My watch list  

The RealCycle Network

The RealCycle Network is an organisation of concerned members of the United Kingdom (UK) public.

The whole concept is based around the giving and receiving of usable items that may well end up in the local tip or landfill.

Each group has a home in the Yahoo Groups structure. Run by Moderators local to that area, it allows each person to offer items no longer wanted or request items of use as an alternative to buying new.

"Do the Right Thing!" is The RealCycle Network's official tagline.


Background and origin

It began on the 9 of June 2007 after the owner of a Freecycle group became disillusioned with Freecycle after reading all the awful things that people were saying about the inner workings of Freecycle. After talking to many other moderators, Tracy Matthews of The Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, decided enough was enough and created The RealCycle Network that is exclusive to the United Kingdom. She moved her group over to this new network - The Vale of Glamorgan RealCycle. A few other concerned Freecycle moderators also brought their groups over to RealCycle as they were as disappointed with the politics and controversies that surrounded the Freecycle Network.

All active groups runs nicely as a Yahoo! Groups mailing list run by moderators who give their time freely to spreading the concept of 'reducing, reusing, and recycling'. There are plenty of new groups that need to be started as RealCycle is still a very young network. However, being new does not mean inexperienced. To date (11 August 2007) there are now 15 groups in existence with another 4 ready to be launched

Local communities

The local community structure is extremely important to RealCycle, it is the foundation of all their groups and RealCycle encourages extra posts of advice and community as well as the standard email postings of "offered", "wanted", "taken", and "received". This has gone down well with members that have come over from Freecycle as it makes the groups feel more homely and relaxed.

The groups can have their own individual cafe groups to chat and mingle with people from their local area as well as country-wide cafe groups, namely - RealCycle Cafe Wales, - RealCycle Cafe England, - RealCycle Cafe Scotland & - RealCycle Cafe Northern Ireland

The Group Owners and Moderators also have their own Cafe to let off steam, chat to other mods about problems with members, question the validity of some posts or just talk about what they had for breakfast. This creates a comfortable unity with free speech available to all. If they have a problem with RealCycle, they can be comfortable with the notion that they can openly say so without the worry of reprisals. Many previous Freecycle group moderators have said how much more relaxed they feel at RealCycle because of this comfy armchair attitude.

Selling and swapping

As selling and swapping items are not allowed on the RealCycle groups we had requests from group members and moderators for us to come up with something to accommodate this, The RealCycle Network decided that two other groups could have a testing period, so they opened RealSell groups and RealSwap groups as members thought that some items were too good or expensive to just give away, but they didn't want to bother with sites like Ebay or Free Ad pages.

The items listed on these groups are quite inexpensive and the groups seem to be a hit with the RealCycle members. So far they have only opened up in - RealSell Wales and - RealSwap Wales and - RealSell England and - RealSwap England, but if needed they can be split into smaller groups for Counties and Cities in the future. There is no charge to use this service and the concept of collection of items remains the same as the standard RealCycle groups with members opting to post items to people who live a certain distance away for the actual charge of the posting.

UK FoodShare websites

This is a new type of regiving site for the UK, its very successful in the USA - full listings can be found at [1] Freesharing.Org Website, it has only 2 sites so far The Vale of Glamorgan Foodshare and Anglesey Foodshare. Both groups have a slow building members list, but it is believed the concept of giving food away isn't as easy to members as giving items away. The lack of backyard farmers is also a possible reason for the groups being quieter than the US. These groups will hopefully build a successful membership throughout the UK to be as successful as the US.


This is an idea that is being worked on by Tracy Matthews in her spare time. This will be a website attached to RealCycle for school children and adults to download information in PDF format to learn all about the concept of Reduce, Reuse and Recycle. These files will be geared to all ages, and the website will have interesting articles and fun games to play. Children will have pages to download for colouring in, there will be wordsearches and Spot the difference. More will be released about this as it progresses.

Regiving has a list of similar groups and organisations.

See also

News and media

  • Freecycling Blog
Topics related to The RealCycle Network
| Gift economics | Free recycling | Regiving | Sharing | Reuse | Recycle
This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "The_RealCycle_Network". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
Your browser is not current. Microsoft Internet Explorer 6.0 does not support some functions on Chemie.DE