am surprised at the number & expense of requests of items such as washing machines, power plates etc that are currently on there. I am not sure what you could do to tackle this, as I am sure that some posts trigger a memory in people of something they have that they no longer need, which will fulfill a need for someone else. My own thoughts are that perhaps you need to have offered an item before you can post a wanted request.
Small niggles aside, I have a huge amount of respect for freecycle and what it aims to acheive. As well as recycling and ensuring less stuff goes to landfill, I seriously rate Freecycle in terms of getting joy from giving something away you no longer need. Having watched a simple life recently, there is much to be said to for the pleasure of giving, both from the pleasure of the receiver but also giver.