Freecycling

Fighting for freerecyling

The Landfill Test is not definitive

Some people posting on a freecycling group may find their posts blocked aka moderated because they do not fulfil what is called The Landfill Test. Now let me assure you that I like most moderators and indeed many members want to work hard on reducing the number of items that end up in landfill. This is a key goal in my mind, but it is not the biggest goal.

The biggest goal, for me is about community. Nothing will save this planet to be in the best condition possibly like a sense of a healthy community. Therefore, for me the landfill test is not the definitive test of whether something should be an acceptable post. The definitive test is whether it supports the community in a positive way, following all legal guidelines and with flexibility for local conditions and needs.

So if someone is offering a mobile phone with a contract that is no different to offering a phone without a contract. The only contra to the phone with a contract is that it is quite complex. Freecycling is good with simple offers, whereas complex offers are more likely to fail.

Anyway that is my take – support the healthy community with free gifting with no strings attached. So would I allow a post for a mobile phone with a contract? Probably not since it is potentially quite complex.

An actual case of complexity that I got to discuss closely was that of a full kitchen suite. This was complex since anyone accepting the offer would possibly need to hire a van. This one did go through to success with all parties happy – at the second attempt. But it was a close call.

The landfill test, for my money is a reasonable and sensible guideline that forms a basis of thinking, but it should not be a definitive test.

If we consider a contra case, there are items that might be offered that actually easily pass the landfill test and yet do not supprt community values. Other freecycling caveats tend to pick up some of these such as drugs, alcohol, legal and appropriate for all ages etc. If you look at the common thread of these they are community values. That is what is important, and that is the acid test.

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September 8, 2007 - Posted by | freecycle, goa

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