Reusing that Stuff: Lots of Options Available

Curbside recycling programs in Melrose and other cities constitute vital parts of the reduce/reuse/recycle equation, providing the principal way in which we divert from landfills and incinerators the things we use, and use up, on a daily and weekly basis—newspapers, plastic containers, bottles, cans, and other types of packaging. But what about all those items in our lives that are no longer of use to us but could still be useful to someone else?

Your children have outgrown clothes and toys, or they have “left the nest” entirely, leaving behind books, games, school supplies, clothes, and other mementos of their years at home. You have books of your own that are now taking up space; maybe you’ll read one or two again, but there is always something new to fill your leisure time, and someone else could enjoy that good read. Your wardrobe continues to expand, and many of your older clothes, while perfectly wearable, no longer suit your taste (or perhaps that diet and your exercise routine have been working). Gifts flood your kitchen with new utensils and gadgets and fill your living space with new knickknacks and pieces of art.

The idea of throwing all that stuff you no longer want into the trash makes you gnash your teeth. What to do? Fortunately, there is a growing list of organizations and on-line resources that can help you out. Below is a list—compiled Melrose’s recycling coordinator, Sadie Brown—that’s perhaps not complete as these resources continue to expand, but certainly offers a number of opportunities to give some of your older possessions a new life.

On line resources:


Facebook Groups:

   FREE giveaways:

     –Buy Nothing Melrose/Wakefield, MA
     -Everything Is Free Melrose, MA

     –Reduce, Reuse, Recycle & Repurpose

   Items for SALE:

     –Melrose MA Yard Sale Group (includes surrounding towns)

     –Melrose/Saugus Yard Sale

     –Melrose ONLY Yard Sale Group (must live or work in Melrose)

Organizations that will pick up from your house:

     –Vietnam Veterans Association 

     –Big Brothers, Big Sisters
Boomerangs (picks up furniture within 35 minutes of Boston; other items are drop-off only)

     –Epilepsy Foundation of New England (receives payment from Savers for donations)

Other (mainly drop off):

    –Savers (Saugus & elsewhere)

    –Coalition for the Homeless (Lynn) – will take mattresses!
-Cradles to Crayons (children’s, drop-off in Medford & elsewhere)

    –Extras for Creative Reuse (Peabody; supply resource for teachers; pickup available for $25)

    –Mission of Deeds (Reading)

    –Trinity Thrift Shop (Melrose Episcopal Church)

    -ReStores (Habitat for Humanity)

        West Roxbury:


        Lawrence: (may pick up from Melrose)

 Additional lists:

      -See Household Goods’ EXTENSIVE Organization Resources List here: (includes furniture, musical instruments, medical supplies & much more)

      -See Boomerangs alternative organizations listed under “DON’T’s” section (includes exercise equipment, toiletries, etc.)

      –Nextdoor (private neighborhood network website)