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.
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may take clean cardboard to the Main Drop-Off Area (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:
- MA SPECIAL OLYMPICS – RECYCLE FOR GOLD PROGRAM
- VOLUNTEERS OF AMERICA
- KIDNEY CARS PROGRAM (NATIONAL KIDNEY FOUNDATION)
- WHEELS FOR WISHES (benefiting the Make-A-Wish Foundation® of Massachusetts and Rhode Island)
- HUMANE SOCIETY
(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 (5/18)
For Needham residents with RTS sticker: Drop off car, motorcycle, scooter, or other lead-acid battery across from the metal recycling at the RTS’ North Area.
805 Providence Hwy., Dedham MA (781) 329-2170
Most Autozone stores accept vehicle batteries and motor oil for recycling.
(617) 666-8440, 475 Columbia Street, Somerville
They pay for used car batteries (automotive or lead-acid only).
Somerset Junk Company
(617) 625-4808, 508 Columbia Street, Somerville
They pay for used car batteries.
Cell Phones (5/18)
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 Town Hall to benefit victims of domestic violence.
- Mail in programs for gift cards or to benefit charity are available through Verizon Wireless.
- Mail in programs for charity are also offered by Recycling for Charities (designate a charity) and Hope Phones (health projects around the world).
(617) 202-5817 252 Brighton Ave. Allston, MA
Buys, repairs and sells a multitude of electronics. Recycles many type of electronics. No charge for most.
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 (5/22)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may bring CDs and DVDs in their original cases, records, video games, and books to the MORE THAN WORDS container (across from the paint shed) 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.
(603) 894-5553 68 Stiles Road, Unit E, Salem, NH 03079
This organization paused operations during the pandemic and has not resumed. “As we monitor the current health risk situation, it is our hope we will be announcing soon the date we will re-open. In the meantime please hold your packages until we make such announcement and our site goes live again! Please Bookmark this site and check back for information, or send an email to email@example.com and you will be placed on our mailing list.”
Usable store-bought CDs and DVDs can be donated locally (see above) , but what about discs that do not fit that category? The CD Recycling Center of America accepts mailed-in CDs, CDrs, DVDs, DVDrs, Blu-Ray discs, plus related disc packaging and cases. They ask that you mail the discs and cases separately. No charge, but they ask for a contribution. You can explore their website for information about disc recycling and about other “techno-trash” that they accept. More details here. (Note that they do not accept VHS tapes, cassette tapes, Floppy, Jazz or Zip disks.)
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, cassette 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 (10/2021)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker can drop off children’s clothing (no toys) 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. (2021 Note: The Goodwill Trailer is no longer at the RTS. )
Christ Episcopal Church, Needham, CIRCLE OF HOPE PROJECT
781-449-3700 1329 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492
They distribute items to Boston-area shelters and homeless programs. Since COVID they have been accepting only donations of new clothing (including children’s) and essentials. Donors can use the Circle of Hope Amazon Wishlist and have items sent directly to Circle of Hope or make an appointment for drop-off. For the month of October, 2021 they are piloting a program for accepting gently used clothing. See their donation guidelines.
(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, plus brand new arts/craft and school supplies. Check their website for a full list of items they accept and see their update giving guidelines. You can drop off any donations at The Giving Factory at 281 Newtonville Ave. Newton,MA 02460. Watch for a yearly fundraiser in Needham, which is often in early spring.
Children’s clothing and toys can be dropped off at Savers, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA, which is a Community Donation Center benefiting the Epilepsy Foundation. The Epilepsy Foundation website has a detailed list of materials they do not accept.
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.
(781) 444-2415 570 Hillside Ave. in Needham
Accepts in-season, wearable clothing (no clothing under 5T). See their guidelines.
Chip Bags (and other hard-to-recycle products) (5/18)
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. Users must sign up for a program 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. This service will be attractive to companies seeking to comply with Zero Waste initiatives.
Christmas Tree Lights (5/18)
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 and Home Depot 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 (5/18)
Needham residents with an RTS sticker may take their trees to 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 (5/18)
(617) 445-1010, 1010 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02119
In some states, Goodwill will accept artificial trees in the months before Christmas. Call (617) 445-1010, 1-888-828-GIVE (4483) to see if Boston-area Goodwill accepts these items.
- 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.
They take artificial Christmas trees October to December only. Find a drop off location.
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 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. For more information, see RTS website. You can put footwear — sports shoes, cleats, boots, flip flops, and more– in the Bay State Textile container. They do not have to be wearable and single shoes are acceptable. (2021 Note: The Goodwill Trailer is no longer at the RTS.)
Christ Episcopal Church, Needham, CIRCLE OF HOPE PROJECT
781-449-3700 1329 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492
They distribute items to Boston-area shelters and homeless programs. Since COVID they have been accepting only donations of new clothing and essentials. Donors can use the Circle of Hope Amazon Wishlist and have items sent directly to Circle of Hope or make an appointment for drop-off. For the month of October, 2021 they are piloting a program for accepting gently used clothing. See their donation guidelines.
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.
781-344-3100, 18 Canton Street, Stoughton, MA 02072
There is a 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 (5/18)
Check local charities. They may be interested in working computers, especially those less than five years old.
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. What they want: laptops, Pentium 4 and above; desktops: batches of identical models, with strong preference for the smaller desktop models with Windows XP-Pro Vista or Windows 7 Licenses. They are looking for working LCD monitors. Check their website for a longer 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 (5/18)
According to the Mass Dept. of Environmental Protection: “Non-working electronics should be recycled to prevent lead, mercury and other toxics they contain from posing health and environmental risks after disposal. Some electronics – the cathode ray tubes (CRTs) found in most computer and television screens pre-dating flat panels – are banned from Massachusetts landfills and combustion facilities.” 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 components (monitor, keyboard, etc.) in the electronics/monitor area. The computer itself should be taken to the main office. Remove all sensitive data or destroy the hard drive. $15 fee for monitors (including flat screen), lap tops and all-in-one computers such as iMac. No charge for desktop or tower component. (2016). See details.
Offers free recycling of desktop and notebook computers. ($25 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
Some devices are eligible for trade-in and 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. Some devices are eligible for trade-in. (Limit 7 items per customer per day. All brands of items are accepted regardless of where purchased.) See detailed list.
Construction and Demolition (C&D) Waste (5/18)
Newton’s C&D guide has some helpful links.
Containers – Plastic, Glass and Metal (3/22)
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.
According to the Origins website, their stores accept customers’ empty cosmetic tubes, bottles and jars, etc. – regardless of brand. All returned packaging will be sent back to a central location where products will be recycled or used for energy recovery. Nearest location is Sephora at Legacy Place, Dedham.
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.