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Welcome to the Burlington VT Freecycle Group! This group is a member of the Freecycle Network(TM) and is for people who live locally in the Chittenden County area. (This file was last updated on 8/22/12.) Please do not post anything until you have read and understood the following policies. Keep this letter for reference in case you have questions. This file can also be found in the group's files section. Please read through the frequently asked questions before emailing the moderators with a question. Yes, there is a lot of information, but it's very useful so please read. If your question is not answered or you need further help, then email it to the moderators only, not the whole group.

Everything that is posted to Freecycle must be free. It can be almost any tangible item such as a sofa, fill dirt, clothes, etc. Please do not post things that are not tangible like services or advice. The object does not need to have monetary value, and no money should ever be involved (that includes offers to pay for shipping). Trades, barter and coupons (including grocery store points) are not allowed. The idea is to clean out stuff that you’re not using and give it new life by passing it along to another person. This keeps usable stuff out of the landfills and encourages people to reuse instead of buying new.

The Burlington group does not accept offers or requests for animals. Use your local humane society so new families can be screened and a good home can be found for the animal. Some other Freecycle groups allow pets, but we voted on it years ago and decided it was not a good idea for our group.

Items should be given to the first person to respond to the offer, not the first person who can get to you. Allow a reasonable amount of time (a day or two) for the first responder to arrange pick up. If the first person can't pick it up, doesn't respond, or decides that they do not want it, then go on to the second person in line.

If you are looking for something then you can post a request, but please be reasonable. Posting a request for a brand new expensive item is not realistic. Limit posts for the same item to no more than once a month. If the item is not something that would be thrown away then consider your request very carefully!

Below are examples of subject lines for your posts: OFFER: sofa (Burlington) You can put multiple items in one post and include your general location. Please do not include your street address. WANTED: sofa (Burlington) TAKEN: sofa (Burlington) For use only when the item has been picked up.

If it is not formatted properly then your post may be edited or rejected. Do not put things such as "NEEDED!!" "desperately wanted" etc. as your subject line. Try to describe your items as much as possible.

You can also post online using Message Maker which makes this very simple and you can remove your posts once the item is taken or received. If you have a Yahoo, Fairpoint or AOL email address, then this will work better than emailing your posts. It also keeps the website cleaner if you remove things that you no longer need to include.

Please do not post that an item is pending pickup or probably taken. This only increases the number of emails that are sent out to everyone. Please wait until the item is actually gone and then post a Taken message or remove your post online. Send a note to the people who respond to your post letting them know that they are number 2, 3, or 4 in line, and you will contact them if the people ahead of them in line are unable to pick up. Keep the list of people so that you can contact them later if needed.

To post a message send it to: or visit the group online. Once you are a member of the group you are able to post messages. Please send only Offer, Wanted or Taken messages to this address. Any notes to the moderators or problems do not go to this address. If you break the rules you will be warned, and if it continues to happen then you will be removed from the group. We'd rather not have to do this, but will do it if needed.

Frequently Asked Questions

WHY HASN'T MY POST APPEARED YET? New members of this group are moderated until they get the hang of it or if they have posted something inappropriate. There may be a delay before some posts are distributed to the whole group. Please do not post the same thing repeatedly and then email the moderators to ask where your post is. There may be a delay of a few hours, or even days. If you are having trouble receiving emails or signing in and have a Yahoo, AOL or Fairpoint email address, we are aware of the problem but do not yet have a fix. Please post from the website instead. There are also some keywords that cause the filters to hold your post for approval. This doesn’t mean that you’ve necessarily done something wrong, it just means that the post has to be manually approved.

HOW DO I LEAVE THE GROUP? If you only want to reduce the number of emails that you receive, then you can change your email settings instead. Do this online at: and log in. On the My Groups tab click on Settings and then choose “None”, “One for Each Post”, or "Email Digest". You can also leave the group on this page. The moderators are busy and will not do this for you. If you email the moderators with an unsubscribe request then we will give the same instructions to you. Please save yourself time, and just follow the instructions. :)

HOW DOES STUFF CHANGE HANDS THROUGH FREECYCLE? The time and location of pick up are entirely between the item’s owner and the recipient. The recipient of the item is responsible for picking up the item. A few exceptions may be made such as for a disabled person who cannot drive, but that is up to the item’s owner to decide when it is appropriate.

When making an offer, please do not waste people's time with messages like “It’ll be on the porch for the first one to show up!” Please do not post directions to your house, your address or your phone number. Meet in a public place if possible. Agree on a time and place to meet. Please remember to show up at the time agreed upon or let the other person know if you can't be there as planned. After all if someone is giving you a free item, the least you can do is show up when you say you will. Keep safety in mind whenever using an online group.

WHAT IF SOMEONE DOESN’T SHOW UP TO CLAIM AN ITEM? If they don’t reschedule, then please move on to the next person in line. Keep the list of people who respond to an offer so you know who is next in line. Please also notify the moderator in case there are repeated instances with the same person. If we receive two complaints about a member then the member will be removed from the group.

WHY DO MY EMAIL SETTINGS KEEP CHANGING BY THEMSELVES? If your email bounces back to the server as being undeliverable, it will automatically change from individual emails to digest. If a digest bounces it will change to no email. This seems to be an ongoing problem with AOL email addresses in particular and sometimes Yahoo emails. The moderators can’t fix this for you. The only solution is to keep changing your settings, check posts online, or change to another email host that works more consistently.

WHAT IF SOMEONE MAKES PERSONAL COMMENTS ABOUT ME BECAUSE OF SOMETHING I POSTED? Please email the moderator privately if this happens. Any blatantly inappropriate emails will cause the sender to be removed from the group immediately. Be nice. :) You never know who is on the receiving end of your emails. It could be your long lost friend, doctor, teacher or grandmother.

If you feel that an offer or wanted post is inappropriate, the moderators may have thought so too. The moderators read every post to this group, and respond to individuals when needed. Offer and wanted posts do not need to be forwarded to the moderators because we already get them.

I REPLIED TO AN OFFER BUT DIDN'T HEAR BACK. SHOULD I KEEP EMAILING THE PERSON? Email once, and if you don't hear back, assume it's taken.

IF I SEE SOMETHING GOOD ON THE CURB, IS IT OK TO POST ABOUT IT TO THE LIST? Please don't. This causes people to waste gas driving to a location only to find that the item is gone. We also don't want to promote accidental theft from someone's lawn. This includes your lawn sale leftovers that you put out by the side of the road with a free sign. Please see info on how Freecycle works above.

I SAW SOMEONE ELSE POST AN OFFER FOR _____ SO NOW CAN I POST THIS TOO? This person may have missed reading the rules or just decided to post their inappropriate message anyway. If you post something similar, we are going to send you a similar note asking you not to do that.

I DON'T HAVE A FREE ITEM BUT I HAVE ONE FOR SALE, OR I KNOW WHERE YOU CAN BUY ONE. IS IT OK TO RESPOND TO THE PERSON LETTING THEM KNOW THAT? If money is involved in any way then do not involve this group. If you are contacted by someone who wants to sell you something through Freecycle, then please send a note to the moderators.

IS IT OK TO OFFER OR REQUEST A SERVICE OR ADVICE? If you can't physically touch the item then it's not appropriate. The idea is for people to exchange stuff that otherwise might end up in our landfills. There may be the occasional exception (like, if someone could help fix your freezer, it would be saved from the landfill) but those will be allowed on an individual basis- consult the moderators privately if you're not sure.

CAN I GIVE AWAY COSMETICS AND UNUSED MEDICATIONS? Please don’t. Opened cosmetics can spread microorganisms. Giving prescription medications to others is illegal and cannot be done on Freecycle.

I’M GETTING TOO MUCH EMAIL. DO I HAVE TO UNSUBSCRIBE? You can choose “None” so you’ll only receive the very occasional administrative messages from the moderators, "Email Digest" so you’ll get one message each day with all of the day’s messages in it, or "One for Each Post” to get each message sent to you individually. You can adjust your own email settings by visiting the group online, clicking on My Groups and then clicking on Settings. Please note that if you choose "Email Digest" then things may be claimed by the time you receive the digest. The digest is sent automatically when there are 25 posts. The moderators cannot make changes to the format or the frequency of the digest.

SHOULD I POST A PENDING PICKUP NOTICE? Please wait until the item is *actually gone* to post a Taken notice. You might respond to the 2nd and 3rd people on the list letting them know that they will be contacted if the first person falls through. If the first person doesn’t show up, you may simply go on to the next on the list. How long should you wait before going on to the next person? I usually suggest a day or two. If it's a holiday weekend, then waiting a little longer might be appropriate.

MAY I OFFER OR REQUEST WEAPONS, ALCOHOL, ADULT MATERIALS OR TOBACCO? No weapons of any kind, alcohol, pornography, or tobacco. Our group includes all kinds of different people, and the items need to be appropriate for all members.

MAY I CONTACT MEMBERS OF THE LIST PRIVATELY? You may contact members to arrange pickups of items being exchanged or to request more information about an item. Anything beyond that, including offers of items for sale, comments about users' posts to the list, advertisements of other lists, or personal messages, is not allowed. Please keep communications on-topic with no offers of dates, movies, coffee, drinks, dinner, or anything else.

CAN I REQUEST STUFF TO SELL AT MY YARD SALE/SCHOOL FUNDRAISER/ON EBAY? While we cannot follow you home to see what happens to things, we will assume that you are the end user. If people wanted to sell their stuff they would do it themselves. Please don't post requests for stuff to sell.

CAN I OFFER AN ITEM THAT IS NOT IN THE BURLINGTON AREA? Please limit posts to items that can be picked up locally in Chittenden County or very close to the borders of the county. Please do not offer or request shipping or post items that are far away. If you do not live locally then there may be another group closer to your home that would be more appropriate. Check to find a closer group.

WHAT HAPPENS IF I BREAK THE RULES? The first time, you will be warned and you may be placed on moderation. This means that every post that you make will first have to be approved by the moderators before being sent to the whole group. Moderation will continue for as long as the moderators feel it is necessary. Please email the moderators to discuss this further. If a member continues to be a problem, they will be removed from the list.

Also please note that we reserve the right to change or update these guidelines, to reject or edit any message, and to remove any member who is abusing this list. Thanks for reading this information. You may disagree with some of these rules, but this is what has been decided upon to keep everyone happy and this group running smoothly. If you want to use the group, then these are the guidelines you will need to follow.

Leigh & Jace

Burlington VT Freecycle Moderators

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