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How the Sharing Economy Redefines Waste

How will the emerging sharing economy change cities? Future Cities spoke with Mike Zuckerman, founder of Freespace, at the MAS Summit in New York in October about how far the sharing economy has come, how it's changing our understanding of waste, and what the future holds.
Tuesday, November 19, 2013 07:00 EST | 7
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Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/20/2013 10:38:04 AM
User Rank Staff
Re: A great idea!
Hi Toby. Yes, we do! Actually, my mom is in the process of getting ready to sell her house and she was telling me that she planned to use FreeCycle to get rid of some stuff. What a great service.

Toby
Toby  
11/20/2013 5:40:10 AM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: A great idea!
@Nicole: In London we have a service called FreeCycle which you can sign up for and then post stuff you want to GIVE away. This means that you very quickly manage to turn your waste items into some else's magic find and it is amazing what sort of stuff gets posted and what gets picked up from there. Does NYC have a Freecycle service?

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/19/2013 5:59:01 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: A great idea!
I agree on the need for planning and leadership around sharing, kq4ym. Still, I think any effort that gets us thinking in another direction won't be wasted. It may take some time for real plans to take root and unfold.

kq4ym
kq4ym  
11/19/2013 5:35:41 PM
User Rank Urban Legend
Re: A great idea!
Sharing sounds cool. After all we're taught that from kindergarten on. But, unless the folks taking advantage of the privilege have sustainable projects or business ideas, it may turn out to be a flash in the pan as groups starts and then fold.

Serendipity may move a few projects foward, but I'm afraid of the probably larger groups of not so successful that may drag the sharing ecomomy into submission.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/19/2013 1:52:43 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: A great idea!
Sharing: What a novel concept in this day and age of collective greed and self interest. Personally, I take this blog as a reminder to try and resist the behaviors that I believe to be antisocial in my own life. Maybe I could start with an attitude of helpfulness -- not always easy to maintain once you venture out the door, but we have to try!

Nicole Ferraro
Nicole Ferraro  
11/19/2013 1:11:47 PM
User Rank Staff
Re: A great idea!
This is very cool, and I like Mike's take on what waste is, and how we can change the nature of waste.

We talked a bit further about other examples of the "sharing economy" and Mike brought up examples of things like car-sharing/car-pooling platforms.

His point about cities always being platforms for sharing is spot on, and it's interesting to think about how we can stretch that out in a broader way and redefine the way we work and live.

One thing I'd still like Mike to weigh in on (if you're seeing this, Mike, we welcome your feedback here!) is what the [freespace] space is being used for now.

Mary Jander
Mary Jander  
11/19/2013 10:49:28 AM
User Rank Staff
A great idea!
How creative is this? Just hearing about the Freespace project and viewing some scenes from it is a mind-opening experience. We so need this kind of creative, communiity-focused thinking in our cities. Bravo!

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