Billed as combining the best bits of Freecycle and eBay, the wonderfully-named GoodNewsForPolarBears is a free local recycling website that lets people recycle things they no longer need by simply giving them to other people that DO need them.
Like eBay, items are listed with multiple photos, helping others see exactly what's on offer - except all items listed must be free. The only difference though is that all the items are FREE. Visitors can search the site, browse through categories, or set alerts to get automatically emailed when stuff they want is on offer.
The website's founder, who goes by the mysterious name of 'The Big Bear', set up the site in response to seeing perfectly serviceable items being dumped at the household recycling site:
"I realised that some people were dumping perfectly good items like baby stair-gates, patio furniture, and computers, while another bunch were in the high street buying the exact same stuff. It seemed like such a waste. Many of those buying new would have been perfectly happy with a used item for free, and many of those dumping stuff would've been over the moon to have someone take it off their hands and put it to good use."
The site which has just come out of beta testing has so far attracted about 1100 members with suppport from prominent people like Sir David Attenborough, Arne Naevra (Veolia Wildlife Photographer of the Year), and Nicholas Hanley (Directorate-General Environment at the EC in Brussels).
The site helps the environment by helping people to recycle consumer goods, thereby reducing waste and landfill, and conserving raw materials and relies on donations to keep it going. Currently offered on the site free of charge are a Samsung Colour TV, old fashioned oak teachers' desk and a ladies' wetsuit, size 14.