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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.

You just spent almost a year living in your house all. the. time. 

Add the holidays and the start of a new year, and chances are you're looking for a fresh start at home. 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 the 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, with modified donation processes.(Visit goodwillsouthernaz.org and satruck.org 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 suggest bookmarking Tucson Clean and Beautiful's massive recycling directory, which lists dozens of places to recycle just about anything. Please note that you may need to contact individual organizations about their specific COVID-19 procedures. 

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. 17 during daylight hours, unless otherwise noted. The city will not be providing mulch to the public this year, but will instead use it in a compost facility, according to the TreeCycle web page

Here's where you can take your tree:

• Naranja Park, 810 W. Naranja Drive in Oro Valley

• 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

• Joaquin Murrieta Park, 1400 N. Silverbell Road.

Visit tucsonaz.gov/treecycle for more 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 at its annual grease collection event 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 9. 

On Jan. 9 can take your grease to: 

• O'Rielly Chevrolet, 6160 E. Broadway

• Tucson City Council Ward 3 Office, 1510 E. Grant Road

• Pima County College - Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road

• Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way

• Sahuarita Town Hall Complex, 375 W. Sahuarita Way

• Pima Community College - West Campus, 2202 W. Anklam Road

You can also recycle your grease year-round at Agua Nueva Water Reclamation Facility, 2947 W. Calle Agua Nueva.

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, 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

A family picks up books from the Make Way for Books office in Tucson.

Literacy Connects: This local nonprofit promotes literacy and will take your new or gently-used books, particularly in Spanish. Click here for the nonprofit's wish list. For more information, visit literacyconnects.org. To arrange at time to drop off your donation, email library@literacyconnects.org.

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 Way for Books HQ at 700 N. Stone Ave. when open. Visit makewayforbooks.org 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. You can make an appointment to bring up to three boxes. Walk-in trade is limited to one box. Curbside services are also available. 

• 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 they 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. Monday-Friday, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. 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.

Additionally, many 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: Currently, the center is only accepting desktop and laptop computers. 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 working and nonworking electronics and sells them at discounted rates to other nonprofits, their clients and low-income Tucsonans. Donate to 1134 S. Park Ave. or call 520-623-7162. For more information and hours, visit riseequipmentrecycling.org

We 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 computers, medical equipment and other household items. Call 520-514-1588 or visit wecaretucson.org for updated information about donations. 

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. Collection events will happen the second Saturday of each month around Tucson. You can also drop off regularly at the Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road, Tuesday and Thursday. 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 other renovation cast-offs. Drop off at 2958 E. 22nd St. or schedule a free pickup. Visit tmmfs.org or call 520-326-1936 for more information. 


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. Call 520-325-2573 or visit casadelosninos.org for hours and more information. 


Melissa Haskin, a buyer, sorts through a selection of clothes brought in by a customer to sell at Buffalo Exchange, 2001 E. Speedway.

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. Visit grmtucson.com for more information and hours or call 520-740-1501 to schedule a pickup.  

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southern Arizona: Donate clothing and household goods and support the local mentoring program. There are lots of places you can drop off clothes (or have them picked up), so visit tucsonbigspickup.org for specific locations and what you can and cannot donate.

Spreading Threads: This clothing bank provides clothing and other items to children of foster families. You can donate clean, gently-used or new clothing for kids from infants to teens age 18. Take donations to the blue bin at Grace Retreat,  6894 N. Camino Martin, Suite 100. Visit spreadingthreads.com for more information. 

Buffalo Exchange: Make an appointment to sell your gently-used clothing for cash or store credit at the store at 2001 E. Speedway. Buffalo Exchange also has a sell-by-mail program. Visit buffaloexchange.com or call 520-795-0508 for more information. 

Just Between Friends Tucson: You can register to sell your kids' outgrown clothing and unwanted toys, sports equipment and other items at this consignment sale located at 4881 N. Stone Ave. at the end of January. To consign, make an appointment to drop off your items. Visit nwtucson.jbfsale.com for more information.  

Art and school supplies

Examples of the dyed yarn.

Treasures4Teachers of Tucson: A resource center for local teachers needing classroom or crafting supplies. The center is accepting art and school supplies. Drop stuff off at 6800 N. Camino Martin Suite 124. Call 520-425-3956 to make sure someone is there before you go. Visit t4teachers.org for more information. 

Pet toys, beds, etc. 

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, and place them in the large, blue donation bins outside the main gate. They are accessible 24 hours a day. Go here for more information on what the center can and cannot use. 

Editor's note: We ran a version of this story in 2020 but this one is updated for 2021. 

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