The Government has officially launched www.FreeTradeIreland.ie, a free national service where householders and businesses can pick up and pass on quality items such as home and office furniture, baby goods, electronics, DIY/construction materials and tools, sports equipment, musical instruments, toys, gardening accessories and motoring items. The online service is free to use and people can view ads for items as well as post items of their own once are a member of the site.
Arrangement to collect items are made directly with the person advertising the item and no cost applies to either party. Items posted up on the website are generally in good condition, full working order and ideal for reuse.
The FreeTrade Ireland service is supported by Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government and funded by the Local Authorities across Ireland. The website aims to help prevent usable items going to landfill and increase the lifespan of items for reuse.
The service has been designed to be as user friendly as possible with an innovative search engine the centre-piece of the website. The website also records reuse data through the site, features mapping and alerts which help users with their searches. Householders and businesses members of the site can view in their membership accounts a list of their posted items – a useful and valuable addition to companies who prepare reports on their environmental actions.
The Free Trade service originated as a regional reuse service for Dublin on DublinWaste.ie in 2006. Due to its success it was then expanded to become FreeTradeIreland.ie in July 2010 with Mayo County Council acting as the lead authority. Since the service has commenced over 38,000 items have found new homes. In the ten months FreeTradeIreland.ie has been operational nearly one million people have visited the website and over 7,600 items have been passed on and reused.
Approximately 40% of items on Free Trade Ireland fit in to the furniture category. Generally these items are bulky in nature, difficult to take to recycling centres, take up most of the space in a costly skip and most importantly are reusable or restorable.
In addition to the www.FreeTradeIreland.ie website and the Free Trade Ireland Facebook page, people can track and obtain items on iPhone, iPod touch and Android phones by downloading the FreeTrade Ireland App from iTunes and Android Market which is also, free of charge. The App is one of the first smart phone services developed and funded by local authorities in Ireland.
Pictured are Brenda McEvoy, from Freetradeireland.ie, with An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny TD, who officially launched www.FreeTradeIreland.ie.