Friday, March 28th, 2008
By Betty Lawrence
A Maharg employee picks up trash on the Thursday route in Celina. It eventually. . .
Want to get rid of that gently used couch?
Freecycle Network has come up with a solution - other than the landfill.
Touted as the world's largest recycling and reuse Web site, Freecycle Network is a non-profit organization made up of thousands throughout the world who give away items for free on its Web site.
The purpose of the organization is to keep usable items from being added to ever-growing landfills.
Celina jumped on the "go green" bandwagon in 2006 and currently boasts 200 members in its group. Those interested can go to www.freecycle.org and type in their community name.
"By using what we already have on this earth, we reduce consumerism, manufacture fewer goods and lessen the impact on the earth," reads a report from the local group.
Freecycle Network was founded by environmentalist Deron Beal in Tucson, Ariz., in 2003. The network's motto is "changing the world one gift at a time."
Each community group on the Web site has volunteer moderators and a specific e-mail. Anyone living in that city then can post items to give away and search for items they may need.
The network estimates the movement keeps more than 400 tons out of landfills daily.
But for items that have run their course and can't be recycled, most local communities conduct a spring trash pickup to allow residents to clean out their homes and garages. Celina's first trash pickup is next weekend, April 5.
But even those piles are shrinking, says Mike Maharg, owner of Maharg trash haulers. He attributes some of the lessening piles to the economy.
"I can tell by the trash that things are slowing down. Everything in general is slower, from the restaurants to the grocery stores. They aren't producing as much waste," Maharg said, adding his business also recycles.
Rose Lochtefeld of Ohio Recycling, Chickasaw, feels the public is "more aware of recycling" in general. Business has been brisk there, she says, due in part to record-high prices for metals.