Turn trash to treasure online

TRADING toasters for teapots is now only a click away thanks to a new website forum in Somerset.

TRADING toasters for teapots is now only a click away thanks to a new website forum in Somerset.

Wedmore Green Group launched its free online trading service and now earth-conscious residents can turn trash into treasure by recycling their unwanted household items.

The Wedmore Freecycle group is for villagers to give away the items they no longer need, rather than throwing them on the scrapheap. Anything from a wheelbarrow to a windscreen wiper, a piano to an old door, can be offered on the website. Web-users can also request items they need for their home.

Group chairman Steve Mewes said: “"I am a firm believer in Freecycling so I volunteered to start a group because there wasn’t one in the area.

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“We have already held two Freecycle events in the village earlier this year, so going online seemed like a natural progression.

“Anyone can log on and offer their goods online, even non-profit groups like schools.”

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An unusual array of items has already been requested on the web forum, including a mattress, a lawnmower and a box of wine glasses.

Items on the Freecycle forum must be given legally and no cash can be exchanged.

Steve said: “People from all over the Cheddar area, including Wedmore, Shipham, Axbridge and Highbridge can log on. The idea is to try and be green and help the environment so the items aren't filling up a landfill site.

“With that in mind, we prefer that people don’t have to travel very far in their cars to exchange items, but people from Bristol could log on if they were going to be travelling to Wedmore anyway.”

The Freecycle craze started in Arizona in 2003. Founder Deron Beal was concerned about desert landscapes being used as landfill sites. What began as a local email group spread to more than 75 countries.

In the UK alone there are 426 groups with more than 700,000 members. It is estimated that 2,190,000 items will find new homes in the UK this year, saving 18,000 tonnes of waste.

To join the Wedmore Freecycle group visit www.uk.freecycle.org and click on South West and search for Wedmore.

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