An Taoiseach Launches Nationwide Reuse Service For Householders and Businesses

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An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D. 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.

“I commend the local authorities for this fantastic initiative and I encourage people in homes, community and leisure organisations and those in business or setting up a new enterprise to make FreeTradeIreland.ie their first point of contact when they need to find furniture and equipment at no cost,” says An Taoiseach, Mr. Enda Kenny, T.D.  “We need to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill to protect our environment and enhance our economy.  This initiative is a very positive step encouraging the reuse of items in line with the European Waste Hierarchy  which was given statutory recognition by the Minister for the Environment in the European Community(Waste Regulations) 2011 on March 31st 2011.”

“FreeTradeIreland.ie gives items a new life and a new home and greatly benefits people in terms of time and cost savings, as well as reducing pollution on the environment,” says Hugh Coughlan, spokesperson for FreeTradeIreland.ie. “The service is completely free to use whether you want to post a free ad offering your item or whether you are looking to obtain an item for free.  The focus is on quality, usable items and so far we have had people offering mobile homes, pianos, a fitted kitchen, music systems as well as office filing systems, sofas and beds.  All items are welcome and all items are available for FREE. As well as the environmental benefits the reuse of items between users has a social dimension and has been shown to foster community spirit .”

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.

ENDS

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