Reuse options in and around Reading, including Freecycle & charity shops
Welcome to our complete guide to Freecycle Reading. Here we discuss all the ways to give and find things for free in and around Reading. Find out how to join and use Freecycle Reading as well as other trusted reuse sites.
1) Freecycle Reading
Freecycle is a website where you can find and exchange pre-owned items for free. Town groups connect local residents, such as Freecycle Reading, which has over 40,000 members at the time of writing.
Freecycle can sometimes cause confusion because many people and organisations have picked up the name over the years to refer to their reuse projects. ‘Freecycle’ can sometimes refer to Freegle groups or independent reuse and recycle networks. For clarity, Freecycle.org and The Freecycle Network refer to this platform in particular.
Register for free using your Facebook account or an email address. Then you can find your closest town group (there may be more than one that is relevant for you) and join it to see pre-owned items available near you. To list an item you want to get rid of:
- Take a photo
- Write a short description
- Include any preferences about collection
- If you’re looking for something specific, create a Wanted listing and other Reading residents can contact you.
There are some rules to keep in mind. If not, you risk a suspended account:
- Keep the space free of spam, money and politics
- No personal ads (this means yourself or somebody else)
- Drugs or other illegal substances/ items are not allowed
- Don’t post animals
- Try not to post too many Wanted listings – the site flags them as spam
2) Trashnothing Reading
Trashnothing is a reuse website similar to Freecycle. Listings from different reuse platforms appear together in the same place. Just like Freecycle, there are local town groups connecting local reusers in Reading. Just to be confusing, Trashnothing’s town groups often go by a few different names. In this case, the city-wide group is called Reading Free, with over 11,000 members. Don’t worry – the names aren’t too important.
Sign up to Trashnothing and use it just like Freecycle.
LoveJunk is an online marketplace where you can sustainably dispose of unwanted larger items as well as find pre-owned items for free. The marketplace matches you and your items to collectors (who will divert the waste from landfill) or to reusers in and around Reading.
To get rid of an item, go to LoveJunk’s homepage and click “Find Your Cheapest Collector”. Follow the instructions to create a free listing and then your listing goes live. You can choose to just show your item to collectors who will come and collect for a fee. If your item is reusable, you can show it to both collectors and reusers. Reusers come and collect items free of charge. The great thing is that even if you don't find a reuser for your item, you'll still be able to get rid of it by paying a collector.
To find free stuff through LoveJunk, you can register as a ReUser (also known as JunkLovers) on the site or marketplace app. You can set filters to show items in and around Reading. Anything that catches your eye, message the owner and collect for free!
4) Gumtree Reading Freebies section
You’ve probably heard of Gumtree: a well-known site for classified ads. It sells all kinds of items and services. As well as buy and sell features, it also has a ‘Freebies’ section. Members use this to give items away as ‘freebies’. Adjust your filters to show free items in Reading.
It’s free to sign up. You need to be a member to contact others about their listings and to make your own. A basic listing is free to create, but there are also paid options that boost the visibility of your item if you want. It’s still free to respond to a boosted listing.
Sometimes, members forget or don’t list their free items under the ‘Freebies’ section. Try searching your item plus ‘free’ at the end, for example: “cushions free”.
5) Reading council reuse scheme
There are 2 recycling centres in Reading and you can donate unwanted items at either site. Their addresses are:
- Reading site - Smallmead Recycling Centre, Island Road, Reading, RG2 0RP
- Bracknell site - Longshot Lane Recycling Centre, Longshot Lane, Bracknell, RG12 1RL
There are designated containers for reuse. Both sites also have reuse shops where they resell the items in aid of Sue Ryder charity. They encourage donations of:
- Bric a brac
- China and crockery
- Pots and pans
- Pushchairs, cots, prams
6) Furniture Reuse Charity Shops in Reading
There is always the more traditional route of donating items to charity shops. Here are some in Reading that accept second-hand furniture:
SARA - Asthma Charity - Second Hand and Used Furniture
Address: 16b Richfield Ave, Reading RG1 8EQ.
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 10am-5.30pm, Sundays 11-4.
Contact number: 07889 732812
British Heart Foundation Furniture & Electrical
Address: 26 Oxford Rd, Reading RG1 7LA
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm, Sundays 10am-4pm.
Contact number: 0118 914 5750
Christian Community Action Ministries
Address: 79 Northumberland Ave, Reading RG2 7PT
Opening hours: Monday-Saturday 9.30am-5.30pm, Sundays closed.
Contact number: 0118 975 9459
Reuse not possible? Alternatives to Freecycle in Reading
Sometimes, Freecycling or reusing your items just isn't possible. Don't worry - our guides are here to help you:
- Rubbish Clearance Reading - our complete guide to sustainably disposing of your junk in Reading.
More questions about Freecycle? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Freecycle with a step-by-step guide to using, plus all questions answered.