Making Freegle work best for your council

Reducing fly-tipping

Defra statisticians have recently analysed data from WasteDataFlow, Keep Britain Tidy and Freegle and found that freegling saved councils £167,910 in costs associated with fly-tipping during 2019. You can read the full results and the method statement here. So it makes sense to encourage your residents to freegle.

Making Freegle visible on your council websites

A simple and effective way to encourage residents to reuse their waste through Freegle is to provide links on key pages of your website.

Our top recommendations for pages to include links on are:

  • Household Waste Recycling Centres – A reminder that the tip is not the only option for unwanted items!
  • Bulky waste – Many councils point residents towards Freegle and other reuse organisations on their bulky waste web pages to help reduce the amount of waste disposed of through bulky collections – and reminding residents they can save money by using Freegle instead of paying for a bulky waste collection. Here are some good examples from other councils that you can replicate:
  • Waste reduction – If you provide information about waste minimisation and reuse, include a quick link to your local Freegle group here.
  • A-Z – If you have an A-Z of waste and recycling, please list Freegle as an option. Brighton & Hove City Council are a great example of how this can be done – see here.
  • Oxfordshire County Council have created a Waste Wizard which directs residents to repair, reuse and recycling options, including pointing people towards Freegle. This is a really easy way to let people know about Freegle and other similar organisations that help maximise reuse locally.

Advice for discussing Freegle with residents

Freegle is an easily accessible service that can be used by anyone and being community based enhances its appeal to residents. The key points are that Freegle is:

  • Free to join and free to use.
  • Everything on Freegle is free.
  • It’s a convenient way of getting rid of items you no longer need from the comfort of your own home.
  • Freegle can help bring communities together – you’re helping out someone nearby – either giving them something they need, or giving them the gift of free space. You may find people who share the same hobbies and interests as you and you can help out the more vulnerable people in your community.

Talking to residents about bulky waste

Research has shown that around one third of bulky waste items which get taken to HWRCs for disposal are in good condition and could easily be reused. With minor repairs this figure jumps up to over a half of items being reusable. Encouraging residents to consider the reuse options is key for local authorities who are committed to reducing the volume of good condition, bulky items which enter the disposal stream. The benefits of doing so are far reaching.

Read our Freegle Focus report: Bulky Waste – making room for reuse to find out more about this big issue. You will also find some quick and easy steps you can take which could help to improve the way your authority deals with bulky waste.

Some councils that we work with ensure that when taking calls about bulky waste, residents are reminded that it may be cheaper and easier for them to try giving away the item using Freegle, other reuse organisations or charities. Providing a ‘script’ for staff to use is a simple way to do this, but you can also add it to the relevant section of your website. The London Borough of Richmond Council does an excellent job of reminding residents they can save money by using Freegle instead of paying for a bulky waste collection – see here.

If you are a county council, you can work with your districts and boroughs to ensure that a consistent message about bulky waste is promoted throughout the whole county from websites to dealing directly with residents. This is something that Cumbria County Council have done. We are happy to put you in touch with them if you would like to discuss how this has worked in their county.

Household Waste Recycling Centres – the Freegle alternative

By the time your residents have reached the HWRC it’s generally too late for them to reconsider dumping their waste; but putting up posters, handing out business cards to site users on arrival at the gate or even erecting a banner in a strategic place can prompt residents to think about using Freegle as an alternative in future.

How Freegle can help right across your local authority

Freegle is about community as well as waste. It’s about helping people in need and bringing people together. Why not encourage other departments in your authority to make use of Freegle too?

  • Schools – From furniture to musical instruments, stationery to electrical items and uniform. Schools generate a lot of waste, some of which is still in a usable condition and could be reused by another school or a member of the community.
  • Housing – Providing cheap furniture and other items to families in need. End of tenancy clearances and refurbishments.
  • Estates – When disposing of or acquiring properties, Freegle could come in useful for getting rid of surplus/unwanted furniture and other items.
  • Facilities/caretakers – Generally, Facilities/Caretakers form part of the waste disposal chain at a local authority. Many items can be reused and save the council money and hassle rather than disposing of them.

Promoting your events on Freegle

We can promote your events and even post special messages on your local Freegle community site for free! Changes to your waste collection service, waste awareness or other council-run events can all be posted for free on Freegle to help you reach more of your community. If you’d like to do this, please get in touch with your local Freegle community volunteer.

You can also easily add your events yourself here .

Christmas toolkit

Christmas is a busy time of year for local authorities. Arranging collections, organising waste prevention events, sending out collection calendars for next year and trying to help residents avoid generating what seems to be the inevitable mountain of waste.

Freegle are here to help make encouraging your residents to have a less wasteful Christmas a bit easier. We have a range of FREE ready-made templates available for you to push out through your social media and website channels as well as artwork that you can include on your collection calendars.

Feel free to cobrand any of our graphics with your own logo.

Freegle is a brilliant way of passing on unwanted stuff locally and giving it a new lease of life. It’s also a great way of helping families that might be struggling to afford everything at this time of year.

Use Freegle for:

  • Pre and post-Christmas decluttering
  • Christmas trees – giving away unwanted ones or getting a new one
  • Decorations
  • Toys and other presents (you’ll be amazed what people are giving away)
  • An extra seat for the dining room table!

And after the event…

  • Regifting unwanted presents (yes, it’s really ok to do that!)

Why not give promoting Freegle a try this Christmas and then track how it’s made an impact in your authority area by checking our pages.

Valentine’s Day toolkit

Valentine’s Day is a great excuse to remind people about Freegle, after all it is online dating for unwanted stuff! We have a host of ready-made social media templates for Twitter, Facebook and Instagram which are free for your to download and use . You can even add your own logo if you want to.

Track your comms

If you’d like a trackable link to add to your comms that will generate stats specifically for the link, you can either set one up yourself or ask us to help

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