Needham residents with an RTS sticker may take clean cardboard to the Main Drop-Off Area (Packaging tape is ok, but no waxed cardboard – mostly used for commercial packing of produce. If you can see or feel waxy residue when you scrape a box with your fingernail, it is waxed.)
Many charities accept cars and other vehicles, such as trucks, motorcycles, boats, and RVs, whether or not they are in working condition. Call your favorite charity or local public radio station to see if they will accept a donated vehicle. Most offer free towing. Ask or check their website to see how much of the proceeds go to programs. Examples:
- KIDNEY CARS PROGRAM (NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION)
- HUMANE SOCIETY
- MA SPECIAL OLYMPICS – RECYCLE FOR GOLD PROGRAM
- VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA
- WHEELS FOR WISHES (benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
(877) 448-3288 (877.GIVE.AUTO)
This nonprofit accepts cars, trucks, and vans, plus you can donate your boat, motorcycle, moped, commercial van, handicapped-equipped vehicle, RV, tractor and more. Many donated cars are repaired and provided to people in need; others are auctioned off, with proceeds used to help pay for repairs. Tax deductible.
(781)861-6060, 700 Waltham St., Lexington, MA
Pays for junk cars and will haul them away.
(866)776-0194, 480 Columbia Street, Somerville, MA
Purchases old, worn out or wrecked junk cars.
Car Batteries (11/2022)
For Needham residents with RTS sticker: No fee. Drop off car, motorcycle, scooter, or other lead-acid battery at the RTS North Area.
805 Providence Hwy., Dedham MA (781) 329-2170
Most Autozone stores accept vehicle batteries and motor oil for recycling. Call to confirm.
Somerset Junk Company
(617) 625-4808, 508 Columbia Street, Somerville
They pay for used car batteries.
Cell Phones (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring cell phones to the RTS (Universal Waste Shed across from the office) for recycling. Please delete any personal information.
- Free recycling of cell phones (as well as PDA’s and MP3 players) is available at stores such as Staples (details) and Best Buy (details).
- Cell phones may be brought to the Needham Health Department at 178 Rosemary Street.
- A Mail-in program for trading in cell phones for credit is available through Verizon Wireless.
- A Mail in programs for charity is offered by Recycling for Charities (you designate a charity).
(617) 202-5817 252 Brighton Ave. Allston, MA
Buys, repairs and sells a multitude of electronics. Pays cash for gently used laptops, cell phones, bluetooth speakers and headphones, ipads, smart watches, televisions, and more.
Buying a New Cell Phone? Ask about Drop Off / Buy Back Options
Next time you are buying a new cell phone, ask your wireless provider if they recycle old phones.
CDs and DVDs (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring CDs and DVDs in their original cases with artwork, records in original sleeves, video games in original cases with artwork, and books to the MORE THAN WORDS containers for reuse. See donation guidelines. More Than Words is a nonprofit social enterprise that empowers youth who are in the foster care system, court involved, homeless, or out of school to take charge of their lives by taking charge of a business.
(617) 323-8231, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA
Accepts donations of CDs, DVDs, tapes, vinyl records, as well as clothing, house wares, and other items for reuse. For more information click here.
GREEN DISK provides a mail-in recycling service, accepting many forms of hard-to-recycle “techno-trash” such as electronic devices, head phones, zip disks, CDs, audio tapes, video tapes, and much more. For a full listing of cost and accepted products, see their website and their FAQs.
Children’s Clothing, Toys (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker can drop off children’s clothing (no toys other than stuffed animals) at the Red Cross collection box or the Bay State Textile container. Ripped, stained and torn clothing is ok as long as the clothing is dry and not moldy. (May be made into rags & other products.) Gently used toys and games can be taken to the Re-Use-it-Swap Shop. See that link for opening hours and drop-off guidelines. (2022 Note: The Goodwill Trailer is no longer at the RTS. )
For all clothing (not just children’s), scroll down to the Clothing/Textiles section below.
Good condition, gently used children’s items
781-449-3700 1329 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492
They collect new and gently used (excellent condition) clothing, including baby clothing, and other items for distribution to Boston-area homeless shelters and community programs. Drop-offs are by appointment only on Monday-Thursday mornings from 10-12. See their donation guidelines. Sign up online for an appointment. Schedule Your Drop-Off.
(617) 779-4700, 281 Newtonville Avenue, Newtonville, MA 02460
Supports kids in need with essential items for growth. Accepts new and gently used kids’ clothing (some items such as socks, underwear and pajamas must be new), plus brand new arts/craft and school supplies. Check their website for a full list of items they accept and find a local drop off. You can also drop off any donations at the Cradles to Crayons Giving Factory at 281 Newtonville Ave. Newton, MA 02460. Watch for a yearly fundraiser in Needham, which is often in early spring.
Parent Talk, a Needham-based non-profit, conducts various community projects, including food, coat and school supplies drives for Needham Community Council. Their twice-a-year clothing sales have not been held since COVID. See their website or Facebook page for more information.
(617) 323-8231, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA
Accepts good quality children’s clothing, toys, stuffed animals, household items, hardback and paperback books, CDs, Videos, DVDs, vinyl records, computer software, and more. Click here for guidelines. They are a Community Donation Center benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation.
Chip Bags (and other hard-to-recycle products) (11/2022)
TerraCycle offers waste collection programs for previously non-recyclable, or difficult-to-recycle, waste such as snack bags, drink pouches, toothpaste tubes, and various other types of packaging. The collected waste is then converted into new products. TerraCycle partners with brands and retailers to offer free recycling of certain items. Browse their website to see what they offer. Users must sign up for a free account at TerraCycle. Once you have filled up a box with your trash from home, school, or office, you can download a shipping label and mail it to their facilities at no cost. They also offer “Zero Waste Boxes” for categories of waste such as art supplies, baby gear, or candy and snack wrappers. These boxes must be purchased; the higher price may make them more attractive to schools or offices.
Christmas Tree Lights (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring electrical cords and cables (including Christmas tree light strings) to the scrap metal area for recycling. You can drop working Christmas lights and decorations at the Re-Use-It Swap Shop in season.
The Home Depot and Lowe’s
Lowe’s (Dedham 781 355-3780) and Home Depot (W. Roxbury 617 327-5000) have offered Christmas light recycling to customers. Call your local stores during the Christmas shopping season to check on whether this opportunity is still available.
Christmas Trees, Natural (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may take their trees to the Christmas tree pile in the yard waste area. Please remove all wires, cables, hooks, ornaments, nails and stands from the tree before discarding, and take the tree out of a tree bag.
(781)444-2460 800 Highland Ave, Needham, MA 02494
For a small donation, Needham residents may make a reservation to have their tree picked up in January.
Christmas Trees, Artificial (11/2022)
(617) 445-1010, 1010 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02119
Boston Goodwill will accept donation of an artificial tree as long as all the parts are there and it is in the original box. There is no longer a donation trailer at the Needham RTS or in Newton, so the best place to drop off an artificial tree would be at 1010 Harrison Ave. in Boston, which is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. 7 days a week. Call 888-828-GIVE (4483) to confirm.
Click here to see what other items may be donated.
As of Nov. 1, 2022, clothing and textiles are no longer allowed to be thrown away in the trash in Massachusetts, as the state moves to drastically reduce its solid waste. This includes clothing, shoes, belts, and textiles such as curtains, linens, and bedding, all of which can be donated instead. Ripped? Stained? For most Collection Bins that’s ok, as long as the textile is not wet, moldy, or contaminated. There are many places to donate clothing and textiles locally. Both non-profit and for-profit ventures will be needed to handle the expected increase in clothing donations.
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may drop off clothing and textiles at the Red Cross container or the Bay State Textile container. All types of textiles, including clothing, shoes, undergarments, belts, stuffed animals, curtains and linens, can be recycled. All clothing, fabric, and household textiles (tablecloths, sheets) collected must be clean and dry, but it is okay if they are ripped, stained or damaged. (Unusable clothing is made into rags or other products.) No wet, mildewed textiles. No items contaminated with oil, paint, or hazardous materials. You can put footwear — sports shoes, cleats, boots, flip flops, and more– in the containers. They do not have to be wearable and single shoes are acceptable. For more information, see RTS website and these FAQs. (2022 Note: The Goodwill Trailer is no longer at the RTS.)
More Collection Boxes
Planet Aid 888 893-0648
Their bright yellow collection containers are located at various places in Needham’s commercial areas, including: two in the Lewando’s Cleaners parking lot on Chapel St., two at the Needham Junction MBTA station, one container is at the Mobil gas station across from the Needham Post Office on Great Plain Ave.
According to their website, Planet Aid collects items that are sold and reused in developing countries, with the proceeds going to support domestic and international development and capacity-building projects. They accept clean clothing, shoes, bedding, towels, curtains, sleeping bags, socks, underwear and bras. (No stuffed animals) Minor tears, and stains, or imperfections are ok as long as the clothing is not tattered beyond repair, or wet or moldy. Call 888-893-0648 to schedule a pickup of a bulk donation.
Donation bins are located at the RTS and in Needham Center in the Lewando’s parking lot. The American Red Cross of Massachusetts appreciates the public’s donations of used clothing, shoes, and household linens as a way of generating funds. Donate your items at any of the Red Cross bins located throughout Massachusetts. These items are then sold through a vendor and a portion of the proceeds benefits our Disaster Relief Fund.
Local Drop-offs for Gently Used Clothing
1329 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492
They collect new and gently used (excellent condition) adult and baby clothing and other items for distribution to Boston-area homeless shelters and community programs. Drop-offs are by appointment only on Monday-Thursday mornings from 10-12. See their donation guidelines. Sign up online for an appointment. Schedule Your Drop-Off.
781-444-2415 570 Hillside Ave., Needham MA, 02494
Accepts in-season clothing in good wearable condition to sell in their Thrift Shop. (No children’s clothing under 5T). They accept various household items. See their guidelines and drop-off times.
(617) 323-8231, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA
Accepts wearable clothing, shoes, backpacks, purses, bed and bath items. They accept donations on behalf of the Epilepsy Foundation. “Each time you donate items to Epilepsy Foundation of New England at our store, we pay them for your stuff, providing revenue to help them fund important programs in your community.”
781-344-3100, 18 Canton Street, Stoughton, MA 02072
There is a double collection container for clean, usable clothing in the St. Bartholomew’s parking lot at the corner of Greendale and Great Plain Ave.
See also Jeans.
Computers – Working (11/2022)
Digitunity matches donors with local organizations who need computers (generally less than 8 years old). Users enter their zip codes and are given a list of pre-qualified organizations who are looking for equipment. What can be donated? Laptop and desktop computers, Chromebooks™, tablets, and webcams are the most widely needed items. A list of common donation items includes: pc desktop and laptop systems, mac desktop and laptop systems, copiers, digital and web cameras, pen/drawing tablets, hard disk drives, keyboards, monitors, switches/routers, mice, network interface cards, tablets, printers, and sound/video cards.
617-628-1844 35 Medford St., Somerville MA
Earthworm is always on the lookout for good homes for reusable products and has active partnerships with other local, reuse organizations. They accept working computers, which they will collect from you at a nominal fee and deliver to a needy, local non profit organization, or, they will direct you to other interested reuse organizations. Call to see if your working computer qualifies.
Tecschange – Technology For Social Change
46 Bennington St. East Boston, MA 02128. 617-963-0262 (Skype). Better to reach them by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Tecschange refurbishes computer equipment, which is then donated to small organizations internationally and in Boston. Check their website for a list of desired equipment.
You can find more listings online at:
The Mass. Dept. of Environmental Protection’s donations and reuse page.
Household Goods Recycling of Massachusetts (click on “Computers/Electronics”)
Computers – Non-Working (11/2022)
There are many retail stores that accept consumer electronics for recycling. For more information about recycling and reuse, visit the Mass DEP’s Electronics Recycling page
Residents with an RTS sticker may leave computers and components (monitor, keyboard, etc.) in the electronics/monitor area. Remove all sensitive data or destroy the hard drive. $15 fee for lap tops, all-in-one computers such as iMac, and for monitors. (Flat screen monitors 15″ or smaller–$5.00). No charge for desktop or tower component. See details.
Offers free recycling of desktop and notebook computers. ($29.99 fee for monitors.) They also offer free recycling for smaller electronics like VCRs, DVD players, printers, MP3 players, stereos, alarm clocks, PDAs, cell phones and digital cameras, toner and ink cartridges, and rechargeable batteries. There is a limit on number of items per day, and they do not accept items from businesses or organizations. See details. Nearby location: 700 Providence Highway, Dedham 781-461-6768
Nearby location: 163 Highland Ave, Needham (781) 449-5766
Many products are free to recycle, including desktops, laptops, monitors, printers, shredders, UPS devices, cell phones, digital cameras, and GPS devices. Peripherals are also accepted, including mice, keyboards, modems, routers, and more. (Limit 7 items per customer per day. All brands of items are accepted regardless of where purchased.) See detailed list.
Containers – Plastic, Glass and Metal (11/2022)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may place glass, plastic (see guidelines), and metal containers in the main drop off area. Leave caps on plastic bottles. No black plastic. See details about preparation.
Accepts unwanted crayons for recycling. You don’t have to do anything to the crayons. Just collect, box, and ship them as they are. Please LEAVE THE WRAPPERS ON THE CRAYONS. Check their website for mailing address and phone number, since the site for sorting changes from time to time. The recycling program is partnered with Crazy Crayons. You can also buy recycled crayons through their website.