End of the line for recycling website
A POPULAR website that lets users trade household items for free is set to be shut down – because of "ill-mannered members" who try to grab everything on offer.
Nottingham Freegle – formerly Nottingham Freecycle – helped people give away items they no longer needed or request items they wanted.
However, due to people misusing the site, its moderator, John Davies, has stepped down and it will go offline from Monday.
Announcing his resignation yesterday, Mr Davies apologised to the site's users and said there were three main reasons for his decision.
"The first is the huge increase in members whose sole intention seems to be to get as much out of Freegle as possible with no thought ever being given to putting something back in," he said.
"Secondly, there has been a huge increase in the numbers of members who can't – or more likely can't be bothered – to use the correct format for posting messages.
"This is despite many being told about their errors, some several times.
"Finally I am fed up with the growing number of complaints being received about ill-mannered members who apply for anything and everything that is on offer.
"I am sure a lot of these items end up on Ebay-type sites but of course I can't prove it."
Nottingham Freegle began five years ago, when the owners and moderators of Nottingham Freecycle split from The Freecycle Network (USA).
Charities and not-for-profit organisations, as well as private individuals, were encouraged to use the site.
Jo Peterson, 31, of Forest Fields, is among the hundreds of "freecyclers". In five years, she obtained a futon, a bed and cardboard boxes to move house. She also gave away the futon – three years later – as well as bubble wrap and a shower curtain.
"When you are a student or setting up a home, it's really helpful and works really well because it means nothing ever goes to waste," she said.
"I hadn't really noticed more people wanting things.
"It seems to be pretty equal but I don't log on every day and I suppose if you are looking at it all the time, you're more aware of it. I do sometimes notice people wanting laptops and PlayStaions and you do think 'do they really need it?'
"But generally its a really good site and it's awful to think it won't continue."
Mr Davies, who has moderated the site for five years, thanked users who contributed to it regularly.
He said: "This decision has not been taken lightly or easily and has been under consideration for well over a year.
"I apologise to the many decent members who are being let down because of others."