Fighting for freerecyling

A third of all UK freecycle groups have joined Freegle

Whichever way you cut it more and more UK groups are leaving freecycle in their droves. This organisation that was only launched 4 days ago has grown by 50% in the last 24 hours. My last post reported 194 groups, whereas my latest search comes out at a staggering 347 groups.

Please tell me if I am wrong, but my crude maths says that between a third and a half of all UK freecycling groups have now converted over to Freegle.

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September 13, 2009 - Posted by | freecycle, freegle | , , , , ,


  1. Unfortunately a number of these groups are placeholder groups or, worse yet, groups setup by TFN to make life difficult for us. However, we are doing great. As of right now, our official stats are: 105 groups and 492,123 members. That is 21% of the groups and 24% of the membership in just two days. And numbers are steadily climbing. 🙂

    Comment by Paul Thompson | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  2. Over half a million Freeglers now 🙂

    Comment by freeglefan | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  3. Over 50% of the members in the North East of the UK have moved to Freegle – they’re leading the way!

    Comment by Deron Who | September 14, 2009 | Reply

  4. Our freecycle group mod just quietly announced we’re with freegle as of 12/13 Sep, so numbers will surely jump (especially if members weren’t given a say about it), but, anyway, upon rejoining the freecycle group I can now participate in both groups! 🙂

    Comment by freefree | September 15, 2009 | Reply

  5. The latest figures I can find are 157 ex-Freecycle groups are now Freegle groups, this is 31% of the original Freecycle total.

    Comment by Ruth | September 18, 2009 | Reply

  6. This site rocks!

    Comment by Dryer Vent Cleaning | September 19, 2009 | Reply

  7. You need to adjust your main article as your numbers are extremely overinflated. There is no point in publishing numbers if you are not prepared to get them from a verifiable source and double check with Freegle that they are correct. Email Jon directly. He will have correct numbers daily.

    Comment by mary | September 19, 2009 | Reply

    • I have asked Freegle for their official position, and when they come back to me on – then I will correct this. Also there are groups renaming themselves as Freegle groups that are not, as yet on the official Freegle list. Should I include those, or not? The truth is this is a fast moving position.

      For your information, I do not get my numbers out of thin air. Without official Freegle numbers I get them from Yahoo.

      Comment by andyswarbs | September 20, 2009 | Reply

  8. There are alot of newly setup and dummy freegle group with hardly any members, but it you only count groups with freegle in title or discription with 50 or more members then you’ll get a good current picture.

    Freeage site is a little bit behind but the current standing it 177 freegle groups (50+members) totaling 641,052 members across the UK

    Comment by Dave | September 20, 2009 | Reply

  9. The new recycling site currently has 337 areas covered in the uk. works much like EBay and is growing fast.

    Comment by Steve | September 24, 2009 | Reply

  10. The latest numbers (as at 15:45, 24/9/2009) are 179 groups transferred from Freecycle (35.17%) and 839,549 members (40.55%). I’ve just got these from the official Freegle spreadsheet so they are as up to date and accurate as anything. Not suire if I’m allowed to share the location of said spreadsheet though, so I won’t.

    Some of the dummy freegle groups will be placeholders for people still waiting to move across. Others are Freecycle setting up fake Freegle groups to disparage Freegle (see for eg.)

    Ollie, Leeds Freegle Co-owner (ex-Freecycle)

    Comment by Ollie Clark | September 24, 2009 | Reply

  11. All Northern Ireland groups bar 1 have moved over to Freegle from Freecycle and taken their members with them!

    Comment by scatherwood | September 25, 2009 | Reply

  12. Hi,
    As of today, 27/09/2009 at 15.02 we have 874,657 members and rising !!!
    ian Barking and Dagenham Freegle

    Comment by Ian | September 27, 2009 | Reply

  13. If the groups has been created, and had been advertised, and members had actually *joined* the groups; then this would be an accurate article.

    As it stands, 99.99% of the members Freegle boasts, were *moved* to Freegle, by moderators of the previously Freecycle groups.

    Comment by James | October 7, 2009 | Reply

    • They’re still members of Freegle groups though aren’t they?

      Members joined a local reuse group. They’re still in the same reuse group it’s just that group has changed it’s name and affiliation.

      If there had been widespread disatisfaction from members then I’d see your point but the vast majority of groups have seen no complaints at all and lots of support.

      Comment by Ollie Clark | October 8, 2009 | Reply

      • My point is that it’s easy to get excited about a group when sensationalist statements are made about how many members they have.

        But when you strip away the sleeper members, those that didn’t really notice, those that didn’t really care, what you’re left with, is about 190 GO’s who were unhappy.

        In perspective, it tells a different story.

        Comment by James | October 8, 2009

      • You’re exactly right Ollie. It says a HELL of a lot about the poor leadership within TFN that approaching half of the group owners have been willing to jump ship. That is quite an interesting perspective.

        Comment by Paul Thompson | October 9, 2009

      • James, you’re almost right except it’s a lot more than 190 group owners – most of the groups that have moved will have more than 1 moderator. We’ve got 6.

        About 40% of UK moderators were so unhappy with TFN that they felt they had to leave. This seems like quite a big deal to me. It may not to you.

        It would be big news if the entire UK board of a multinational franchise operation split off and formed their own company with 40% of the staff and customers of the old company. I don’t think this is any different.

        Comment by Ollie Clark | October 9, 2009

      • But we don’t know how many of those moderators wanted to move. Many stayed with Freecycle as they felt they should remain loyal.

        So (and to be fair, this *was* my point), all we *know* is we have 190 GO’s who were unhappy and left.

        So, based on your comments, we’re looking at 196 people who we can say, with any degree of accuracy, were unhappy. Based on the figures we have here, that’s all we can conclude.

        And based on that, I’m underwhelmed when confronted with the idea that it’s a *huge* deal.

        Please don’t take this the wrong way, I have no ill feeling toward Freegle, Freecycle, GreenCycle or any other variation of a reuse community. What I’m not on board with, is the incorrect, inflated, sensationalist propaganda being circulated by should-know-better bloggers.

        Comment by James | October 9, 2009

  14. “It says a HELL of a lot about the poor leadership”

    No it doesn’t. It doesn’t say anything about anything. The only people who know why the GOs left, are the GOs.

    It COULD be issues with the leadership, but one could speculate equally that it’s because a portion of those GOs wanted more power for themselves, and encouraged others to breakaway in an attempt to hide this deception…you know…hypothetically.

    When you assert yourself into interpreting what actions means, you had better either be an expert (which none of us are) or unbelievably arrogant (which non…well, I’m not).

    All anyone is doing by breaking away, is diluting the environmental impact. Members don’t care about your politics, they don’t care about how it runs, just that it does…and Freecycle does.

    Comment by James | October 9, 2009 | Reply

  15. Quelle histoire! What a carry on! So how can I joih
    a bony friday group in my little grand duchy of
    Bristol? How do I trust anyone?

    Comment by ProtoColl. | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Almost entirely the groups run along very happily and I would recommend you join any group that is local to you.

      Comment by andyswarbs | February 23, 2010 | Reply

    • Have a look for groups in your area. is a good starting place, it has the largest groups (or fastest growing) which will give you a better chance of rehoming an item, or saving one from someone else.

      Comment by James | February 23, 2010 | Reply

  16. I disposed of a number of items early last year through freecycle using the ‘Message Maker’.
    I now have some more items to dispose of and what I find on line leaves me totally confused and inclined to take the items to the tip.
    What is going on?
    I get a strong sense of politics and idealism destroying the sensible simplicity of the organisation that I used last year.

    Comment by Rex Burr | April 25, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Rex,

      I think everyone would agree that taking reusable stuff to the tip is that last thing anyone would want.

      Regardless of which reuse network you choose, it’s important that the we’re all here to keep things out of the landfill.

      I support The Freecycle Network because it has more active members; more members equates to more opportunities to keep stuff out of the landfill.

      It’s your choice, take a look at which groups operate in your area and go with whatever you feel is best.

      Freecycle groups can be found at

      Comment by James | April 25, 2010 | Reply

    • Hi Rex,

      Please don’t give up on Freecycle or Freegle. If your local group (whether Freegle or Freecycle) is working for you, carry on using it and ignore the politics. Apart from many groups changing their name, they all still work the same way so group members shouldn’t notice much difference.



      Leeds Freegle Owner

      Comment by Ollie Clark (Leeds Freegle Owner) | April 26, 2010 | Reply

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