What goes where? Part 4: Difficult Items

Have you ever been turned away by your local donation center because they don’t take everything that you cleared out of your garage, yard, or house? Before you dump it in the landfill, take a look at this list to see who DOES take those difficult (to donate) items.

Large Appliances

Craigslist or Facebook classifieds are usually the best way to get rid of large appliances because you may get paid and the buyer provides pick-up. However, if you do not want strangers in your home try  Salvation Army  or Habitat for Humanity Restore for appliances that are in good working order. You can also recycle most appliances at a local scrapyard such as  Wall’s Recycling .

Tires

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Let ‘s face it. No one wants to accept your used tires as a “donation”. Even Michelin charges a disposal fee. While there are a number of services that will haul your tires away for a fee, the cheapest we’ve found is:

Virginia Recycling Corp
4301 Mountcastle Rd
Providence Forge, VA 23140

 

They do pick up in Richmond, but they only come through every other week (unless you have a trucks-worth in which case they’ll schedule a special run just for you). It’s $1.50/tire, which is decent as most other companies charge $2-3/tire. Call and put yourself on their list and they will pick up from your house on the next scheduled Richmond day.

 

Mattresses

Again, unless you feel like going the Craigslist or Facebook route, there is:

Caritas – queen size or smaller (no kings). Items must be in good condition (no tears or stains)

American Veterans – any size. Just no stains or tears.

Baby Equipment

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEek! This is a headache for every organizer. Items like car seats and strollers are constantly being recalled and lifespans aren’t meant to last through the use of multiple children. With that in mind, most charities have saved themselves from any kind of liability by simply refusing to accept them. You may find the odd donation center that does, but it rarely lasts for long. I always tell clients to find friends with younger children that could use them. No luck there? Post it on the free sections of Craigslist.

Tube Televisions

Since everyone is going digital and flat screens are getting  larger and larger, most charities have stopped accepting the old tube style TVs. There are only a couple places that (last I checked) are still taking them American Veterans and Caritas. Also Best Buy and some Goodwill locations provide e-cycle services.

Note: Best Buy only accepts TVs under 32 inches.

Computer Monitors

ewasteThe bigger charities, like Goodwill take them (if they offer E-waste recycling – most do), but know that they will most likely not be selling them. The monitors will be shipped to another center where they will be stripped for parts and recycled. If you are donating a computer or laptop don’t forget to wipe the computer completely clean. If you’re strapped for time you also have the option of removing the hard drive and smashing it with a hammer (one of the most fun parts of our job).

Best Buy also has an E-waste recycling program and their Geek Squad can wipe the data for you (for a small fee).

Keep a look out for part 5 in our series where we discuss the ins and outs to your (hopefully) last resort: Trash. And tell us what items you have been unsuccessful in donating in the past.

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