Here There and Everywhere

Expat wanderer


There was an article within the last few days in the Kuwait Times about Freecycle but this is not the recent article. It was the only article I could fine, from April 2007. The important thing is that it exists, and that setting up a Kuwait freecycle would be of benefit to many.

In the expat community, we do a lot of Freecycle on an informal basis. When we come, people help us out with things, and when we leave, we pass our things along. Sometimes we sell them, but often as not, we give them away and would love for them to fall into the right hands. We all hate waste.

(Oh my gosh! I just went to the Freecycle Website and found the Kuwait group and it has 122 members! Holy Smokes!) Click on the blue type and you can join the Kuwait group, too!

Don’t throw it away, someone might want it
Published Date: April 25, 2007
By Pete May

Our houses are full of them: old computers, fax machines, video players, fridges in the garage, vinyl records, unwanted armchairs – things we don’t want but still work. Research by reveals the British dispose of over £5.6bn worth of usable household items a year, including 1.35m working fridges and freezers, and 2.6m sofas. People out there want our redundant stuff – but how do we find them? A few weeks ago, I tried to shift a 10-year-old Apple Power Mac and a similarly ancient (in computer terms) Mac laptop. Both worked, so to throw them in a skip would have been wasteful and created toxic waste (computers can contain heavy metals and chemicals). I’d checked the likes of Computer Aid International ( and the Community Recycling Network ( Both accepted PCs, but the words “10-year-old Apple Mac” resulted in polite rejection.

So I tried Freecycle, an online forum where people give away and pick up unwanted stuff, free of charge. It has 4,009 communities worldwide and, according to its online counter, 3,401,532 users. I joined my local group and tentatively posted my message: “Offered: Power Mac with printer and Powerbook laptop, bought in 1997 but working fine, need to be collected.” Within three hours I’d had 30 replies. Suddenly my Macs were seen as a valuable resource. Jenny wanted the laptop for her 11-year-old son who was “a Mac fanatic”, while Julie wanted it for her soon-to-be daughter-in-law; Ben needed computers for his charity in Zimbabwe. It wasn’t easy to decide whom to give them to.

Freecycle etiquette dictates that you don’t necessarily give things to the first emailer – and you must reject anyone you suspect wants to sell the goods. I opted for friendly sounding people who could collect immediately: Andy, who’d been on disability benefit for three years, and Ruth, a cash-starved student. Since then I’ve used Freecycle to shift two fax machines, a Zip drive, an office desk, a child’s desk, a malfunctioning Hoover, some kitchen shelves, a washing machine and my local vicar’s sofa bed. Our fridge-freezer went to a woman with cancer who was on a special diet and needed it for her store of juices. Our rubbish was helping someone fight for life. Then I visited SwapXchange, which offers items to swap from all over the country via its website ( I exchanged a juicer and a Kenwood mixer for a bottle of organic wine apiece.

(Read the rest of the article by clicking on the BLUE Kuwait Times type, above.)

Pass it along. . . !

January 3, 2008 - Posted by | Bureaucracy, Community, Entrepreneur, ExPat Life, Experiment, Financial Issues, Kuwait, Social Issues


  1. I remember a friend of my dad gave away his car for free(which was bit old) on leaving Kuwait.

    Wish someone had a Jaguar to give away for free(just kidding!) 😀

    Comment by Joel | January 3, 2008 | Reply

  2. How cool is that! A free car! But a free Jag might be costly, if it is a lemon 😀

    Comment by intlxpatr | January 3, 2008 | Reply

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