If you are looking to donate and recycle in New York City then you will likely have your work cut out for you. Between curb side pick -up rules and the various departments that handle recycling, you could be looking for weeks to dispose of your used goods. Donating can be just has difficult when navigating the hundreds of charities and organizations that may or may not want your stuff. Sometimes it may not seem worth it to do all of this work and you end up just throwing things in the trash.
Baby Gear, Toys, and Kids Clothing
Room to Grow Foundation
Room to Grow aims to enrich the lives of babies born into poverty throughout their first three years of life. If you have any baby item in good shape that you would like to donate, you can drop it off at 54 West 21st Street, #401 from Monday through Friday 9:30 am – 5:00 pm. Curbside service is available on Mondays and Fridays from 10:00 am – 4:00 pm. You can call them at 212.620.7800to let them know when you would like to come by.
Each month, Baby Buggy serves approximately 2,000 families and 2,600 children in Chicago, Dallas, Los Angeles, Minneapolis, New York, and Washington, DC. Baby Buggy works with various charity programs to distribute baby gear and clothing to families in need. To donate call 212-736-1777 to schedule an appointment. They are located at 306 W. 37th Street, 8th Floor.
Make Money from Your Used Goods
Books and Magazines
Who wants to throw away a perfectly good book? If you cannot make it somewhere to donate your books then simple put a clean box outside on the curb with a “free” sign on it. Your books will be gone in no time.
Books through Bars NYC
Books Through Bars provides books to inmates in the New York prison system. You can drop off your books to at Freebird Bookstore on Mondays 7:30-9:30pm Thursdays 7:30-9:30pm and Sundays 5:00-8pm.
BookMooch lets you give away books you no longer need in exchange for books you want. This website runs on a point based system (1 book = 1 point) and you can redeem other books with your points. You can also give your points to charities such as children’s hospitals, African literacy, and more.
New York Public Library Book Donations
As of Summer 2011 the Brooklyn Library no longer accepts book donations but you can still take your used books into the city. The Library accepts donations of books, DVDs, CDs, and VHS tapes in good condition. All donations should be brought to the Mid-Manhattan Library at 455 Fifth Avenue. Click here for donation instructions.
Old carpet can get really…well…..yuck. When it is time to throw it away yo can choose to recycle it and have it turned into something else.
This trendy and cool looking floor tile company should be I your home already…so when you are done with the tiles, simply return them by calling the customer service line on their website.
Long Island Carpet Recycling
LICR services Suffolk, Nassau, Queens, Brooklyn, Bronx, Manhattan and Tri-State area. For a fee, they will pick up your used carpet for proper disposal. They then bring your carpet waste back to their facility for processing. Call 631-676-5161 or email Recycle@LICarpetRecycling.com
Clothing and Textiles
Annually, NYC residents throw away approximately 200,000 tons of clothes, towels, blankets, curtains, shoes, handbags, belts, and other textiles and apparel according to Grow NYC. You can do your part to minimize this colossal waste by recycling or donating your cloth goods.
Theater Development Fund Costume Collection
TDF is a rental company serving not-for-profit theatres, opera and dance companies, universities, colleges, schools and other performing arts organizations nationwide. If you have something really special to donate that you simply do not want to throw away call them at (212) 989-5855 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to see if they are in need of your clothes or jewelry.
City Sponsored Stop and Swap Events
A clothing swap can be a really fun way to give your clothing a new home. Bring family, friends, and a tote bag. You can drop off your stuff and maybe get some new stuff in return. Click here for the city’s listings of local swaps.
If you live in a building then you can request a clothing recycle bin from Wearable Collections and they will contact you to set it up. They will do pick-ups about once a week of your buildings left over clothing.
Re-Fashion Clothing Bins
Re_Fashion NYC is a partnership with Housing Works that also provides clothing recycling bins to buildings with more than 10 units. If you would like one in your home or business then fill out their online inquiry form here
NYC Greenmarkets Textile Recycling Stations
If you have old towels, sheets, stained baby clothing, and generally something you would throw in the garbage, drop it off at a local Greenmarket Textile Recycle Area. They are located at most Greenmarkets in the city and a full list can be found here.
Electronics & Printer Ink
Best Buy Electronics Recycling
Best Buy locations all over NYC accept donations of used electronics such as computers, printers, and keyboards.
Staples Ink and Trade in Program
Staples has a similar electronics program that even offers trade ins for gift cards and store credit. You may also recycle your toner cartridges here as well.
Lower East Side Ecology Center – E Waste Warehouse
Not on the Lower East Side but in Brooklyn, this e waste warehouse is the location for free electronic recycling in NYC. If your equipment works, they will try to give it a second life. Whether your equipment gets reused or recycled, they also guarantee data security. Located at 469 President Street (at Nevins Street) Brooklyn, NY 11215
Here is a great post on more electronics recycling.
Eyeglasses and Sunglasses
Moscot Mobileyes Foundation
MOSCOT Mobileyes Foundation Inc.’s mission is to preserve sight and improve lives by providing free quality medical eyecare and eyewear to New York City’s underserved populations. Volunteers travel to charitable organizations throughout New York City to give free eye examinations and vision screening tests for New Yorkers who would not otherwise have access to eye care.
LensCrafters runs the “Give the Gift of Sight” foundation, which recycles eyeglasses for people around the world. They accept drop-offs at any LensCrafters location.
Food – Composting & Donating
Food comprises about 17% of NYC’s waste. When food and organic waste is composted, it adds nutrients and improves the quality of soil for street trees, gardens and more. You can compost directly into a bag in your freezer that will not develop an odor. After your bag is full, you can drop it off at most NYC Green-markets. Materials that can be composted are:
- vegetable scraps
- rice, pasta, bread, cereal
- coffee grounds, filters & tea bags
- egg and nut shells, pits
- flowers, houseplants and potting soil
Donate Canned Food in NYC
Aside from the many food drives that one can find around the holidays there is an everyday organization that takes donations of food year round.
This Staten Island based organization provides services for hungry, homeless and inadequately housed people, especially those who are living with HIV, substance abuse, and mental illnesses. Please bring food donations to their Community Services Center at 514 Bay Street on Staten Island on weekdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. If you garden they are also in need of fresh fruits and vegetables to distribute to their food pantry customers. The types of items that are in greatest demand are:
- canned meats, fish and vegetables
- canned or dried fruits
- fruit or vegetable juices
- pasta and tomato sauce
- non-perishable milk
- cereals and rice
- canned or dried beans
- peanut butter and jelly
- coffee and tea
NYC Stuff Exchange
This website offers a quick and simple way for NYC residents to search for places in their neighborhood and throughout the city where they can donate, sell, buy, rent, or repair antiques, vintage items, artifacts, and other gently used goods. The goal of the NYC Stuff Exchange is to help lessen the City’s waste by encouraging the salvage and reuse of materials that might otherwise be discarded as trash. Check them out here.
Craigslist Curb Alert
Instead of having to deal with countless emails from random people from CL. Simply list a “Curb Alert” in their “free” section. Take your furniture to the curb and let everyone know where it is located. That way, anyone who wants it, can just come and get it.
With the postage-paid MailStop Envelope, you can place the mailing label from unwanted mail in the envelope and send it to Catalog Choice. Unwanted mail goes from your mailbox to your MailStop Envelope, without taking up your time or cluttering your desk or recycling bin. Once you have collected up to 15 pages, drop the envelope in the mail and their staff will process your requests.
$6.95 will get you a Mailstop envelope that you can fill with unwanted mail.
Paint and Building Supplies
New York City’s only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials accepts donations of accepted building materials. It is easy to donate, simply swing by and drop off your stuff. (718)777-0132
Waste Match is NYC’s free, commercial materials exchange service that allows small businesses, nonprofit organizations, government agencies, and artists to create and search online listings of available and wanted materials. NYC WasteMatch does not buy, sell, store, or transport materials so you are on your own to negotiate the logistics.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat builds and rehabilitates homes through volunteer labor and donations of materials. To donate building materials and tools email email@example.com or call (212) 991-4000 ext. 311
Animal Care & Control of NYC
Animal Care & Control of NYC is the largest pet organization in the northeast rescuing nearly 40,000 animals per year. You can donate pet food, crates, tanks, bedding and anything for their pets by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Elmers Glue has a school based glue bottle recycling program that is easy to set up and use. Kids ca collect multiple bottles and then send them in to Elmers.
Play it Again Sports is located on Long Island and accepts all kinds of used sporting goods that they then re sell at reasonable prices to the public
General School Supplies
The PENCIL Box is an easy way for you to enhance the learning environment of students in New York City public schools. Any company or individual with gently used furniture, equipment or other quality goods to donate can list these items on the PENCIL Box website where a deserving school can access these donations directly. Books, musical instruments, computers, furniture, science equipment, and art supplies are among the resources frequently in demand.
Ronald McDonald House New York provides a temporary “home-away-from-home” for pediatric cancer patients and their families. The House is a supportive and caring environment which encourages and nurtures the development of child-to-child and parent-to-parent support systems. Ronald McDonald House New York is the largest facility of its type in the world. Contact 212.639.0102 or email@example.com.
Nike Reuse a Shoe
Nike will collect your unwanted and used kicks and recycle them into sports flooring and other materials. The closest drop off location is in Garden City but hey….it is worth the trip.
S4S collects shoes from warehouses of footwear companies and the closets of people like you and distributes them to people in need. Soles4Souls has drop off locations in Manhattan at retail stores. Check out the list here.
Ronald McDonald House accepts donations of unused tickets to sporting events, theater, museums or other special events to the for use by their children and families. For more information on how to donate tickets to the House Seats Program, please contact Fordham Murdy at 212.639.0100 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Go mobile with your re-use by downloading one of these handy apps.
We know that this list is incomplete!
If you know if a good place to recycle the below list or have any other ideas to add, please leave us a comment!
- Light Bulbs
- Take Out Containers
- Plastic Bags