If you're wanting to make 2018 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 and do free donation pickups (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 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 still got a live tree that needs to go, remove all of the decorations, including the stand, and haul it one of the city of Tucson's "TreeCycle" collection spots through Monday, Jan. 15 during daylight hours, unless noted otherwise. The city will grind the trees to make wood chips available to the public at Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way, and Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road, after Thursday, Jan. 4. 

Here's where you can take your tree:

• Naranja Park in Oro Valley, 810 W. Naranja Drive — this one is only open through Sunday.

• Golf Links Sports Complex, 2400 S. Craycroft Road — 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. 

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

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

• Purple Heart Park, 10050 E. Rita Road

• Randolph Golf Course, 600 S. Alvernon Way

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

Visit tucsonaz.gov/treecycle or call 791-5000 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. 

Bring leftover grease to one of these locations from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 6 and it will be recycled into biodiesel, a burning fuel cleaner than regular diesel. Bring your grease to these locations: 

• O'Reilly Chevrolet, 6160 E. Broadway.

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

• Pima Community College's Northwest Campus, 7600 N. Shannon Road

• Kino Sports Complex, 2500 E. Ajo Way

• Sahuarita Town Hall Municipal Complex, 375 W. Sahuarita Center Way

Click here or call 724-6543 more information.

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. You might want to call smaller branches 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. Take your books to the Friends at 2230 N. Country Club Road 9 a.m. to noon Monday through Saturday. Visit library.pima.gov/supporting-the-library or call 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/donate/donatebooks or call 882-8006. 

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. 

• Midtown, 3330 E. Speedway, 325-5767. 

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

• East, 6230 E. Speedway, 748-9555. 

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 or call 795-8001 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. There are five Best Buy locations in Tucson. 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, or large appliances. This is also a place to take your old cell phones. Donate to 1134 S. Park Ave. or call 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. They'll recycle and reuse your old electronics (again, no CRT TVs). Donate at 1925 W. Gardner Lane. Call 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 a small fee for residents outside of city limits. Drop off regularly at 2440 W. Sweetwater Drive,  Friday and Saturday morning and at Los Reales Landfill, 5300 E. Los Reales Road,  Tuesday 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 children, families and seniors, the store recycles and sells usable building materials, including paint (just make sure you have more than half the can still in there). Drop off 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday or 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday at 2958 E. 22nd Street. You can also schedule a free pickup. Visit tmmfs.org or call 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 Autoparts: 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 free pickup or drop off your donations at 935 W. Grant Road 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Saturday. Click here for a list of what the store will and will not take. Call 230-5323 or visit habitattucson.org/habistore for more information. 

Casa de los Niños: This local nonprofit helps families and children with abuse and neglect situations. Their thrift store supports that mission. No mattresses. Have items picked up or drop them off. Call 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 Arizona provides professional clothes to Tucson women who need the clothing (and accessories and shoes) to ace that job interview. Donate 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday or by appointment to 525 N. Bonita Ave. Visit ywcatucson.org or call 884-7810 for 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 and Children's Shelter, 707 W. Miracle Mile, or the Men's Center, 312 W. 28th St. anytime. Visit grmtucson.com/drop-off-locations for more information. 

Big Brothers Big Sisters of Tucson: Donate clothing and household goods and support the local mentoring program. Donations are sold to local Savers and supports 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 is open. The store at 2001 E. Speedway is open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Sunday. Visit buffaloexchange.com or call 795-0508 for more information. 

School districts: Some school districts have clothing banks that supply clothing to students and their families. Learn more about resources centers with Tucson Unified School District, Flowing Wells Unified School District and the Amphi Foundation

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 3 to 6 p.m. Wednesday, noon to 6 p.m. Thursday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday. Call 425-3956 to make sure someone is there before you go. Visit t4teachers.org for more information. 

Upcycle Tucson: Help artists create new treasures. Here's a list of what they take. Stop by 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday or by appointment at 924 W. Grant Road. Call ahead. Visit upcycletucson.com or call 445-7694 for more information. 

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