Why use Freegle? What’s in it for councils?

Support Reuse – Build Resilience – Tackle Furniture Poverty

Join a growing number of forward thinking councils who are working with Freegle – the reuse experts. Make reuse your priority and provide residents with the help they need to become more resilient. By partnering with your local Freegle communities you will facilitate a fantastic amount of reuse locally in a highly cost effective way.

A word from one of our partners –

“The statistics provided are one of the biggest benefits to us partnering with Freegle as reuse is notoriously difficult to measure. The statistics show the impact of our investment, whether it’s carbon, money, waste etc. and enables us to validate the investment.”
Andrew Jenkins, Waste Promotions Lead Officer, Buckinghamshire Council

And another –

“Local Freegle communities have been active within our community for several years now and as a local authority we felt compelled to support and encourage them. There are some excellent examples of reuse already happening within the groups. The fact that residents can pass on a range of useful resources such as furniture, clothing or children’s toys, means that those in our community who are most in need, get to access such items for no cost.”
Cathryn Wood, Senior Sustainability & Resilience Officer, Essex County Council

Choose to work with us and your organisation will experience a range of impactful environmental, social and cost benefits. Read on to find out more about how you can help us, to help you.

Your residents will know that YOU are helping to keep their community running

Your council’s logo will be featured on the local community Freegle website pages and in regular email alerts to members, detailing new items being given or requested.

Our active social media channels will regularly celebrate your organisation as one which promotes a more sustainable way of living and one which is actively helping to alleviate issues such as furniture poverty. If you have an event or a good news story that you would like us to share, we can do that too.

You will have access to detailed data about the reuse that is happening in your area

We will provide detailed data on how well the community (or communities) that you partner with are doing by generating a range of membership and reuse data on a quarterly basis, including by postcode specific area. With the data we collect, we can calculate tonnages reused, avoided costs and CO2 savings for your particular locality

We can share your news with the freeglers living in your area

We can send information directly to the freeglers in your local communities to tie in with your messages, campaigns and new initiatives. Perhaps you are launching a new service, changing the entry requirements at your HWRC or you have a consultation coming up. This is a great new way for you to keep in touch with a broad spectrum of residents who share a common interest in reuse.

You will save money on waste disposal

For every freegled item that doesn’t enter the waste stream, councils can count on savings in collection, handling and disposal. Our Freegle communities are incredibly self-sufficient and extremely accessible. Run by volunteers, the platform supports reuse activity between local householders with no external input required. Anyone with access to the internet can use Freegle to dispose of an item they no longer need, without leaving their home.

You will demonstrate your commitment to waste prevention

The UK’s waste hierarchy requires us to ‘prevent waste’ first and foremost. Reuse and ‘keeping things in use for longer’ falls firmly into this top priority category. By specifically supporting reuse alongside the provision of recycling schemes you will demonstrate that your local authority is doing the right thing by emphasising the importance of waste prevention.

You will help to reduce CO2 emissions

By keeping items in use, for longer, you will demonstrate to your residents that you are committed to sustainability and to the reduction of CO2 emissions.

Reduce fly tipping and the associated costs

By partnering with Freegle you are supporting a highly accessible and free to use option for the disposal of residents’ unwanted items. In 2019, our statistician friends at Defra carried out some pro-bono analysis on fly-tipping. Results showed that the fly-tipping cost saving in 2019 due to freegled items was £167,910. Read more detail about the calculation here

Encourage community resilience and change lives for the better

When reuse is facilitated by Freegle, the benefits to your community are far reaching. Freegle is an easy-to-use, accessible and convenient way for people to find homes for unwanted items and a fun way to find new things. But also remember, Freegle helps people who are really struggling with issues such as furniture poverty, to find the things they desperately need, for free.

Freeglers speak – Your trash, my treasure!

“Many years ago I was homeless and got given a flat. All my furniture and white goods came from other people. There’s always someone who will be able to use stuff, even if it’s broken. I was extremely grateful to receive all those things then. And now that I am in a position where I can help, I do it with pleasure.”

Read more recent Freegle user stories to discover more about how Freegle helps communities.

Further Information

Freegle is a charity, free to use but not free to run. Local Freegle groups are run entirely by volunteers from the community however there are still costs associated with running this national network.

Local Freegle communities have running costs of between £250 and £750 per year, depending on size.

Get in touch! Mail us at councils@ilovefreegle.org.

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