Goodwill is one of the region’s largest recyclers. You could say we were one of the original recyclers, repairing and selling donated items in the early 20th century. Today, we work with local agencies to recycle and re-purpose everything from electronics to books, and textiles to plastic toys, keeping tens of millions of pounds out of the landfills each year.
Goodwill outlet stores, or “the blue bins,” provide donations one last chance to sell at bargain-priced by-the-pound rates. We strive to maximize the value of each donation and give them multiple opportunities to sell.
Our three operations centers are connected to the outlet locations and process all of the unsold donations. Our teams separate the items into categories so they can be shipped to recyclers to be made in to other materials.
There are many simple ways to incorporate sustainability into your everyday routine.
- Use a refillable water bottle instead of disposable plastic bottles
- Use cloth napkins and rags instead of paper towels
- Limit the amount of time you take in your hot showers
- If you aren’t using an electronic device, make sure it’s off and unplugged and like your mom always says – turn off the lights!
Our favorite ways…
- Donate it vs throwing it away (donate to Goodwill!)
- Buy used vs new (shop at Goodwill!)
Don’t throw it away – donate it! By donating your gently used household items to Goodwill, you give them a second chance. Maybe that purple jumpsuit no longer brings you joy, or you upgraded your blender, but your old one still works – let someone else give them new life and keep them out of the landfill. Plus, your donation will hep provide free job training and education services to people in our community – a win-win.
What does shopping sustainably mean? It means choosing ways to shop that helps support our environment. Shopping second hand reuses items that might otherwise be thrown away, putting harmful chemicals into our ecosystem. Need any more reasons to shop thrift? Many products are now made with cheaper components and have a shorter lifespan. Older or vintage clothing and household goods are often made with better quality materials and last much longer. Shopping second hand also does good by helping your community. That pair of jeans or bicycle you purchased at Goodwill is turned in to free job training and education for people in need.
What do you do with the items that can’t be donated? Goodwill is unable to accept some items due items being broken, safety issue or hazardous materials, (see our donation guidelines here). However, there are many places that can recycle everything from used batteries to plastic containers and styrofoam packaging. Check with your local refuse department for links to recycling centers.
Goodwill partners with E-Cycle Washington to recycle unsold or non-working donated electronics making it easy for Washington residents to recycle their broken, obsolete or worn-out electronics. Electronic products contain valuable materials that can be recycled and toxic chemicals that should be kept out of the landfill. Most of our locations accept e-cycle – check our locations page for a store near you.
What can I recycle FREE at Goodwill?
- Televisions / monitors
- Computers / laptops
- Tablets / e-readers
- Portable DVD players
*We are not able to accept printers, keyboards, toner cartridges or cell phones at this time.
You’ve collected a bag of plastic containers but don’t know where to properly recycle them? The Washington State Department of Ecology provides an easy-to-use search form to locate recycling services in your area.