Where to Recycle or Donate Your Outbox

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For the Curees, who are halfway through the Spring Cure, now’s a good time to empty your outbox. Once you’ve weeded out the stuff you want to save, the stuff that has to go back into your home, and the stuff you’ve decided to give away, you’re left with the stuff to donate and recycle. Here’s a list to help you dispose of it properly. Click on the interior links to learn more…

  • Clothing
  • We’re a big fan of donating to thrift shops. Our faves? Out of the Closet and Council Thift which we especially love for its itemized receipts. You can also find Goodwill shops and drop boxes around town. Old Shoes and Sneakers can be recycled via your local Nike Store. To give yourself spot of good karma, make sure whatever you donate is clean. And don’t donate old underwear. Just toss it.
  • Electronics
  • We love the new mail back program in tandem with the USPS. We’ve blogged other ideas to dispose of your electronics here. Are you a Mac person? When you buy a new piece of equipment directly from Apple or through one of the Apple stores, they’ll send you a label to mail back the piece it’s replacing. Check here to dispose of PCs and non-Apple purchased Macs.
  • Recyclables
  • Recycling’s always an option. If your stuff’s recyclable (old holiday cards, letters, shredded tax returns) and your building doesn’t have pick-up, click here to find your local center. Ikea also has a recycling spot if you’re in the neighborhood. The City of Los Angeles now recycles styrofoam or you can arrange a pick-up by calling the City’s hotline at 311.
  • Hazardous Waste and Old Electonics
  • Old TVs, computers, paint cans and other hazardous waste should be disposed of properly. Check here to find out where. We’ve also blogged places that specifically handle paint. We use the hazardous waste drop-off at UCLA. Enter via Westwood Boulevard and ask for directions from one of the guards at the gate. For a center near you, click here
  • Holiday Trees
  • Growing up, we had friends that left their tree up until March. We arrange for our tree disposal for a few extra dollars when we purchase it. If your’s is still hanging around, find some ideas of how to dispose of it here. If you left it outside for the City to pick up so many months ago and it’s still there, just a reminder that the City doesn’t pick up holiday trees.
  • Furniture
  • If you don’t want to bother selling it on Craig’s List, you might want to try getting rid of by freecycling it. You can also donate it to a thrift store. Many thrift stores including St. Vincent de Paul will arrange pick ups. For the stuff that no one’s going to want (old tires, broken pet carriers, 3-legged chairs, used mattresses), call 311 to arrange for bulky item trash pick-up. Once you've called, put out your item on the kerb the night before your trash day; a special truck is dispatched to retrieve it. Easy.
  • Repurposing
  • Don’t forget about repurposing. Remember one man's trash is another man's treasure. Old or broken umbrellas can become a magazine rack. Old CD cases can display the collectibles you’ve decided to keep. And, it always pays to look at your old stuff with a fresh eye. You just might find a new use for it.

[Image via Morgue File]

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