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Resources for Reducing, Reusing, and Recycling

In our work as professional organizers, we always try to reuse and recycle instead of disposing. To that end, Andy has compiled a list of resources to help our clients simplify, reduce, reuse, recycle, and sell unwanted items. However, since this information will be valuable to anybody, we are providing it as a public service.

The more we can reduce, reuse, and recycle, the better for everyone. Reuse, especially, uses less resources and less energy, saves money, and reduces our impact on the environment. Please pass on this information to anyone who can use it.

General Resources and Information

  1. Reducing Junk Mail
  2. General Reuse/Recycling Information
  3. Free Reused Boxes
  4. Creative Reuse Centers
  5. Selling: Resources for Selling Online
  6. Giving To: Individuals, Schools, Nonprofits, and Charities.
  7. Additional Information

Where to Donate, Sell, or Recycle Specific Items



Reducing Junk Mail


Here are several sites that can help you reduce the amount of junk mail you receive. Start with the Direct Marketing Association, and continue with The Center for a New American Dream or Global Stewards.

General Reuse and Recycling Information


General Recycling Frequently Asked Questions

How and Where to Recycle in San Mateo County, Santa Clara County, Contra Costa County, Sonoma County, and other counties.

In addition to the county resources, many cities provide information and services also. Stanford Recycling Center. City of Santa Clara. Berkeley/Albany Reuse Directory. The Berkeley Ecology Center, a fabulous source of recycling information, is located at 2530 San Pablo Avenue, 510-548-2220.

Earth 911 is a great source of recycling information. At this website, you choose from a list the item you want to recycle and type in your zip code, and it will let you know all the nearby places to recycle it.

And here's another great source of information about recycling that answers frequently asked questions about recycling (many different types of materials), composting, and many other topics. It was suggested by Erika. Reduce Waste and Save Money at Home is a link suggested by a Girl Scout Troop in Colorado and Recycling Saves Money was suggested by kids at Brenham Community Center. Mary suggested A Kid's Guide to Recycling. Paper Making Arts and Crafts: Fun projects intended for students, suggested by students. There's also a Guide to Glass Recycling for Kids, suggested by Mrs. B, and a Green Home Guide for families, suggested by Carolyn and Claire. This resource with everything you want to know about reducing, reusing and recycling plastic bottles was suggested by a middle school student. Thanks, Anna!

Understanding the Life Cycle of Trash makes it obvious why recycling is so important. This link was found and suggested by a Girl Scout Troop from California.

Free Reused Boxes


Most stores get hundreds of boxes that they break down immediately and put in recycling (hopefully). Meanwhile, people who are moving or organizing go out and buy boxes! Well, Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco has the right idea! They put their boxes in a large bin at the front of the store. Anyone who needs them can take their pick. Every few days they do break down the boxes, since they accumulate more than people take, so if you are unlucky to get there after they have done this, the bin may be empty, however, usually it is filled with hundreds of usable boxes of all shapes and sizes. An extremely useful resource!

You can often get reused boxes at Trader Joe's as well. And because TJ's sells so much wine, you can get wine boxes with dividers that make excellent glass packers!

If you know of other places in the bay area that offer boxes, please let me know.

Creative Reuse Centers


Scroungers' Center for Re-Usable Art Parts (SCRAP), in San Francisco, is a wonderful place. You can go there to get really inexpensive office supplies (hanging folders, paper, envelopes, pens, etc), arts/crafts supplies, and a huge variety of other things. You can even get binders and hanging folders for free. Anything you pay can be used as a tax writeoff. You can also donate many different materials. See their Material Donation Guide for more information.

The East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse, in Oakland, is another good source of inexpensive supplies. See their donation guidelines for information about what they accept.

The Resource Area for Teaching (RAFT), in San Jose, accepts a variety of donations and makes the material available to teachers, non-profits, and licensed child care providers.

Not in the San Francisco area? See this nationwide list of Creative Reuse Centers.

Selling Online


The two most common places to sell stuff online are eBay and Craig's List.

eBay is an online auction where people worldwide can bid on your items. You then ship the item to the highest bidder. Craig's List allows you to create free classified ads that reach people in your geographic area. You can arrange for the buyer to meet you and pick the item up.

There's also UniSquare, a 100% free online marketplace and alternative to eBay. There are no registration fees, no listing fees, no commission fees, no monthly fees, nor any other fees since they make their revenue solely from 3rd-party ads. So, if you want to sell something without all the fees that eBay charges, give it a try.

Giving to Individuals  

The FreeCycle Network is a fabulous way to give stuff to people in your community who really want it. After you join your local FreeCycle group, you can offer anything by just sending an email. Anyone who is interested in that item will reply to that email. You can choose to do would like to give it to an arranged for them to stop by and pick it up. You can simplify your belongings without even having to leave your house!

You can also use Craig's List to give stuff away as well. Just create an ad in the "Free Stuff" category.

Giving To Schools  

In 2007, a survey conducted by the National School Supply and Equipment Association showed that 94% of teachers spend money from their own pockets to buy classroom materials for their students. The average amount was $395, but for First-year teachers it was $770.

At SproutClassrooms.com, we purchase quality used classroom resources from retiring teachers, teachers who are changing grades, and teachers who are cleaning out their classrooms. Then we put these wonderful resources on our website to allow teachers and parents like you the thrill of finding the items you've always dreamed about - for much, much less than purchasing new.

Giving to Nonprofits  

ExcessAccess and redo.org are websites that match donations with non-profit organizations that can use them.


A good place to start is thethriftshopper.com where you can type in your zipcode and get a complete list of thrift stores in your area. Note that the first part of the list that will be presented to you will just be sponsored listings. A lot of nearby thrift stores may not show up on this list. To see ALL listings, you have to scroll more than halfway down the page to the heading that says "All Listings."

DonationTown is a free website that will let you know which charities pick up in your area. You can even schedule a pickup right of their website.

You can always try Goodwill Industries (888-466-3945) or the Salvation Army, but we have had such bad experiences with the Salvation Army that we will never contact them again. We recommend finding a local, smaller charity. Below are some suggestions.

Our favorite charity is Out of the Closet. We have used them countless times and have always been happy with their staff, their stores, and their mission. They have several locations in San Francisco and the East Bay.

Andy found the people at Miracle Ministries to be dependable and courteous. They also make excellent use of the donations they receive. Miracle Ministries Recovery & Transitional Homes, PO Box 7151, Oakland, CA 94601, 510.967.7112

The Emeryville Community Action Program (ECAP) is a food pantry, supplier of clothing, furniture and other household items to the needy. Their staff is totally volunteer, and they depend entirely upon donations in order to distribute food, clothing, appliances, blankets, mattresses, toys, furniture, and other household goods to the needy all over the bay area. They have extremely low overhead—they don't even have a website or an answering machine. 3610 San Pablo Ave., Emeryville, CA 94608, 510-652-8422.

According to Kim C. of SFSmiles, "What we do is collect a wide variety of goods that people no longer want and we redistribute them to local organizations that need them to run their programs or for their clients. We don't sell them; we simply strive to be a convenient resource for donors and to match up the goods where there is the greatest need. We accept: clothing & shoes, food, baby items, furniture, housewares, linens, toys & games, art & school supplies and more. We have a quick response time and can usually pick up the items within a couple days to a week of the request at a mutually convenient time.

The Arc of San Francisco helps with housing for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, so they are always in need for many things that aren't always suitable for thrift shops (e.g. sheets in good condition, radios, tools, appliances).

City Impact and the Rescue Mission Thrift Store accept donations of Jewelery, Music Equipment/Instruments, Housewares, and Clothing. To make donations, please call 415-292-1770.

Fred Finch Association

St. Vincent de Paul. On their website, click "Giving Help" for information about donations.

Where to Recycle, Donate or Sell Specific Items


Most antique stores will do on-site appraisals. One antique dealer whom I've met is Jim Bay, who can be reached in San Francisco at (415) 621-4390.

Appliances: Refrigerators, Dishwashers, Clothes Washers  

Small, working appliances can be donated to most charities or thrift shops.

JACO Environmental will remove older appliances for a fee of $35.00 for the first unit and a small charge per unit thereafter. Call (800) 741-0172 for more information or to schedule a pickup. This program is not a PG&E sponsored program. This is a curbside pick up service. Low-income households may qualify for PG&E's Energy Partners program. If so, PG&E will remove an older refrigerator and replace it with a newer energy-efficient one for free.

Newer appliances (4 years or less) may be donated to Rebuilding Together, Habitat for Humanity, or Out of the Closet (call to confirm). Out of the Closet may even pick up, depending on the appliance.

Casebar Washers and Dryers will pickup or buy certain models of washers and dryers. Call (510) 548-4419 with the specific make and model to see if he's interested.

Failing everything else, you can arrange with your local refuse company to do a pickup of bulky items up to twice a year. You do, however, need to get the appliance out to the street at the scheduled time.

Art Supplies  

See Creative Reuse Centers.

Also, the Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula accept art supplies for their projects. Call (650) 322-8065 to see if they can use your offering and find out where to drop off.


Household batteries contain more than 20 toxic substances (including lead, mercury, cadmium, nickel, chromium, lithium, copper, manganese, silver, selenium, and corrosive acids). In landfills, heavy metals can leach into the soil and contaminate the groundwater. Over-exposure to these elements can cause a myriad of health problems, including damage to the brain, kidneys and other major organs, as well as contributing to birth defects.

You can take used household batteries to Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco and all Walgreen's stores.

Rechargeable batteries can be taken to any Best Buy or Radio Shack and many Office Depot or Verizon Wireless Stores. For a complete list of places that accept rechargeable batteries, see the Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation or call 1-800-8-BATTERY.

Car batteries can be recycled for free at Kragen Auto Parts.


PaperbackSwap.com lets you trade books (not just paperbacks, also hardbacks, audio books, and textbooks) with other readers nationwide.

Almost any used bookstore will buy used books (look in the phone book), but here are my favorites:

1. Moe's Bookstore, Berkeley. If Moe's can't use your books, they can arrange to donate them to the prison book project.
2. Green Apple Books, San Francisco
3. Black Oak Books, in Berkeley and San Francisco

The Children's Book Project is always looking for donations of new and gently used children's books (San Francisco, Oakland). They distribute them to teachers and schools. Since we're spending so much money on war, there have been huge cutbacks to school budgets, and many schools aren't able to buy books.

The Friends of the San Francisco Public Library accepts book donations, sells them at their 2 stores, and all the proceeds go to the library.

There are a number of specialty bookstores where you can sell or donate books on a particular topic, for example William Stout Architecture Books.

You can sell textbooks, as well as buy and rent used textbooks at bookbyte.com and rentbooks.com. Thanks to Ben for suggesting these resources.

If the books are not in good enough condition to be reused, they can be recycled. Paperback books can be placed in mixed paper recycling. In San Francisco County, you can remove the bindings of hardcover books and placed the unbound paper in mixed paper recycling. Not so in Alameda County, where you have to take the hardcover books to one of the following book recyclers:

• California Waste Solutions, 10th St., 510-836-6200
• EB resources, 510-419-0294
• Shred Works, 510-729-7110

Building Materials  

Building Resources, a source for reusable, recycled and remanufactured building and landscape materials in San Francisco. And the best place to donate any of these items as well. Highly Recommended! 701 Amador St (close to 3rd and Evans), San Francisco,

Urban Ore, Inc., 900 Murray Street (near 7th and Ashby), Berkeley.

Ohmega Salvage, 2407 San Pablo Ave. (at Channing), Berkeley.

Habitat for Humanity has ReStore locations that receive appliances, tools, antiques and building materials. They pick up in Marin, San Francisco, and San Mateo Counties, and have ReStore locations for browsing and drop off in Oakland, San Jose, and San Carlos.

The Reuse People, 9235 San Leandro St, Oakland.

This & That. This place is massive! 1701 Rumrill Blvd., Richmond. 510-232-1273

Whole House Building Supply and Salvage, 1000 S. Amphlett Blvd, San Mateo.

Fairfax Lumber, 109 Broadway, Fairfax. They have recently created a building material recycle center where you can drop off items and/or purchase reusable goods.

And specifically for recycling of Metals:

Circosta Iron & Metal, 1801 Evans at Rankin, San Francisco.
Sims Metal Management, at five locations in the Bay Area, including San Francisco and Hayward.

Materials Exchanges are exchanges that match up those who have excess materials, mostly industrial materials from demolition, with those who need them.

California Materials Exchange

Cell Phones  

Charitable Recycling can help you find a location for cell phone and computer recycling in your area.

Recycle for Breast Cancer is no-cost, national recycling program that serves in two ways. It recycles cell phones, ink cartridges, digital camers, PDA's and other items and the proceeds go to breast cancer research. Keep these items out of landfills and support a great cause!

Stand Against Domestic Violence operates a thrift store and a shelter for battered women. They accept cell phone donations at 1720 Linda Drive in Pleasant Hill. 925-602-0575.

Most Staples, Target, Radio Shack, Verizon Wireless and Best Buy stores will accept cell phones for reuse or recycling.

Cleaning Supplies  

Often homeless shelters will accept donations of cleaning supplies. An example is the Shelter Network in San Mateo County. Cleaning suppies are generally listed on their in kind donation wish list.

Clothes, Linens, Fabric  

Professional clothing can be donated to Dress for Success. They have locations all over. Here are the San Francisco location's donation policies. It is used to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women.

Clean, gently-used coats and sweaters can be donated to OneWarmCoat.org.

Try a clothing swap! Attend one that's already been organized (see clothesswap.meetup.com, swaporamarama.org, clothingswap.com, or swapstyle.com), or arrange one yourself.

Crossroads Trading Company and Buffalo Exchange will buy good quality clothing, although I've found that these stores are so incredibly particular about what they will take that it's usually not worth the effort (unless you're into hip, trendy clothing).

Most charities will accept donations of clothing. A great charity to which you can donate women's business clothes is Wardrobe for Opportunity. They provide people transitioning out of homelessness with clothing appropriate for interviews and other professional contacts. For clothing in good condition, try the St. Anthony Clothing and Housewares program.

There are also large green drop boxes that you can drop bags of clothing and shoes into at any time. These boxes are provided by an organization called Campus California TG. To see if there's a drop box near you, call 510-932-3839 or send email. NOTE: This organization is possibly not all they claim to be. Some allege that clothes dropped in the boxes are resold to thrift stores and that CCTG is affiliated with a Danish Organization that has been indicted for fraud.

You can make a tax-deductible donation of fabric and material to SCRAP (see Reuse Organizations, above).

And finally, sheets, blankets, linens, or other fabrics that are too worn out to be donated can be dropped off at the San Francisco SPCA (or probably any other SPCA) to contribute to the comfort of their animals. In San Francisco, the drop off location is inside the Spay/Neuter clinic at 2500 16th Street (between Harrison and Bryant). For more information, call (415) 554-3000.

Computers, Computer Monitors, Computer Peripherals  

Start Here: electronicsrecycling.org, Where to Donate Used Computers and Electronics in the Bay Area.

Green Citizen accepts electronics at 5 Bay Area locations.

All California Goodwill Thrift Stores will accept computers and computer equipment and peripherals for recycling.

The EWaste Collective diverts technological and hazardous waste from landfills. They accept donations of working and non-working computer equipment, phones, and other electronics.

Oakland Technology Exchange West accepts working Windows-based computers (386 and above) only.

Computer Recycling Center. Run mainly by volunteers, they have pickup times in Santa Rosa, Santa Clara (408-327-1800), and San Francisco (415-342-2244). Computers are lent out to schools and community non-profits, and the organization provides maintenance as needed to keep the machines in good working condition. The group does ofter to pick-up donations from consumers who give them advanced notice. They charge a handling fee for some items.

The National Christina Foundation (203-863-9100) places donated computers with non-profit agencies that help the disabled or economically disadvantaged. The NCF will match your donation with a local group.

Computers For Schools (800-939-6000) has grown from a small Southern California non-profit to one of the largest computer refurbishers for schools.

You can also contact public schools in your area, as many of them will accept old (but working) computer equipment.

North Bay: Renew Computers in San Rafael.

South Bay: Bay Area Computerman, San Jose, 408-249-4821. Weird Stuff Warehouse, Sunnyvale, 408-743-5650.

More suggestions. Even if the computer no longer works, you can still recycle the CPU at Sims Metal. They will even pay you for it, but only a few cents per pound. They have locations in Hayward 510-471-6600, Richmond 510-412-5300, and San Jose 408-494-4200.

If you are a San Francisco resident, you currently have several options for computer (and other electronic waste) disposal. Computers are accepted for recycling in the Bulky Item Collection program offered through your garbage company. This program is free and available for residents 2 times per year by appointment only. Call (415) 330-1300 to make an appointment.

Unwanted computers can also be dropped off for a small fee at Sanitary Fill Company, located at 501 Tunnel Avenue in San Francisco. They are open Mon-Fri 7-6 and Sat-Sun, 8-4. For more information or directions call (415) 330-1400.

Other computer recyclers as well as charitable organizations that accept donations may also take your unwanted computers. To receive a free Commercial Reuse and Recycling Directory listing all local computer recyclers or donation centers, please call the San Francisco Recycling Program at (415) 554-3400.


You can often find blue and white boxes at your local library into which to deposit eyeglasses for the Lions in Sight Foundation. New Eyes to the Needy is also happy to receive donations of eyeglasses that they pass on to those in need.


Collection bins are located at Rainbow Grocery in San Francisco, the Berkeley Bowl Marketplace, and California Federal Banks in Berkeley. Large donations can be made at the warehouse of the San Francisco Food Bank, at 900 Pennsylvania Avenue (at 23rd), or the Alameda County Community Food Bank in Oakland.


Most charities will accept furniture, but Uhuru House in Oakland specializes in furniture (solid wood only—no particle board). 3742 Grand Avenue, (510) 763-3342.

Greeting Cards  

St. Jude's Ranch for Children has a card recycling program. They accept used cards year-round. Cards can be for any occasion. The children learn entrepreneurial skills receive payment for their work of removing the front and attaching a new back to make new cards that are sold to the public. They currently (2011) have a need for birthday and Thank You cards.


Most dry cleaners are happy to receive any wire hangers in good condition for reuse.

Ink Cartridges


Most Best Buy stores have a bin at their front entrance where you can deposit used ink cartridges for recycling. Staples, Office Max and Office Depot will give a $3 store credit on certain makes of ink cartridges if you join their rewards program.

Light Bulbs  

Fluorescent light bulbs contain a small amount of mercury and California law prohibits putting them in the trash. Household Hazardous Waste Facilities, IKEA, Home Depot, and many hardware stores will accept them for recycling. Even though fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, incandescent bulbs are responsibile for releasing more mercury into the environment.


The Berkeley Public Library will accept magazine donations, but only National Geographic and Architectural Digest. In any case, call (510) 981-6144 first to confirm. San Francisco General and other hospitals are grateful to get donations of magazines for their patients and waiting rooms. You can usually drop them off at the front desk.

SF Veterans Administration Medical Center accepts donations of books in good condition and recent (in the last year) magazines. Children's Hospital in Oakland, (510) 428-3471, is especially interested in spanish-language periodicals and magazines oriented toward children and teens. According to a fellow reuse enthusiast, Kaiser Hospital in San Jose accepts donations of magazines. They can be dropped off at the volunteer office in the main lobby. (Thanks, CiCi!)

Mattresses and Box Springs  

In most cases, mattresses and box springs must be in excellent condition in order for them to be reused. More info.


Go to Earth911.com, click on "Recycle Search" type in Medications and your zip code.

Medical Equipment  

Home Cares Equipment Recyclers accepts donations of usable in-home medical equipment and supplies and makes them available at no cost to individuals in need of these resources. They have locations in San Francisco (415) 487-5405, Oakland (510) 251-2273), Fremont (510) 574-2041, and Marin (415) 388-8198. Call for drop-off times and specific locations.

The CALL Primrose Center in Burlingame accepts wheelchairs, canes, portable toilets, and shower chairs (650) 342-2255.


Almost any used music store will buy used CD's (look in the phone book). Specifically, you might try Amoeba Music (San Francisco and Berkeley) or Rasputin Records (seven Bay Area locations).

The Groove Yard specializes in soul, blues and world music LPs. The owner, Rick, is "always buying," and will make house calls. 5555 Claremont Ave. in Oakland. (510) 655-8400.

Musical Instruments  

Music in Schools Today accepts donations and provides them to needy young musicians. Oakland Unified School District, (510) 879-8116.

Real Guitars (San Francisco) (415) 552-3310 and Ifshin Violins (Berkeley) (510) 843-5466 will buy guitars and string instruments, respectively.

Packing Materials  

Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, and most packing materials will be accepted by any UPS Store. Bubble wrap can also be placed in the plastic bag recycling bins found as most major supermarkets, but it's always better to reuse than to recycle.

Or, to find a local business that will reuse your packing peanuts, call the Peanut Hotline at (800) 828-2214.


Latex paint can be dropped off at any of these locations. Non-latex paint must be taken to a toxic disposal facility.

Soap, Shampoo, Cosmetics  

Working Essentials was founded in 1996 with the mission of eliminating one of the main barriers to employment for people who are homeless. By providing items such as shampoo, soap, datebooks and haircut vouchers, Working Essentials helps people look more presentable and feel more confident greatly increasing their ability to secure and maintain employment. It's a great place to donate samples and the soap and shampoo that many people pick up during hotel stays.

According to the World Health Organization, the lives of 2 million children worldwide could be saved by simple hand washing with soap and water. Meanwhile, hotels throw out thousands of once-used bars of soap every day. Clean the World and the Global Soap Project will collect these bars and distribute them to countries like Haiti where they can really help control the spread of communicable diseases. Hotels can donate to these organizations, and you can too!

Also, the following local charities will accept donations of soap and shampoo.
Shelter Network, San Mateo County
Building Futures for Women and Children, San Leandro
La Casa de las Madres, San Francisco
Compass Community Services, San Francisco
Homeless Prenatal Program, San Francisco

Shopping Bags  

The best thing to do with shopping bags is to take them back to the store on your next trip and reuse them. You can use the same bag for months! Most supermarkets will give you a 5 cent bag credit for each one you reuse. If a bag gets punctured or is otherwise unusable, it can be placed in the plastic bag recycling bins found in most supermarkets.

Ireland mandated a 15 cent charge for each plastic bag used. When they did this, some merchants reported a 97% drop in plastic bag usage. We support efforts to impose a fee in this country also, because when bags are free, people consume them carelessly. We've all seen the baggers at Safeway use 12 bags to bag 6 items. See this article for more information.

I support legislation to impose a fee for plastic bag use or to ban it altogether. Many people do not reuse or recycle unless given a financial incentive for doing so, and free plastic shopping bags are taken for granted.

For more information on why recycling, especially of plastic bags and bottles, is a good idea, see this article, suggested by Liz, "How Recycling Can Keep Our Waters Clean."

Sporting Goods  

The Boys and Girls Clubs of the Peninsula accept sporting goods for their activities. Call (650) 322-8065 to see if they can use your offering and find out where to drop off.

Play It Again Sports will buy some used sports equipment, but they are extremely selective about what they buy. Their stores usually contain more than 50% new products, so reuse is apparently less important to them. Find a location here.

Here is a list of on line auctions for buying or selling used sports equipment.


For styrofoam peanuts, please see Packing Materials, above.

Styrofoam recyclers will only accept clean #6 EPS. This is the white, hard, brittle styrofoam that is used in packing computer and stereo equipment. It will have #6 in the chasing arrows recycling symbol. If it does not have #6 marked on it, it is probably not recyclable.

Green Citizen recycles styrofoam for a small fee. You can drop off at locations in San Francisco, Berkeley, Burlingame, and Mountain View.

Waste to Waves has collection points in San Francisco, Mill Valley, and Santa Cruz. They receive styrofoam packaging and use it to make surf boards! Watch the video on their website for more information. Find a location.

Sonoco Protective Solutions (3466 Enterprise Ave, Hayward, CA) has a bin on the left side of the building where they accept block styrofoam for recycling.

The El Cerrito Recycling Center is the only recycle center I know that will accept styrofoam. They accept only "clean white block styrofoam, no packaging peanuts, no cups or food containers."


In general, places that accept computers and computer monitors also accept TV's, so see Computers for the list.


See this list of Tire Recyclers.


The Tool Lending Center in San Francisco accepts donations of tools.

Oakland's Temescal Tool Lending Library is located at the Temescal branch at 5205 Telegraph Avenue (at Claremont).

Berkeley also has a Tool Lending Library, located at 1901 Russell (at MLK). 510-981-6101.

Toxic Wastes, Household Cleaners  

It's easy to get information on hazardous waste disposal. Click on the county name, or call the number: San Francisco County (415) 554-4333. Alameda County (800) 606-6606. Marin County. San Mateo County (650) 363-4607. Sonoma County.


Toys are getting harder and harder to donate. Many Goodwill and Salvation Army locations refuse to accept them. "Out of the Closet" never has. There is only one place I know in the Bay Area that consistently accepts donated toys. Toys are even listed as a accepted item on their website. The place is Reuse It, and they are at some Bay Area ThriftTown locations.

But think ahead! Rather than buying a bunch of toys that your child will get bored with in 2 weeks, and that you'll have to find a way to get rid of, why not save time and money by renting toys? This article has more information and locations. Check it out!


The Wig Source is part of the John Muir Medical Center. They accept wigs (not costume wigs—realistic-looking ones only) and provide them to people with hair loss as a result of medical treatments. This service is provided regardless of where treatment is being received. 1656 N. California Blvd., Walnut Creek, (925) 947-5328.

Additional Information  

If you have a question that is not answered in this page or by these links, another great resource is How to Recycle Anything: A List of 200+ Items. You may also contact me. I'll be happy to try to answer it. Also, if you have additional information you feel should be included here, please let me know.


Although every effort is made to keep this page accurate, due to the huge amount of information presented here, it is possible that some of it may become out of date or otherwise incorrect. If you see information that is inaccurate, feel free to let me know.


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