Karen Hale is co-founder and former member of Graceful Spaces. She has a lot of experience recycling, disposing of, and deploying ‘stuff’.
I encourage readers to share their own experiences in successful “stuff’ deployment.
Trash: Please look at The Energy Resource Recovery Facility website, and it may encourage you to let go more quickly of musty old books, broken furniture, old linens, etc.
Recycling from Home: Please look at this great video (and show it to your kids) from the Fairfax County website to see how your curbside recycling is processed. Respecting the guidelines to wash food and beverage containers is one small thing to do to help with their enormous task.
Books & Magazines: Libraries rely on donations of good condition books for their used book sales, or to they will put some books on their shelves. They also have a rack to sell current magazines.
Please put your yellowed and musty books, obsolete reference and educational books in the Trash, see above. The only type of books that fit into the curbside recycling stream are phone books and magazines.
Reston’s Used Book Shop is a terrific place with great atmosphere on Lake Anne Plaza. They will buy or trade your gently used books, and a magazine wagon for give & take magazines.
Consigning: If you have clothing, jewelry, and even art to consign, N’Used in Herndon is a charming consignment store.
Used bedding and towelS: Fairfax Co. Animal Shelter and animal hospitals often need these items for lining cages. Please stick to their lists!
Large quantity donations: Good360 provides a link between donor companies such as corporations and hotels, and nonprofit organizations. They have warehousing and trucking services and are able to acquire large ‘lots’ of items and distribute them.
Tv’s and electronics: There are area collection points throughout the year, on Electric Sundays.
Best Buy recycles electronics for minimal or no charge, and TV’s up to 32”. They will lift it out of your car at the store!
Batteries to refrigerators and paint to insecticide can be disposed of at the Fairfax County Transfer Station West Ox Road. It is always an education to go there and have a good look around at what we throw out.
FREE GIVING with Carry out: Very few organizations will come into your home and carry out heavy things. Here are two online groups: Craigslist Free connects you with private individuals who will come in and haul their ‘new’ item out. Freecycle.org is a thriving enterprise. You might be surprised what people want, and will pick up at your front door.
And your own at-home services providers; Cleaners, painters and landscapers may want something you’re giving away. Or they may just carry it out to your car or the porch for you. Remodelers frequently go to the dump and might take something away for a small fee. And there are always junk removal services, just type "junk removal No Va" Into your browser.
Next time, we’ll start a slow waltz through your closet.