I am passionate about rehoming items I no longer need and although a lot of items can be dropped into them, local recycling centre and charity shops are not always the best fist stop for donating or recycling. I prefer to get items into the hands of places that specialise in a particular item, that way there’s a better chance of them being reused or recycled properly.
Before you read on and get ready to declutter, remember if possible it’s always better to repair and reuse your own goods than recycle them.
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Where to Donate Furniture
Check out the list of stores selling second hand furniture in Ireland. Most will buy or take donations.
Where to Recycle Mattresses
- Eco Mattress Recycling Dublin 11
- Boomerang Recycling Ballyvolane, Cork
- Bounce Back Recycling, Galway
- Wicklow Mattress Disposal
Where to Donate / Recycle IT Equipment
Where to Donate / Recycle Electrical Equipment
- Recycle IT, Dublin 22
- WEEE Ireland, Nationwide
- Check out the list of stores selling second hand electronics & electrical goods in Ireland. Most will buy or allow you to sell via their website.
- You can now recycle your Microsoft mouse!
Where to Donate / Recycle Gardening Equipment
- Local community gardens
- Local horticultural colleges
Where to Donate / Recycle Bicycles
- 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
- The Bike Hub in Dun Laoghaire was set up to promote cycle culture and do workshops for schools and businesses. You can donate bikes to them.
- Some councils facilitate the return of bicycles through recycling facilities
- Some shops that sell second-hand bikes might be interested in taking them
Where to Donate / Recycle 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
- The retailer Dunhelm in the UK take back these items for recycling.
Where to Donate / Recycle Worn-out Clothes
- See my article on What to do with Old Clothing
Where to Donate / Recycle 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. I’m not convinced that putting more carbon emissions from transportation justifies keeping these shoes out of incineration.
- You may have heard that Schuh take pre-worn shoes including worn-out pairs. I emailed them to ask what happens and the recycling partner they work with told me that they really only want wearable shoes.
Where to Donate / Recycle Rucksacks / Travel Bags
- English bag maker Millican will repair any unwanted rucksacks and travel bags and rehome to charities that can use them. Email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information
Where to Donate / Recycle Bras
- Some charity shops sell lightly-worn bras
- The Cancer Society’s clothes bins
- Smalls for All (By Post to UK based charity)
- Recycle for Breast Cancer (By Post to UK based charity)
Where to Donate / Recycle 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 charity 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 lenses 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 cosmetics to convert into watercolour paints
Where to Donate / Recycle Books & Stationary
- Check out the list of stores selling second hand books. Most will buy or take donations.
- Books in good condition can be sold through Amazon
- You can swap books on bookmooch.com and in the Facebook group Book Swap Ireland
- You can sell books to webuybooks.co.uk,
- Keithscactusbooks in the UK might be interested in quality gardening books.
- Gateway to Education takes school supplies and second-hand books for families in need in Limerick
- Your local library may take them, particularly if they’re specialist in nature.
- See if a local pub or café or hostel has a book exchange shelf
Where to Donate / Recycle Baby / Kids Stuff
- Saoirse Women’s Refuge helps victims of domestic violence and 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. Lets Match Mums is a great initiative to connect mums with items to donate with mums in direct provision with kids slightly younger.
- Community Connect (Dublin & Wicklow)
- Old dolls can be donated to Billy’s Dolls of Comfort for use with Alzheimer patients in care homes
- Burst inflatable toys, paddling pools, armbands etc can be sent to Wyatt & Jack, upcycled bag makers in the UK.
- 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.
- 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.
Where to Donate / Recycle Packaging
- If you sign up for Terracycle points you can earn cash for a charity or community organisation by collecting and dropping off a series of hard-to-recycle packaging types.
- You can post used Brita Filters to Brita’s Irish distributors
- Kontanicals will take back your used essential oil bottles and give you a 12% discount on their fabulous organic essential oils.
Where to Donate / Recycle Other Bits and Pieces
- Check out the list of stores selling second hand phones. Most will buy or take donations.
- You can trade in your old phone with Vodafone in return for credit
- 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 spectacles 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
- Send your broken umbrellas (no black), candle stubs and old crayons. leather offcuts / products, cashmere to Chloe Haywood in London for her craft projects
- The Upcycle Movement in Wexford also takes kitesurfing kites, paraglides, parachutes, hot air balloon material, boat sails, tents and ringos.
- 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 musical instruments presented for disposal to clean, mend and re-distribute them to organisations such as Centres for Autism, Addiction and Rehabilitation.
- Museums are a great place to donate items of historical, artistic or cultural interest. You can donate historical medical items to RCPI.
You can also try rehoming stuff on websites like
- Done Deal
- Jumbletown (free items only)
- Freetrade (free items only)
- We Share (free items only)
- Various Facebook Groups
I also find the What to do with …. page on the Mywaste.ie page very useful
Finally, drop specialist items into a shop that sells them. 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!
If you’re decluttering check out my article on How to Declutter Sustainably