This is a list of Twin Cities area resources to help you get rid of yard waste, papers, clothing and any other type of household items you no longer need. This list will be added to and updated as needed.
CLEAN UP YOUR YARD
Each county offers free yard waste collection sites or assistance for its residents. At these sites you can often pick up free compost for your garden (while it lasts). They may also offer junk collection days where you drop off items like tires or electronics and even hazardous waste for a discount. Check out your local county website for locations and times:
SHRED YOUR PAPERS
Pioneer Secure Shred in Minneapolis offers FREE shredding of up to 25 boxes of paper (banker’s box sized) on the first Friday of every month from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. The next free shredding event will be May 1st. Bring your boxes and bags. You just unload and go! Limit up to 25 boxes. 155 Irving Av. N., Minneapolis, 612-381-2199.
Upcoming Free Paper Shredding Events:
At most Shred Right events, you can bring up to 2 banker’s boxes of documents or floppy discs for FREE secure shredding. Check with each location for limitations. (Note: This list is subject to change. Check Shred Right’s website for the latest information.)
Saturday, April 11th:
Shred Right at Bank Cherokee-St. Paul, 607 Smith Ave S, St Paul. 9:30am-12:30pm.
Saturday, April 25th:
Special Material Drop-Off Day. 8:00am – 3:00pm. The Hennepin Recycling Group (HRG) cities of Brooklyn Center, Crystal, and New Hope work in conjunction with the City of Brooklyn Park to host a special material drop off day. Free paper shredding. Free drop-off for scrap metal, bicycles, electronics, etc. Some items will be accepted for a fee.
Shred Right at Lakeville Liquor, 90194 Heritage Dr., Lakeville. Benefits the Lakeville Police Department. 9am-noon.
Saturday, May 2nd:
Shred Right at Community Resource Bank-Roseville, 1501 County Rd C W, Roseville. 9 AM-Noon
Shred Right at Bloomington Rotary-Mall of America, 82nd St. and 24th Ave. S, Bloomington; Saturday, May 2, 9 AM-Noon; $5/box
Saturday, May 16th:
Shred Right at Owatonna Rotary Club-Owatonna, 1010 Hoffman Dr., Owatonna, MN, 9 AM-1 PM; $5 donation requested benefiting Owatonna Rotary.
Shred Right at Klein Bank-Victoria, 1630 Arboretum Dr. Victoria, MN. 12PM – 2PM.
Saturday, May 30th:
Shred Right at Community Resource Bank-Northfield, 1605 Heritage Dr., Northfield. 9 AM-Noon.
Saturday, June 27th:
Shred Right at Anchor Bank-Apple Valley: 14665 Galaxie Ave., Apple Valley. 9 AM-Noon
SELL YOUR ITEMS
Once Upon a Child is the largest kids resale franchise in North America. They buy and sell gently used kids clothing, toys and baby gear and pay you on the spot. (I’ve sold items here – you can leave the items with them while you shop or come back later. They didn’t want most of my items [I mostly had used baby toys], but gave me about $7 for a few. I used it to buy more kids stuff!)
Clothes Mentor buys and sells used women’s clothing, shoes, handbags and accessories. This is the place to sell higher-end, brand name items. They have 9 locations in the Twin Cities area.
Turn Style buys and sells used women’s and men’s clothing as well as home furnishings. They have 11 locations in the Twin Cities area.
NuLook Consignment carries women’s, men’s, children’s and maternity clothing and accessories. Items must be 3 years old or newer. You must make an appointment for consignment.
Plato’s Closet buys and sells the latest looks in brand name gently used clothing and accessories for teen and twenty something guys and girls (think Gap, Express, Abercrombie & Fitch, etc.). They have locations in Maple Grove, Coon Rapids, Roseville, Minnetonka and Woodbury.
Half Price Books will pay you cash for your books, music, movies, games, game consoles, e-readers, and you can spend this cash in the store or take it home with you. “We pay the most for recent bestsellers and collectibles, but we’re also interested in good books, music and movies of all kinds. The primary factors we consider when buying used merchandise of any kind are: 1.) condition 2.) supply and demand.” (I sold a boxful of books at Half Price Books for $2. Not much, but I wanted to get rid of them.)
Craigslist is a free service to buy and sell anything locally. I’ve sold, given away or bought furniture, clothing, sporting goods and appliances on craigslist.
DONATE YOUR ITEMS
To get full tax-deductible value out of your donated items, my tax preparer recommended itemizing or photographing your donations and attaching to the receipt provided at the donation center.
REseat Car Seat Recycling – Recycle used infant and toddler car seats for $10 per seat.
Operation Glass Slipper collects gently used prom dresses, shoes and accessories and distributes them to Twin Cities high school students who can’t afford new dresses. Visit their website for a list of drop-off locations.
***Something Old, Something New Dress Drive. April 18th, 2015 from 9:00am – 9:00pm. Bride To Be Consignment, 8925 Penn Ave S, Bloomington, MN 55431. Bring in your dresses and accessories to donate to Operation Glass Slipper. Donations to OGS will receive a coupon for Bride To Be to use the day of the event!
Dress for Success Twin Cities is a non-profit organization dedicated to improving the lives of women located in the Twin Cities area. Their clients need suits, blazers, blouses, pants/skirts, purses, closed-toe shoes and scarves. Clothing must be in nearly new condition and must be current. If possible, please donate dry-cleaned clothing that is ready for our clients to wear. Clothing donations are currently accepted by appointment at the Dress for Success Wardrobe Studio, 1549 University Avenue St. Paul, MN 55104. Please call 651-646-6000 to schedule your appointment.
AT&T Wireless stores, Best Buy, Sprint stores, Staples, Target and Verizon Wireless stores all offer free cell phone recycling.
Check with your church or local schools which often collect cell phones as fundraisers.
Bridging is a local organization that accepts donations of furniture items and household goods for those in need. They work with people transitioning out of homelessness to provide them with basic furniture & household goods. All donations are tax deductible, and they take some things that thrift stores won’t. They have locations in Roseville and Bloomington.
These stores accept donations and will give you a tax-deductible receipt. Some will also give you a coupon for your next purchase (usually with an expiration date).
Savers – There are 7 Savers thrift stores in the Twin Cities area. Every time you donate reusable clothing and household items either to nonprofits or directly to Savers at one of their stores via a Community Donation Center, we pay the nonprofits. Over the past 10 years, we’ve paid more than $1.5 billion! (Donate and receive a coupon for 20-30% off your next purchase.)
Unique Thrift Store – There are 5 Unique and Valu Thrift stores in the Twin Cities area. Unique and Valu Thrift Stores are committed to giving back to the community through partnerships with several local charities.
Goodwill – There are over 30 Goodwill stores in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. Goodwill uses your donated goods to support programs that help prepare people for work.
Arc’s Value Village – There are 5 Arc’s Value Village thrift stores in the Twin Cities. Whenever you shop or donate at Arc’s Value Village, you’re helping children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities and their families. All proceeds go to support Arc Greater Twin Cities’ programs and services.
Salvation Army – There are 10 Salvation Army Family Stores plus many drop boxes in the Twin Cities and surrounding areas. By shopping or giving at the Twin Cities area Salvation Army stores, you are helping to fund a life-saving rehabilitation program. To learn about the program, visit the Adult Rehabilitation Center website. Proceeds from stores in Greater Minnesota and North Dakota are used to support basic needs programs.
Twin Cities Free Market connects potential givers and takers of any type of item. The Free Market program was the first web based residential exchange program that specifically targeted the exchange of reusable and durable household goods. You have to register (for free) to give away or search for items, and you can’t charge anything for items you’re getting rid of.
Freecycle also connects potential givers and takers of any type of item. It’s similar to Twin Cities Free Market in that you have to register (for free), but is a network of groups around the world.
HOME BUILDING SUPPLIES
Habit for Humanity ReStore in New Brighton accepts just about any type of building supplies, from working appliances to bricks to countertops. Donations are tax deductible and 100% of proceeds support Habitat’s mission. Plus, you’ll be keeping good, reusable materials in use and out of landfills. We get donations from individuals, building supply stores, contractors, demolition crews and various businesses.
Ramsey County has two free drop box locations for residents to drop off medicines. They accept prescription, over-the-counter and pet medicines. Needles and syringes are NOT accepted at these locations (except full epi-pens), BUT they are accepted FREE year-round at Ramsey County’s hazardous waste collection site at 5 Empire Dr, Saint Paul (ramseyatoz.com) or call 651-633-EASY (3279).
Live in another County? Check your county’s website for locations available to you.
Most HealthPartners pharmacies have a collection program for medicines. Visit their website for details and locations.
Walgreens offers a mail-in disposal program. Pick up a specially designed envelope from your Walgreens store, place medicine inside, and drop it into any U.S. Postal Service mailbox and it will be sent to a medication incinerator facility. Read more about the Walgreens Safe Medication Disposal Program.
Not sure where to donate your items? Call United Way at 211 for help.
For an excellent, more comprehensive list of resources for donating and managing your stuff around the Twin Cities area, visit Time to Organize’s website and click on their resources page. (Time to Organize is a business that offers organizing assistance for Twin Cities residents.)