One of my favorite things about Madison is the shared passion for recycling, upcycling, donating & buying second hand that is so prevalent throughout our community. In an effort to help simplify your downsizing, decluttering or moving process, I’ve compiled a list of places that you can donate, sell or recycle various items at.
Disposing of hazardous products
Dane County Clean Sweep provides a safe place to dispose of hazardous products, keeping them out of landfills while lowering the environmental risks associated with improper disposal.
Giving Stuff Away
If you have something that’s still usable but you don’t want to take the time to sell it or move it, you can post it for free on Freecycle, Stuff Exchange & Craigslist’s “free” section, which seems to be pretty well monitored.
Of course, it’s Madison, so many neighborhoods are totally down with leaving things at the curb- if it’s still usable, it will likely be re-homed by a passerby quickly. Just make sure you know the rules in your neighborhood before curbing your goodies & don’t leave things sitting out there for days on end. (You could actually be ticketed for doing so).
Not sure if your items are still usable?
You would be surprised at what treasures people can create from “trash”. Before you toss something into the garbage, post a few photos on the “free” sites & see if someone could use it for an upcycling project. Or “curb it” for a day & see what happens.
St Vinnies does home pick-ups & has recently expanded its pick-up locations.
Got an old bike? Free Wheel is a Madison based Nonprofit Bicycle & Bike Repair shop that gladly accepts any bike or bike parts. Whatever they can’t use, they recycle, plus you get to write off the donation.
Free Wheel teaches bicycle classes, advocates for ridership, has an open shop, & hosts bicycle giveaways at their shop, libraries, community centers, & schools throughout Dane County.
Donate formal wear & accessories
Several local businesses have teamed up to put on the annual event, “All Dressed Up” where high school girls get to “shop” for a free prom dress & accessories, all which have been donated by community members. Many of the girls may not otherwise have the chance to attend their prom due to financial limitations.
Sell/Donate house & building “pieces”
Deconstruction Inc resells historic, old & interesting pieces from homes & buildings. Light fixtures, hardware, plumbing fixtures, wood flooring, beams, doors, windows, built-ins… The list goes on.
Donate house & building “pieces”, appliances, furniture, tools
Habitat For Humanity ReStore, similar to Deconstruction, but takes/sells items from any era. Your donations & purchases support affordable housing.
Unlike Craigslist, www.Letgo.com, www.NextDoor.com as well as your local buy/sell/trade Facebook groups allow potential buyers to casually “window shop” from their PC or phone. This allows items that would have to be specifically sought out on Craigslist to be stumbled upon by the casual shopper (kind of like an online garage sale.)
I’m sure that I’m missing some great options here, so please let us know if we've neglected to put one of your go-to’s on the list!