GRAFENWOEHR, Germany -- Both the U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria Freecycle Center and Earth Day celebrated anniversaries on April 22.

The Freecycle Center, where community members can drop off and pick up used household items, clothes, books, toys and furniture for free, opened its doors last year on Earth Day, which turned 44 this month.

Since then, the center has redistributed goods worth $172,560 to the community.

"The idea is that young Soldiers who don't have that much money can have free stuff," said Ohla Werner, chief of utilities at the Directorate of Public Works.

Those squeamish about the quality of free, used items can be assured that only the best donations are available to the community.

"We get so much stuff we can be really picky about what we put out," said Marika Rathbun, Freecycle manager.

The rest of the donations, explained Rathbun, go to local charities or get recycled.

While the center is still new to U.S. Army Garrison Bavaria, it has already made a big impact.

"This has been a phenomenal program," said Col. James Saenz, USAG Bavaria commander. "This has actually become a model for other garrisons in Europe."

The Freecycle Center is run completely by volunteers, some of whom donated 400 hours last year. If you would like to volunteer, please send an email to

The Freecycle Center is open every Tuesday, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. and the first Saturday of every month, 10 a.m.-2 p.m. Tower Barracks, Bldg. 441, next to the Car Care Center. The donation box is at the same location and is open 24/7.