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Reducing Waste/Free Trade Ireland

Waste Reduction  - giving a new home to your used and unwanted items!

FreeTrade Ireland is a web service designed to facilitate and encourage the reuse of household and business items.  It helps you find a home for items you no longer need and also allows you to search for items you may need. There is no cost involved.

The service was developed from the Dublin Free Trade application, which has been operating successfully since 2006, and is a free and accessible service for all. 
The expansion of the service to a national audience is recognition of its effectiveness to:

  • Protect the environment through the reuse of items.
  • Reduce costs for users on waste disposal.
  • Encourage the better use of household and business resources.
  • Extend the lifespan and value of items through reuse.
  • Contribute to a more sustainable lifestyle for citizens in Ireland.
  • Bring about a change in our behaviour in the management of wastes.  

FreeTrade Ireland is a public initiative.  The website was set up with funding from the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government and is funded on an on-going basis by Local Authorities in Ireland.

FreeTrade Ireland features include:

  • Dedicated offered and wanted, household and business sections;
  • Comprehensive item category and subcategory listings to ensure ease of access to information;
  • Specific ‘ household’ and ‘business’ account types to cater for the needs of various types of users;
  • Use of interactive mapping and route selection applications to help users pin point where particular items are located around the country;
  • Up to date security features.

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Waste reduction and prevention is top of the waste management hierarchy. There are lots of ways we can reduce our waste and with simple changes we really can make a difference.

Top tips for reducing waste … your home

  • Have a garden composter for organic waste like vegetable peelings, food leftovers, teabags, fruit peelings, garden waste and divert 1/3 of your waste away from landfill
  • Buy fruit and vegetables that have no unnecessary packaging, e.g. bananas don’t need a bag and pick your own loose mushrooms and put them in a paper bag instead of ones pre-packed in plastic
  • Where possible buy groceries packed in recyclable packaging like glass or cardboard instead of foil and plastic, e.g. loose washing powder in a cardboard box instead of individually wrapped portions of detergent
  • Use a lunchbox for your sandwiches or salad and don’t wrap them in plastic
  • Use washable kitchen cloths instead of disposable wipes / kitchen towels
  • Bring your own bags for all shopping trips - clothes, books, toys and groceries
  • Re-use paper and plastic shopping bags as many times as possible
  • Buy a battery recharger and use recyclable batteries
  • Where possible buy larger containers, e.g. a 2-litre bottle of cola instead of a few small bottles or cans
  • Don’t dump old clothes or furniture – someone else might be delighted to buy them at a charity shop.
  • Give gifts in re-useable gift bags instead on wrapping paper.
  • Use cloth nappies…by using cloth nappies even some of the time you are saving money and helping the environment.

Top tips for reducing waste … your workplace

  • Photocopy and print on both sides of the page
  • Proof-read documents and read emails on screen rather than printing them out
  • Use mugs and glasses instead of paper / plastic / polystyrene containers for hot and cold drinks
  • Don’t dump used printer, fax and photocopier cartridges – most suppliers and many charities collect returns
  • Separate office paper, cardboard, newspapers, plastic bottles and organic waste and get it recycled – you will save money as well as the environment
  • Use stainless steel cutlery instead of plastic
  • Use salt & pepper cellars instead of pre-packed sachets
  • Re-use envelopes and jiffy bags
  • Have a garden composter for organic waste like teabags, fruit peelings
  • In the canteen, encourage staff to take only the number of serviettes and condiments they really need

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