What to recycle / donate where

Upcycled Furniture by Zoe Murphy

Your local recycling centre will take a lot of items for recycling and charity shops are great for general items in good condition but for those tricky items here are a list of other places to try. Remember though, it’s always better to repair or reuse your own goods than to recycle it if possible.

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Check out the list of stores selling second hand furniture in Ireland. Most will buy or take donations.


Computers etc


Gardening Equipment / Plant Pots

  • Local community gardens
  • Local horticultural college


  • Check out the list of stores selling second hand bikes in Ireland. Most will buy or take donations.
  • The Freedom Machine Project in Dublin 7 takes and refurbishes bikes for kids in direct provision
  • If not some councils facilitate the return of bicycles through recycling facilities
  • Some shops that sell second-hand bikes might be interested in taking them

Duvets & Bedlinen & Bath Towels

  • Animal Shelters such as Dogs Trust. (phone before delivering just to check they still take them)
  • Some Equine Charities take towels for horses

Worn-out Clothes

  • Liberties Recycling in Dublin 2 take worn out clothes and convert them into rags for use in industry.
  • Worn-out swimsuits can be posted to Davy J Swimwear in the UK
  • Worn out tights (pantyhose) can be sent to Swedish Stockings who will reply with a voucher off their products.
  • Send your old cashmere to Chloe Haywood in London. She makes them into hot water bottle covers!
  • You can also donate your cashmere to Fashion for Forests, who will plant a tree for every donation received.
  • Some charity shops will accept worn out clothing to sell to ‘rag’ companies

Special Ocassion Wear

Worn-out Shoes

  • Liberty Recycling in Dublin 2 sends worn out leather shoes to Africa so that the leather can be used to make crafts.
  • You may have heard that Schuh take pre-worn shoes including worn-out pairs. I emailed them to ask what happens with the worn-out shoes and they didn’t know!

Rucksacks / Travel Bags

  • English bag maker Millican will repair any unwanted rucksacks and travel bags and rehome to charities that can use them. Email rehome@homeofmillican.com for more information


Toiletries, Cosmetics & Medical

  • Women’s Refuges, although phone ahead to check first.
  • The Alice Leahy Trust
  • The Homeless Period takes period related toiletries like tampons, pads etc.
  • The Hygiene bank takes new, un-used and in-date toiletries. They’re a UK chairty but with collection points in Ireland too. Caroline Hirons is another option for those based in Wales
  • Toiletry Amnesty in the UK has a useful online directory of organisations that will take old toiletries, mostly UK based for now.
  • You can recycle used contact lens through Terracycle but unfortunately the only drop off points in Ireland currently are in Boots stores in Belfast.
  • L’Occitane take some beauty and hair product packaging, even for other brands, in their stores for recycling.
  • You can now recycle your old inhalers in some local pharmacies
  • You can recycle old perfume bottles in The Perfume Shop
  • Start-up Cos Watercolours in the UK take dry cosmetics to convert into watercolour paints

Books & Stationary

Baby / Kids Stuff

  • Saoirse Women’s Refuge often need items for their clients and will accept second hand if they’re in good condition
  • Offer items to your local direct provision centre.
  • Community Connect (Dublin & Wicklow)




  • Old Dolls can be donated to Billy’s Dolls of Comfort for use with Alzheimer patients in care homes
  • You can sell phones on
  • Stamps can be donated to charities who sell them on to stamp collectors. Participating charities include Barnardos, ISPCC, NCBI, Irish Peatland Conservation Council. If you’re based in the UK there is a list of charities that take stamps on the website Used Stamps for Charities
  • Old yarn can be sent to Hedgehog Fibres in Cork
  • Old coins and bank notes and foreign money can be donated to the Irish Peatland Conservation Council
  • Your local Lions clubs collects and send used glasses for reuse in disadvantaged countries through their spectacle recycling scheme. (Specsavers no longer collect unwanted glasses)
  • Vibrating Sextoys!!!!! Post to Rabbit Amnesty in Bath, UK
  • Burst inflatable toys, paddling pools, armbands etc can be sent to Wyatt & Jack, upcycled bag makers in the UK.
  • Send your broken umbrellas (no black), candle stubs and old crayons. leather offcuts / products, cashmere to Chloe Haywood in London for her craft projects
  • If you bought your kids wetsuit at the Great Outdoors you can bring it back to them and get up to 50% off a new one. Your donated one will be sold on to someone else at a discount. You can also buy second hand ones in store too. The Upcycle Movement in Wexford also takes wetsuits through various surfing schools and if you’re in the UK you can donate them to Inland Sea.
  • The Upcycle Movement in Wexford also takes kitesurfing kites, paraglides, parachutes, hot air balloon material, boat sails, tents and ringos.
  • You can donate pre-loved communion outfits and accessories to the pop-up communion shop Special Occasions in Dublin 5. They give outfits to people in the community for free to help ease the financial burden of the day.
  • Tools for Solidarity in Northern Ireland send refurbished sewing machines, knitting machines and leather machines for use by disadvantaged communities in Africa.
  • Fingal County Council collect instruments presented for disposal to clean, mend and re-distribute them to organisations such as Centres for Autism, Addiction and Rehabilitation.

You can also try rehoming stuff on websites like

I also find the What to do with …. page on the Mywaste.ie page very useful

Finally, if you have a specialist item of value but you haven’t been able to rehome consider dropping it into an appropriate shop. I inherited an open-box of pen refills for a quality brand pen that I didn’t own, so I dropped them into the Pen Corner in Dublin 2, who stock that brand. They get free stock, I get empty space in my house – win win!


Published by Elaine Butler

I am a circular design consultant helping manfacturers prepare for the circular economy

26 thoughts on “What to recycle / donate where

  1. I didn’t know the cancer society took bras, I’ve never seen any bins. I want to get rid of some bras, and was planning on posting them to Smalls For All but I will have another look in the cancer soc shop 🙂


  2. Love this! One you might add for Galway under books: Charlie Byrne’s gives store credit for good condition, resaleable books.


  3. I LOVE your blog, congrats on it, it’s my go to before buying anything these days. Any idea where to recycle old cd’s, cd cases and hard disks (the ones that came after floppy). I have loads, mostly blank. Thank you.


    1. That’s so nice of you to say. Thanks Grainne. Are the CD’s computer CD or music CD’s? If it’s the former then maybe your local community garden would use them as bird scarers. If it’s the latter then your charity shop might take them. I also believe there is a way to remove the coating on them so that you end up with clear plastic discs which might be useful in art projects. I met a lady at the MADE festival in Dublin over the summer who does this.

      The charity shop might also take the CD cases because these frequently get damaged and they might want to replacements for good CD’s that they want to sell in the shop. Otherwise i believe teachers use them in schools for some type of project work.

      Hard disks are a tricky. I really don’t think they’re of any real use anymore. Why not contact one of the companies that recycles IT and ask them for their advice? Or in your local Laptop repair centre. They might know the best way to dispose of them.


  4. Hi. A great recycling resource for bikes to add to your list. Rebike based in Dungarvan, Waterford take donations of old bikes and refurbish them to donate to families who may not be able to afford bikes.


    1. Oh, great. Thanks for letting me now. Will update the list now. If you have any sort of mailing list please add me on. I’ve a Facebook Page where I post ‘eco-news’ so am always happy to hear about eco-events / developments around the country. You’ll find my email on the About Me page. Elaine


  5. I found your blog today. I’m so delighted. So much useful information!!! Thank you for all your work and keep it Going please!!!


  6. I was speaking to a couple of Specsavers and then to Vision Aid directly and they are no longer accepting old glasses. Vision Aid ceased this last year due to cost. But I’ve emailed The Lions Club as they seem to be still accepting them according to their website so that is hopeful. Thank you.


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