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Swapping things: Bytasaker

The idea is to provide communities with a website and an app for individuals to advertise things they want to get rid of: things that still function but have a small value and would otherwise end up at recycling centres.

The app is simple to use. The idea is to log into the app, take a photo and, within a few ‘clicks’, the advertisement is on the site.

The main idea is that the community ‘pays’ quite a cheap annual cost to get access to the site and the app, and its inhabitants use it for free. Everything has to be free: the advertisements and the things you want to get rid of.

The idea is to focus this type of ‘free site’ within the community. There is then a better effect on the number of advertisements, and it ensures the ‘givers’ and ‘receivers’ are geographically close to each other. The only effort the community contributes is the marketing of the site and app to their inhabitants.

The site will also provide the community with ongoing statistical data regarding the amount of advertisements and things that have found new owners within the group.

The inspiration came from my line of work. I work with waste and have my own sorting facility in Gothenburg. Every day I see a lot of things in the rubbish that should not be there – things that other people could use again. Sometimes these are quite new items, fully functioning.

There are a lot of free websites in Sweden, but our opinion is that these are not working well. Above all, there is no idea about the amount of waste going for reuse within these channels. By letting the community handle and control its own site, it will get control of the flow and have a chance to market it. The community get the results of the effort and can then decide how to continue the marketing efforts.

The group needs to get engaged in the project, and encourage locals to use it instead of going to recycling stations. By using the community, people will be more eager to help and realise that reusing things is necessary for the future.

Countries that have some kind of community system could also implement such a system.

Anders Redmo, Bytasaker Sverige

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