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  • Jill Littlewood
    Giving goods a second chance By Jessica Ryu South Coast Beacon One man s trash is another man s treasure. For Donna Lomangino, owner of a graphic design studio
    Message 1 of 1 , Jul 29, 2004
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      Giving goods a second chance

      By Jessica Ryu
      South Coast Beacon

      One man's trash is another man's treasure. For Donna Lomangino, owner of a graphic design studio in Washington, D.C., the fact that Americans consume 80 percent of the world's goods and then proceed to throw away 80 percent of them, is a problem that needed to be addressed. The solution? She created and funded a Web site where excess possessions and surplus or outdated inventory could be listed for donation to charities, nonprofits organizations, businesses or individuals for reuse.

      Throwplace.com was officially launched in March. Items can be "thrown" by anyone into one of the site's three sections: Charity, in which charities and nonprofit groups registered can make requests for listings; Business, in which individuals or businesses can request items; or Up-For-Grabs, a place to list miscellaneous items of low value. Businesses and individuals pay a nominal subscription fee of $10 a month and are allowed to take as many items from the Business and Up-For-Grabs section as they please. Everything from exercise equipment to computers to cameras, desks and chairs are and can be "thrown" onto the site for reuse.

      Throwing is free. So far, there have been more than 300 "sessions" - people requesting thrown items and the "thrower" designating them the new owner - per day. When someone wants to request an item, he or she fills out a form that the "thrower" can access through his or her account. If there are many requests, the "thrower decides where the item will go. E-mail addresses are then released so the "thrower" and "receiver" can communicate about shipment.

      Charities such as Habitat for Humanity, Free the Need and Ventura-based Wordirect, which provides Bible curriculum and resources for children, youth and families in other nations, are registered with the site and are allowed to take five items per month at no charge. A nominal fee is required for the subsequent items taken. In order to keep everything on Throwplace.com as free as possible, Lomangino uses the minor subscription fees to pay for the upkeep.

      "I'd like to see this become a really big resource for everybody. This is directly related to keeping things out of landfills," said Lomangino.

      Throwplace.com depends on people to "throw" their items onto the site. Instead of reaching for the trash bag to get rid of the lamp, or hauling the old sofa to the dumpster, think of Throwplace.com. Combating wastefulness is only a few clicks away.



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