Are you prepping for the city’s annual Junk Day, getting ready to unload all of those unwanted items piling up in your house and garage? Before you put everything at the curb later this month, take advantage of the Freebox Free-For-All, an event hosted on April 10-11 by the Wyoming OH Freebox Facebook group, which is among Wyoming’s everyday efforts to divert waste from the landfill and support sustainability.
More than 1,000 residents are members of the Freebox group, where you post a photo of an unwanted item and find it a new home—often within minutes—when it’s claimed by someone in the community. “I saw my neighbor Freebox pinecones a few weeks ago,” says city council member Sarah Stankorb Taylor. “Someone took them!”
The Free-For-All event, scheduled the weekend before Upcycle Day (April 16) and Junk Day (April 17), works a little differently than Freebox’s usual post-and-claim system. Instead of posting one item, residents can share a photo of several items, gathered on their porch or in their yard, along with their address. Neighbors can show up and snatch the stuff they want on a first-come, first-served basis.
“It’s all an effort to make sure we’re as mindful as possible about what’s still usable before we toss it out,” Helen McCormick, a Freebox admin explains. “Wyoming’s Freebox is such an extraordinary example of people taking a simple step to avoid waste and share their resources with their neighbors. Freebox Free-For-All weekend will get folks fired up for all of it.”
Last September, nearly 160 residents Freeboxed anywhere from one to 100 items during the first Free-For-All weekend scheduled in collaboration with the city. Freebox is asking participants to keep a mental tally of how many items are claimed this year, for an informal poll to determine the event’s impact. The group also offers a tip: Be careful not to leave items outside that you don’t want picked up. People will be all over town looking for fun finds, and while clear instructions have been given that people are only to pick up what has been posted as part of the Freebox Free-For-All, they’d rather avoid any mishaps.
“The city’s Environmental Stewardship Commission has been working hard to reduce our community’s waste stream, and we’re grateful Freebox was eager to help,” Stankorb Taylor says. “It makes the sustainable choice a no-brainer and the spirit of Freebox makes it fun, too. I hope the event draws more Wyoming residents into the group to share and even find a few new treasures themselves!”
If you’re not already a member of Wyoming OH Freebox, search for the group on Facebook and click “Join Group.” Once you’re approved by an admin, you can start sharing and finding items from your neighbors.