In general, the procedure involves the person with the item listing it on the board or forum, and the person who wants it comes to collect it.
The person giving the item away is saved the trouble of taking it to the dump, the person collecting it gets it for free, less the cost of gas, and the landfills are saved from another item.
- craigslist The Minneapolis/St. Paul craigslist site has a fast-moving free section, dominated by furniture and "free stuff left on curb after garage sale" posts. You'll need to email fast to get the good stuff.
- Freecycle similar to, and as just as popular as craigslist so you'll need to email just as fast. Freecycle groups are organized by county, so St. Paulites can visit the Ramsey County Freecycle group, and Minneapolitans can visit the Hennepin County group.
- Freepeats works in the same way as Freecycle but is exclusively for maternity, baby and children's items. There is a small fee to join Freepeats, but entirely worth it for the free swings and sacks of baby clothes.
- Twin Cities Free Market hosts listings of all kinds of home and garden items, appliances, arts and crafts supplies, toys, musical instruments and more. Free Market is run by St. Paul recycling company Eureka recycling.
- City Pages has a classifieds ads with a free section. A lot of junk, with some gems thrown in.
A couple of tips to remember:
You'll need to be able to collect the object, important if it's a washing machine. Note the location of the item before inquiring about it.
The items are free and may well be worth exactly that. Ugly furniture and things that don't work are rampant so double check any important details before agreeing to pick up an item.
As well as getting free items, it's a great way to get rid of things before moving, or after a yard sale, or just spring cleaning. It's usually free to list items and as the saying goes, one man's trash is another's treasure. People want the strangest things, it's free to post, so if you want to clear out the garage, a couple of minutes posting on craigslist or Freecycle may save you a trip to the dump.