How to Know Whether to Donate, Recycle, or Trash Your Unwanted Items


We all have items sitting around our homes that we’re holding on to for various reasons but that we don’t really want or need anymore. Most people, if they really get a chance to go through what they own, can clear out a fair amount of clutter. This clutter removal can make your house feel more peaceful, cleaner, and easier to take care of. Each of these items represents unfinished business which can be a source of invisible stress. By getting rid of these items, you are lifting that unnecessary weight from your shoulders.

Sometimes one problem holding you back is that you’re not sure of the best way to dispose of your unwanted items. This guide can give you an idea of the best uses for many categories of household items. In addition, ABH Services Inc. can assist you with recycling or trash removal of many different things in your home. Donating can give new usefulness to old things you have sitting around, and recycling is far more beneficial for the environment than tossing everything in a landfill.


Appliances such as ovens, washing machines, and dryers that are in good working condition and from the last 10-15 years can be donated to Habitat for Humanity who give them new homes or place them at their ReStores. If your appliance is older than that or showing major signs of wear and tear, it can be recycled.

Books, Cardboard, and Paper Products

Many different charities and programs accept books that are in good condition, no matter the type of book. Moving or packing boxes that are in good shape can often be donated to shelters or battered women’s programs to help low-income people with moving. Paper or cardboard that you have in bulk can be recycled.


Clothes of all types can be donated no matter the style as long as they are in wearable condition. This means that the garments are free from noticeable stains, tears, holes, or other damage. Search your area for local charities or churches that accept clothing donations. Women’s business clothes can be donated to Dress for Success to help low-income women look their best on job searches. If an item of clothing is in too bad of shape to be donated, there are programs like that provided by Goodwill that turn these clothes into scrap cloth wipes that they in turn give to different organizations.


Lion’s Club accepts prescription eyeglasses that are in wearable condition, and you can also check with your local eye doctors. Prescription eyeglasses can have the lenses reshaped to fit other prescriptions. Reading glasses are also sometimes accepted and can also be donated to other charities. If the frames are broken or the glass is cracked, however, it’s best to throw the glasses away.

Computers & Computer Parts

If your computer is less than 10 years old and still in relatively good working condition, it can be donated to Salvation Army, Goodwill, or other companies. Make sure to completely wipe the hard drive before you do this to delete any personal or financial information. Laptops are also sought after, and Goodwill offers a program that not only wipes the drives but then refurbishes the laptops. Most computer parts that are still in serviceable condition can also be donated. If your item is damaged or too old, then the best route to take care of it is with recycling. This includes printers, keyboards, and hard drives.

Other Electronics

There are several laws on the books that prevent the disposal of electronic items in landfills, and in general it’s best to either donate or recycle these. You could even face fines if you’re caught trashing items such as old TVs. You can determine whether to donate or recycle the objects by following the same guidelines as with computers. If an item is fairly new and in good shape, it can usually be donated. Old cell phones can also often be donated to women’s shelters for reuse.

Everything else should be taken to a recycling service company for proper disposal. The items that ABH Services can help you recycle include:

  • CD Players
  • Televisions
  • Vacuums
  • Fax Machines
  • Circuit Boards
  • Nearly anything with a plug

ABH Services Inc. has 20 years of experience servicing the Greater Boston and North Shore region with a full range of recycling services. If you’re ready to recycle your items, or are curious about renting a dumpster or junk removal service, call us today at 781-941-2422. Be sure to visit us on Facebook at for more information about our recycling services.

2018-03-22T12:22:46+00:00April 2nd, 2018|News|