Home Household machines Neighborhood groups bring groups back to donate free household items, furniture, clothes in an effort to reduce waste

Neighborhood groups bring groups back to donate free household items, furniture, clothes in an effort to reduce waste


Bella, Leonardo Urbano’s kitten, was rescued from a pile of trash that would otherwise have ended up in landfill. Using tips from Facebook pages such as Street Bounty, Urbano found nearly every object in the photo below on the street, including his mischievous cat.

These include the brand new shirt he is wearing, his chair, the framed photo, the fan, the mid-century sideboard and record player, the plant and the replica of an Italian lamp that usually sells for almost $1000.

Leo Urbano, also known as Trash Lawyer on Instagram, with his cat and some used items he collected. Credit:Dominique Lorrimer

Facebook pages – such as Street Bounty Inner West, Pay It Forward, Buy Nothing, War on Waste, Free Stuff and Free Cycle, which are dedicated to recycling and reuse – have become “gangbusters” during the pandemic, said Sam Sachdev, who has been tracking the growth of these hyperlocal sites.

“There are hundreds of these sites. Almost every Sydney suburb has a buy, sell or share group. On top of that, they will have a free cycle, which is just sharing and no money exchange. Then there are groups for the North Rim or The Hills. And then there’s Street Bounty. There are layers upon layers. Everything is very organic and popular.

“The neighborhood concept was gone before the pandemic, and these groups brought it back,” said Sachdev, a former corporate lawyer who is also a business writer and climate change and sustainability activist during her time. free.

“You have some unusual people – like the person who gives an open packet of cereal, but after all, why waste it?”

Urbano usually draws the line at food, but he rescued boxes nearly full of good olive oil thrown away after apartment leases near his home in Sydney’s Surry Hills ran out.

Urbano said he chose his Instagram account, the Trash Lawyer, because he “fights for trash’s right to live another day” — no matter how. He also has a lending library of tools he found on the street that people can borrow to repair found items.

A Facebook spokesperson said there was a 13% increase in home furniture listings in 2021 compared to the first year of the pandemic. In June, more than 2 million vintage items were listed on Marketplace, including collectibles, furniture, and homewares.