School Supplies (11/2022)

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.

Cradles to Crayons Boston

617-779-4700, 281 Newtonville Avenue, Newtonville, MA 02460
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 Newtonville or find drop-off locations, including Babson College. Watch for a yearly fundraiser in Needham, which is often in early spring.

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Sharps   (11/2022)

RTS Needham

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.

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Shoes and Sneakers (11/2022)

RTS Needham

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. Shoes can also be put in the Red Cross donation bin at the RTS.

See more collection bins listed under Clothing/Textiles in this Recyclopedia.

Cradles to Crayons Boston

617-779-4700, 281 Newtonville Avenue, Newtonville, MA 02460

They accept new and like new shoes, boots, sneakers, and sandals (infant/child sizes 5–13 and adult sizes 1–10).  (Please attach matched pairs with rubber bands.) For donating footwear or other items, see a map of nearby drop-off locations, including Babson College. 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.

DSW Designer Shoe Warehouse

280 Providence Highway, Dedham 781 329-6310

Gently worn shoes can be dropped off at any DSW store. They donate to Soles4Souls which helps people in developing countries launch and sustain their own small businesses selling donated shoes and clothing. New shoes can also be donated. Soles4Souls works with partner to give new shoes to people in need.

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Smoke Detectors (11/2022)

RTS Needham

In Needham, smoke detectors may be placed in the regular trash. They are not accepted at the Household Hazardous Waste Collection day. The Mass. Dept. of Energy and Environmental Affairs has a drop-down product search that instructs to put smoke detectors in the trash after removing the battery. Alkaline batteries are separately thrown out in the regular trash and rechargeable batteries should not be put in the trash but should be taken to a retail collection location or a municipal recycling center that accepts them.

Some Smoke Detector manufacturers have mail-in recycling programs.

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Soap  (11/2022)

Generic Ministry

Generic Ministry accepts travel-sized toiletries for homeless people, as well as gently used men’s and women’s casual clothing.   See complete list here.  Check the website for drop-off locations, which change periodically.


781-449-3700 1329 Highland Ave., Needham, MA 02492

They collect unopened hygiene essentials, including hand soap, sanitizer, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, body lotion, deodorant, pads, tampons, toothpaste, toothbrushes, plus 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.

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Soap Dispensers/Shampoo Bottles (11/2022)

RTS Needham

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. Leave caps on.

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Sponges  (11/2022)

Cannot be recycled, throw away in trash.

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Sporting Goods (11/2022)


(617) 445-1010, 1010 Harrison Ave, Boston MA 02119

Accepts sporting goods such as golf clubs and tennis rackets (no exercise equipment) .

  • Goodwill no longer has a donation trailer at the RTS or in Newton.
  • List of donation locations. There is a donation station next to their store in Hyde Park, 892 River Street, Hyde Park, MA 02136

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. How It Works


(617) 323-9213, 1230 VFW Pkwy. West Roxbury, MA

Accepts donations of exercise and 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. Savers at the West Roxbury location is a donation site  for the Epilepsy Foundation of New England, which sells the donated items to Savers.   Donation guidelines.

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Styrofoam peanuts (11/2022)

UPS Store

The UPS store in Needham no longer accepts Styrofoam peanuts for reuse. You could try listing the peanuts on  Needham Freecycle or Buy Nothing Needham MA Facebook group (for members).

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Styrofoam (Rigid foam packing material – EPS) (11/2022)

Insulation Technology, Inc. 508 697-6926, 35 First St. Bridgewater, MA 02324

The public can drop-off used Expanded Polystyrene (EPS) at their facility anytime in their front breezeway. If you are bringing a larger amount, they ask that you bring the material anytime Monday-Friday from 7am-3pm. They do not accept foam wrapping or squishy foam. (It should snap when bent.) Read their guidelines.

Conigliaro  Industries

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.

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