OVER 17,000 items have been saved from landfill after a group was formed to encourage people to exchange or donate their unwanted possessions.

Worcestershire Waste Exchange was founded on Facebook in June last year by Alex Giles, in a bid to reduce the number of unwanted items binned and sent to landfill. Since the launch, 6,584 members have signed up to the Facebook group.

Mrs Giles, aged 28, said: “Looking back through analytics of the group, over 17,000 people have posted in the group since it was founded. And as most posts contain one or two items, or more, we could have saved anywhere between 17,000 and 34,000 items from going into landfill across Worcestershire.”

There have been a number of quirky exchanges throughout the group, including a furniture swap for chocolate.

Among the more interesting exchanges was when a Worcester resident helped spread some festive cheer by managing to gather 47 unwanted Christmas trees, decorations and chocolates to hand out to families.

Mrs Giles, from Droitwich, added: “It’s been really good. So many people post on the page every day. It is awesome, it’s so nice that these people want to help others in the community. The success has been a shock. It all started from a little idea on a Sunday morning. Everyone has come together and are actively using the group. It helps people who are going through rough times. It’s nice that we have been able to help so many people who have needed support. Some people don’t want to ask for help, so the idea of the group is for people to swap or donate their unwanted things.”

In the last seven days, 82 new members have joined, with 1,000 posts and 5,000 comments. Mrs Giles said she is hoping to organise a swap event this year where any leftover items will be donated to charity.

“I wanted to say thank you to everyone for making this group what it is and wanted to especially thank the wonderful admin team who have sifted through well over 17,000 posts,” she added.


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