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Sisters Tamara Laczkowski, right, and Sasha Laczkowski, left, organize some of the things at their fundraiser yard sale in 2005. At the time, the two sisters formed a nonprofit organization to help families and underprivileged children.

If you want to make 2020 clutter-free, we're here to help.

Sift your closets, sort your garage and then give your cast-offs to someone who wants them. Plenty of organizations around Tucson will take your donations, giving you a blank canvas for a new year. 

You probably already know about Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona and Salvation Army thrift stores, which will both accept a huge variety of clothing and household goods (visit goodwillsouthernaz.org and salvationarmytucson.org/family-thrift-stores for more info). 

Start there or get more specific. Some options help good causes, others will get you some cash or store credit. 

We also recently made a list of five local organizations that will do curbside pickup for larger items such as furniture and appliances. This means you don't even have to get in your car. 🙌 Check that list out here

We also suggest bookmarking Tucson Clean and Beautiful's massive recycling directory, which lists dozens of places to recycle just about anything.

Happy purging. 

Christmas trees

Heriberto "Eddie" Coronado uses a machete to strip a discarded Christmas tree trunk he plans to make into a fence at a TreeCycle collection spot near the 4700 block of South 3rd Avenue by the Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on Dec. 28, 2017, in Tucson, Ariz. Residents can recycle their Christmas trees through the city's TreeCycle Program until Jan. 15 at one of eight sites around town. Free mulched wood chips will be available after Jan. 4 at Randolph Golf Course and the Los Reales Landfill.

First, the obvious. If you've got a live tree that needs to go, remove all of the decorations, including the stand, and haul it to one of the City of Tucson's "TreeCycle" collection spots through Sunday, Jan. 12 during daylight hours, unless otherwise noted. The city will grind the trees to make wood chips available to the public at Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road.

Here's where you can take your tree:

• Tank's Speedway Recycling and Landfill Facility, 7301 E. Speedway — Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. and Saturday 7 a.m. to 2 p.m.  

• Golf Links Sports Complex, 2400 S. Craycroft Road.

• Tucson Rodeo Grounds, on Third Avenue, north of Irvington Road

• Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road  — Monday through Saturday, 6 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

• Tank's Ina Land Reclamation Facility, 5300 W. Ina Road, Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. and Saturday, 7 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

• Purple Heart Park, 10050 E. Rita Road

• Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way

Visit tucsonaz.gov/treecycle for updated information.  


County residents are urged to recycle their cooking grease, as dumping it into the sewer can cause dangerous overflows.

Because fats, oils and grease can wreak havoc on pipes if you pour them down the drain, Pima County's Wastewater Reclamation department wants to help you prevent sewer backups.

Recycle grease at Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility, 2947 W. Calle Agua Nueva Monday through Friday, 7 a.m. to 3 p.m. 

Go here for more information. 

Brush and Bulky

A giant eucalyptus tree gets a trim. Photo Renee Sauer / Arizona Daily Star / 2001

City of Tucson neighborhoods have scheduled brush and bulky pickups. When it's your neighborhood's turn, you can leave brush, branches and other green waste on the curb. Plus, scrap metal, furniture, car doors, etc. Go here for the complete list of what they will and will not pick up. You can also call 520-791-3171 or submit a form for a brush and bulky pickup at any time. Fees apply. 

Go here for more information, including a map and schedule. 

Books, CDs, DVDs

Maria Gastelum, during a break from her adult language class, looks through children’s books in the library at Literacy Connects.

Pima County Public Library: Donate your books, CDs and DVDs to the Joel D. Valdez Main Library, 101 N. Stone Ave., or a nearby branch. Call in advance to make sure they can accommodate larger collections. You can also donate to the Friends of the Pima County Public Library for their book sales, which support library programs. The next public sale is Jan. 17-20. Take your books to the Friends at 2230 N. Country Club Road 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday. Go here or call 520-795-3763 for more information. 

Literacy Connects: This local nonprofit promotes literacy and will take your new or gently-used books for children and young learners. Bring them to 200 E. Yavapai Road when open. Click here for a list of genres on the nonprofit's wish list. For more information, visit literacyconnects.org or call 520-882-8006

Make Way for Books: This is another local nonprofit that is all about connecting young children — and their parents and educators — to books. You can donate new and gently-used children's books to Make ay for Books HQ at 700 N. Stone Ave. when open. Visit makewayforbooks.org or call 520-398-6451 for more information. 

Bookmans: Take your media to Bookmans for store credit or cash. What they buy from you is based on current stock, condition and demand. No appointment is necessary. 

• Northwest, 3733 W. Ina Road, 520-579-0303

Visit bookmans.com for more information. 

Cell phones


Emerge! Center Against Domestic Abuse: Donate working cell phones (and chargers) to Emerge to help people in domestic abuse situations. Even though the phones no longer have service or data, the phones can still call 911, providing victims a lifeline. Take your phone to the administrative office at 2545 E. Adams St. when open. Visit emergecenter.org for more information. 

Best Buy: You might be able to trade in your phone (or other electronic device) for store credit or just drop it off and Best Buy will recycle it and deal with the hazardous materials responsibly. Visit stores.bestbuy.com to find your nearest location. 

Verizon, Sprint, AT&T, T-Mobile: Most cell phone stores will properly recycle your old phone. You may even get some trade-in credit. 

Computers, printers, TVs, etc. 


RISE Equipment Recycling Center: A subsidiary of the local nonprofit COPE Community Services, Inc. (which helps people with behavioral, physical and mental health and substance abuse recovery), the center refurbishes your working and nonworking electronics and sells them at discounted rates to other nonprofits, their clients and low-income Tucsonans. Note: They don't accept cathode ray tube televisions and monitors. Donate to 1134 S. Park Ave. or call 520-623-7162. For more information and hours, visit riseequipmentrecycling.org

World Care: This local humanitarian aid organization collects your surplus to help people locally and internationally at 3029 N. Stone Ave. They'll recycle and reuse your old electronics, medical equipment and other household items. Call 520-514-1588 or check worldcare.org for hours. 

Best Buy: Again, they'll take your tablets, computers, cameras, some TVs and other used devices. Check here to see a complete list.

Paint, vehicle fluids, cleaning supplies, batteries

Barbara Mead's brushes stand idle while she sketches a floral still-life during the Anyone Can Draw or Paint art class. The class allows for all styles and media.

Household Hazardous Waste: This Tucson program will take care of chemicals, batteries and all kinds of items considered hazardous, poisonous or toxic. For a complete list, visit tucsonaz.gov/es/hhw-list. It's free to drop off if you live in Tucson, but there's a $10 fee for residents outside of city limits. Drop off regularly at 2440 W. Sweetwater Drive,  Friday mornings and at Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road, Monday through Saturday. Check tucsonaz.gov/es/household-hazardous-waste for specific hours and updated information. 

ReStore: Connected to TMM Family Services, Inc., which serves at-risk families and seniors, the store recycles and sells usable building materials, including paint, lighting and flooring. Drop off at 2958 E. 22nd St. or schedule a free pickup. Visit tmmfs.org or call 520-326-1936 for more information. 

Leftover motor oil

Autozone: Most Autozone stores recycle old motor oil and batteries. Visit autozone.com to find locations. 

O'Reilly Auto Parts: Bring motor oil, batteries and other auto fluids for recycling. Visit oreillyauto.com to find locations. 

Many other auto shops also have oil recycling programs. 


Sandra Iracema tallies her purchases during a 2010 Goodwill auction.

HabiStore: Affiliated with Habitat for Humanity Tucson. Schedule a pickup or drop off your donations at 935 W. Grant Road. Go here for a list of what the store will and will not take. Call 520-230-5323 or visit habitattucson.org/habistore for more information. 

Casa de los Niños: This local nonprofit helps families raise children in healthy homes. Their thrift store at 1302 E. Prince Road supports that mission. You can also schedule a free pickup. Call 520-325-2573 or visit casadelosninos.org for hours and more information. 


Janet, who did not want to give her last name, looks through donated clothes at the Sister Jose Women’s Center.

Your Sister's Closet: This program of the YWCA Southern Arizona525 N. Bonita Ave., provides professional clothes to Tucson women who need the clothing (and accessories and shoes) to ace that job interview. Visit ywcatucson.org or call 520-884-7810 for hours and more information. 

Gospel Rescue Mission: With multiple shelters for men, women and children, your clothing goes directly to those in need. Drop off at the Women's Recovery Center, 707 W. Miracle Mile, or the Center for Opportunity, 4550 S. Palo Verde Road, or schedule a pickup. Visit grmtucson.com/drop-off-locations for more information and hours. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona: Donate clothing and household goods and support the local mentoring program. Donations are sold to local Savers stores and support the program. There are lots of places you can drop off clothes (or have them picked up), so visit tucsonbigspickup.org for specific locations.

Buffalo Exchange: Sell your gently-used clothing for cash or store credit any time the store at 2001 E. Speedway is open. Visit buffaloexchange.com or call 520-795-0508 for more information. 

Craft supplies

Examples of the dyed yarn.

Treasures4Teachers of Tucson: A resource center for local teachers needing classroom or crafting supplies. Here's a list of what they're looking for — everything from bottle caps to old magazines. Drop stuff off at 6800 N. Camino Martin Suite 124 2 to 6 p.m. Wednesday through Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 520-425-3956 to make sure someone is there before you go and make sure you go at least 30 minutes before close. Visit t4teachers.org for more information. 

Pet toys, beds, etc. 

"The beds have really had a calming effect," says Pima Animal Care Center Manager Justin Gallick, who reports that dogs at the shelter are barking less. Above, a female dog rests on one of the raised beds.

Pima Animal Care Center: If you have gently-used or new pet toys, beds, collars, leashes and other items, take them to Pima Animal Care Center, 4000 N. Silverbell Road, during open hours. The shelter also has a huge need for large towels (think beach towels). Go here for more information on what the center can and cannot use. 

Editor's note: We ran a version of this story in 2019 but this one is updated for 2020. 

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