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Yoink! Free goods-sharing website launched

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Using Yoink

Want to recycle your old stuff to a new home? Get Yoinking!

Credit: Bonobo

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A free online service to help people around the world recycle and reuse unwanted, everyday items has been launched by an Australian company.

The new website and iPhone application, Yoink, was created by a small team of Australian web and graphic designers and officially unveiled earlier this month. The idea behind the service is similar to online auction site eBay, but with a twist - everything must be free, locally picked up and there is no bidding. The first person to 'yoink' an item from someone wins it instantly.

"We made Yoink so that it only takes 30 seconds to either give something away or find free stuff from people near you," said Ben Hamey, co-founder of Bonobo, the company behind the idea.

"Grab something you don't need anymore, put it on Yoink and its available for anyone in your community."

The mapping technology behind the service sets it apart from similar free goods-sharing sites, such as Freecyle. Yoink listings are placed on an interactive Google map, allowing users to zone in and locate unwanted items in their local area. Then it's as simple as clicking the 'Yoink' button, trading information with the owner and going to pick the find up (directions are even included through the service).

So far around 600 items have been listed, including everything from televisions and mobile phones to clothing and car seat covers to free range eggs.

As well as a money-saving tool, Yoink is helping to keep unwanted items out of landfill, extend the lifetime of usable products and make the most of resources, while saving energy and materials that would otherwise be spent on new goods, its creators said.

"I have loads of stuff filling my cupboards and selling is either a hassle or sometimes not really appropriate. It's better off being used by someone else than just ending up at the tip," said Melbourne's Jordan Prosser, one of the first Yoink users.

With members already signed up from as far-reaching places as Italy and Macedonia, Yoink also displays a worldwide scoreboard ranking people, cities and countries to determine who is the most generous at giving items away.

Yoink is available free at www.yoink.com and on the iPhone App Store.