COVID-19 update: Opportunities for donations or recycling at businesses and municipal facilities may be limited during the pandemic. Check for restrictions and changes in the RTS operations. See details.
This section updated January, 2020.
Try calling schools in the local Boston area to see if they are in need of any school supplies. Gently used supplies are often accepted.
617-779-4700, 155 North Beacon St, Brighton, MA 02135
Support kids in need with essential items for growth. Accepts new arts and craft supplies, new school supplies and gently used children’s clothing and toys. Check their website for a full list of items they accept. You can drop off any donations at their headquarters in Brighton or find drop-off locations, including Babson College. Watch for a yearly fundraiser in Needham, which is often in early spring.
617-576-0039, Roosevelt Towers Housing Complex, 391 Evereteze Way, Cambridge MA 02141
Accepts donations of new and unused school supplies, plus children’s clothing, books, and toys. You can drop off any donations at their headquarters in Cambridge. Check their website for drop-off hours. The homeless and low-income parents who participate in their Children’s Clothing Exchange trade their children’s outgrown items for age-appropriate clothing, books, and toys.
Medical “sharps” include hypodermic needles, syringes, and lancets. In Massachusetts it is illegal to dispose of these items in the regular trash. See the RTS website for comprehensive information about disposing of Home Medical Waste, both at the RTS and other locations.
Needham residents with an RTS sticker can put footwear — sports shoes, cleats, boots, flip flops, and more– in the Bay State Textile trailer at the RTS. They do not have to be wearable, and single shoes are acceptable.
Used sneakers of any brand may be dropped off at most Nike stores. At the Niketown store in Back Bay at 200 Newbury St., near the corner of Exeter and Newbury, sneakers can be given to the sales associates for recycling. Call to confirm (617) 267-3400. Used sneakers of any brand may also be dropped off at the Nike Factory Store, 100 Foley St., Assembly Square Marketplace, Somerville MA 02145. (617)-440-5565
617-779-4700, 155 North Beacon St, Brighton, MA 02135
They accept new and like new shoes, boots, sneakers, and sandals (infant/child sizes 0–13 and adult sizes 1–10). (Please attach matched pairs with rubber bands.) For donating footwear, see information about drop-off locations. including Babson College and Old Navy, 300 Providence Highway in Dedham.
In Needham, smoke detectors may be placed in the regular trash. See RTS website. According to the Mass. Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs “certain smoke detectors contain a radioactive sensing device, but the radioactivity is so low that it is considered harmless.”
Manufacturers may accept the return of used radioactive smoke detectors for hazardous waste disposal. Contact them for mailing instructions.
781-444-2415 570 Hillside Ave., Needham MA 02494
Donate unused bar soap, shampoo/conditioners, liquid laundry detergent to the Needham Community Council Food Pantry.
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring empty plastic bottles and jars (milk, water, juice, salad dressing, laundry detergent, shampoo, dish soap, etc.) to the Needham RTS main drop-off area.
Cannot be recycled, throw away in trash.
(617) 445-1010, 1010 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02119
Accepts small gently used sports/workout equipment and many household goods.
- Unattended donation trailer is located at the RTS.
- Attended trailer is located at 115 Rumford Avenue, Newton (Open Monday through Saturday from 7:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m.
Click here to see what other items may be donated.
Play It Again Sports (781) 493-6796, 606 Washington St., Dedham, MA 02026
Play It Again Sports stores sell new and used sports equipment. They buy a wide variety of quality used sports and fitness gear. Each store has individual needs based on its geographical location, the sports that are played in the community, and the size of the store. FAQs on selling your used sports equipment.
(617) 323-9213, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA
Accepts donations of sporting goods, CDs, DVDs, tapes, vinyl records, as well as clothing, house wares, and other items for reuse. Also accepts children’s clothing, toys, hardback and paperback books, and more. According to the Savers website, donations of used clothing and household items at the West Roxbury location benefit Epilepsy Foundation of New England, which sells donated items to Savers and receives 100% of the profit from the sales. Donation guidelines.
The UPS store in Needham no longer accepts styrofoam peanuts for reuse. You could try listing the peanuts on Needham Freecycle.
Styrofoam (Rigid foam packing material)
Maintains a mail-back program for expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging (white molded foam used to cushion electronics and other fragile consumer items). See guidelines. The two drop-off locations in our area are listed below.
Insulation Technology, Inc. 508 697-6926, 35 First St. Bridgewater, MA 02324
Accepts clean, white and tape-free EPS rigid foam packaging (white molded foam used to cushion electronics and other fragile consumer items). Material must be in bags, which can be dropped off in their foyer at any time — foyer is open 24/7.
Drop-Off Center located at 36 Fountain Street, Framingham, MA. Call for details. 888-CONIG-25 (888-266-4425) They accept expanded polystyrene (EPS) packaging (white molded foam used to cushion electronics and other fragile consumer items). They charge $10 per bag (large bag). Note that they do not accept Styrofoam peanuts and Styrofoam food container or boxes used to serve food in the Chinese restaurants.