Early Spring Cleaning: Recycle Unwanted Items

If you are starting your Spring cleaning early, here are some ways to recycle unwanted items.

Starting your Spring cleaning early? According to both the North Reading Food Pantry's website and Reading's town website, there are plenty of avenues to get rid of your unwanted items locally. Don't just throw them in the trash.

Is your pantry overstocked? Do you have some extra items to donate? The North Reading Food Pantry is looking for juice boxes, snacks for school, cereal, chowders, beef soup, cocoa/hot chocolate, rice and noodle side dishes, canned chicken, canned carrots, canned potatoes, canned beets, crunchy peanut butter, jelly, flour, vegetable oil, jell-o, pudding and tea, according to their website. 

Have a used car you want to donate? Contact the Special Olympics or Habitat for Humanity. You may even get a tax deduction.

How about batteries? Alkaline batteries manufactured after 1994 can be thrown out with your regular trash, according to Reading's town website. However, if you have batteries made later than 1994, bring them to the Household Hazardous Waste Day. To recycle rechargeable batteries, call (800) 8-BATTERY or visit Call2Recycle.

Have a bike you don't use anymore? Contact Bikes not Bombs, and your bike could be shipped to a third world country.

Everyone has used books they would like to donate. Big Hearted Books has a drop-off box at the Flint Memorial Library, and while some books are sold, BHB furnishes books for the library's book sales and donates proceeds toward programs at the library. Got Books? sells the books donated to them and the money goes to local non-profits.

Just got a new cell phone? Bring your old one to Staples.

Did you know that your old eyeglasses are recyclable? The Lions Club collects them.

Need to get rid of furniture? Mattresses, sofas, recliners can be placed on the curb, but only one item per week is allowed. To arrange a pickup at your home call the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless (781) 595-7570 x13, the Salvation Army (617) 542-5420 or Mission of Deeds (781) 944-9797.

Household items like clothes, linens, and other things can be donated to the Coalition for the Homeless, call (781) 482-3733, The Salvation Army, or Goodwill Industries.

Did your child out grow his or her sneakers? Nike's Reuse-A-Shoe program collects old sneakers, they can be any brand. They grind up the shoes and use them to surface playgrounds and athletic courts in underprivileged communities, according to the Reading's town website.

Have some old vinyl records? The Salvation ArmyGoodwill, thrift stores, and some music stores sell used albums and Freecycle Boston has a North Reading group with users that may be interested in your old records. 

Did we miss something you want to recycle? You will most likely find it on this list.


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