San Marcos Mercury | Local News from San Marcos and Hays County, Texas
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Still wondering what to do with that old chair, lamp, pots and pans, television, or Polaroid camera? Freecycle it! is an organization that helps people get and give what they need. Rather than piling up the local landfill with unwanted items, give them to someone who is looking for those very items.

The organization currently keeps about 300 tons out of landfills each day.Currently there are participants in over 75 countries where there are thousands of different local groups. The millions of members take pride in ‘changing the world, one gift at a time.”

San Marcos has its own Freecycle group with 731 members. The group listing can be found on Yahoo Groups at

According to, the Freecycle Network is a place to give and receive what want and need.

The mission is to build a worldwide gifting movement that reduces waste, saves precious resources & eases the burden on our landfills while enabling our members to benefit from the strength of a larger community.

CORRECTED 3/8/8 | This story originally said items donated through qualify as federal income tax deductions for charitable giving. Only contributions to organizations with 501(c) status or equivalent are tax deductible.

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0 thoughts on “ offers ways to recycle household items

  1. Things that Freecycle members give to other members are NOT eligible for tax write-off, because they are not donated to a registered charity. It is just a gift between neighbors. The Freecycle Network, Inc., the corporation that coordinates the network, is a registered IRS 501 charity, so donations you give to help them fund their operation is tax-deductible. But household items given to neighbors through the Freecycle system are NOT tax-deductible.

  2. I am guessing (hoping) that Amanda is probably only 20 years ond and an idiot who is getting her first taste of writing. Writing an article involves full reseach and her little blub is biased and stupid. Granted she thought this was a cute little story which is why I think she is a newbew. She took a one sided approach to the subject and did not research the facts before reporting. A simple google of anti freecycle and the horrible tactics that may have made her report a little more creditable. I am not going to make this a rant, but if I were Amy on a big career move, I would change the over sugar coated freecycle to the “why people do not like the tactics of Deron Beal’s freecycle control issues and why are they turning to alternate better recycling sites?” Answer: Give us your opinion after you and Amy researches, reads the law suits and then make your decision.

  3. Donations to the Freecycle (TM) organization are tax deductible,but individual items gifted to someone are not.
    In response to Patricia above, this was a simple little blurb about Freecycle. The facts are all there. Yes, there are alternatives to Freecycle. This was not an article about them, however. Perhaps there will be another article about the alternatives. There is no reason to mention lawsuits, etc. in an article about recycling. The moderators of any other local recycling group should just write a similar blurb (without being negative about any other group) and send it to the paper.

  4. Amanda is not a “newbew” as you call her, Patricia. This piece was simply an informational article about one way of cutting down on the waste we all generate. It was not meant to be an in-depth investigative article that covered all sides of every issue. It was just to say… “Hey, here’s something cool going on in our city.”

    Assuming that giving through an organization structured as a 501 could be tax-deductible is not the sign of poor reporting, just a simply mistake.

    Patricia, it sounds like you have your own ax to grind in relation to freecycle and that is fine. Feel free to submit an article that uncovers “the dirty underside of giving.” (You can even steal that title.) In the meantime, deriding Amanda’s article does nothing to win converts to your way of thinking.

    PS. Who is Amy? (need a little more research)

  5. Rob Hof at BusinessWeek wrote an article and allowed reader comments on Freecycle. Here is a link to that URL for those interested in reading more:

    We had several informal ways to give things to others in Plano. It was very helpful in our recent move to San Marcos since we are dramatically downsizing our house (all part of lowering our carbon footprint and wanting to live more simply).

  6. “just a simply mistake” – hum, not going to get her awards for reporting. Granted, as you say this was to be an informational story, but an informational story DOES need to provide acurate information. I freecycle often, but I use As far as Amy vs. Amanda, my best friend’s name is Amanda and has been called Amy since birth, my bad.

  7. As is so often the case, an error is used to justify a rant based on an agenda that had nothing to do with the error. Maybe it would be a good idea for the publisher to issue a correction, after looking into the matter to be clear on the tax implications. But assaulting the reporter is not justified, nor is a rant about the evils of Freecycle. Agree or disagree with policies and practices of The Freecycle Network, Inc. (TFN) as a corporate entity, but that is not a reflection on the quality of the volunteer work that local Freecycle moderators do for their communities. My local group left TFN over policy matters, but that says nothing about my respect for local Freecycle moderators still in the TFN network. Calling the reporter an “idiot” before waiting to see if a correction was published, and after an admission already given that it was a mistake, is … well … something comes to mind about a black pot and a kettle.

  8. In response to Patricia, Amanda is far from a 20 year old cutesy newbie. She is a college graduate and dynamic young woman who through her skills has been and continues to be a tremendous asset to Texas State and the greater San Marcos community.

    This is one of many endeavors she’s taken on in an effort to gain experience and make herself better at her job. Everyone makes mistakes, journalists included, at every level. The best approach is to point out the error so that her and her staff can be aware and move forward, not to throw out biased, unjust, and unresearched assumptions.

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