When I was in London last year, a friend told me about a great organization called 'Freecycle'. Freecycle was started as a grassroots movement to provide a way for people to give away items they no longer needed. By giving things away instead of throwing them in the trash, a lot of functional items are kept out of the landfill.
When I returned to Atlanta, I checked the Freecycle website. I was amazed to find that there is a robust freecycle network in Atlanta; in fact, freecycle networks are active in every state and in dozens of countries. If you are interested in participating in freecycle in your area, find your local freecycle chapter on the freecycle website then join the local freecycle yahoo group, which enables you to post items you are offering (and see other items being offered). The website explains the system in more detail, but just know that if you join the freecycle group, it is good to create a filter on your email for freecycle related emails because there can be dozens and dozens a day. I have all freecycle emails go to their own folder so I do not have to look at the messages unless I want to.
I tried it out for the first time this week as I wanted to get rid of some old furniture. I posted the furniture on the local freecycle board, had at least a dozen people who wanted the items, picked a person and coordinated pickup. The website clearly states that freecycle members use freecycle services at their own risk (similar to Craigslist usage). I left the items out in front of my garage and the freecycler picked them up without my assistance or involvement. The person who took my furniture was so thrilled to be receiving such needed items for free, and I feel good that they will be used and appreciated for years to come.
So, the next time you have something to give away, consider using freecycle!