Smile Politely

Move it: Recycle Your Stuff When You Pack Your Bags

You’re moving soon, and you’re not taking that never-used mini Crock-Pot with you. Or those dead batteries. Same with that pile of clothes, a foot-tall stack of old magazines, and the busted microwave.

You don’t have time for a garage sale, but your conscience says you can’t throw it away, either.

Champaign-Urbana is home to plenty of places that will gladly and quickly take this stuff off your hands. True, it’s a little annoying to haul it around town, but beneficial to your new apartment and the community if you can donate it or properly dispose of it. And if you’re leaving town, what better excuse to take a farewell tour
through C-U than to deposit your unwanted goods at sites infinitely more useful than its dumps?

A quick guide to moving in C-U while throwing away as little as possible:

Recycle: Cell Phones
Champaign Recycling Drop-off Center (where there is a dedicated bin for cell phones)
1701 Hagan Dr. (just east of Home Depot)

Illini Union (south entrance)
1401 W. Green St.

Recycle: Computers & Electronics
Mack’s Twin City Recycling
(Small fees for computer monitors and UPS battery removal; other items taken free. See website for details.)
2808 N. Lincoln Ave.

Recycle: Appliances
Mack’s Twin City Recycling (though nothing with freon)

Recycle: Batteries
Common Ground Food Co-op
610 E. Springfield Ave.

Illini Union (south entrance)

The City of Champaign and City of Urbana also maintain two thorough guides to recycling that cover even more drop-off sites for some of this same stuff, as well as places to recycle more specialized things such as motor oil, packing peanuts, and items containing mercury (including dead compact florescent light bulbs).

City of Champaign recycling guide:

City of Urbana recycling guide:

Donate: Food/Toiletries/Cleaning Supplies
Eastern Illinois Food Bank
2405 North Shore Drive

(Accepts unopened, unexpired canned, packaged and bottled food as well as cleaning supplies and personal toiletry items.)

Donate: Plastic Shopping Bags
Common Ground Food Co-op
(These also can be recycled with plastics.)

Donate: Clothes
Empty Tomb (only accepts in-season clothing)
301 N. Fourth St.

Salvation Army
2212 N. Market St.

1102 N. Prospect Ave.

Donate: Glasses
All About Eyes
507 W. Town Center Blvd.

Donate: Books
C-U Books to Prisoners
(See website for drop-off points throughout Champaign)

Donate: Items For Women
A Woman’s Place (accepts all women’s items—clothes, magazines, toiletries, etc.)
1304 E. Main
Drop off hours: Wednesday and Thursday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. (or call the number above for an appointment)

Donate: Items For Men
Times Center (accepts men’s clothing, as well as food)
70 E. Washington St.
Drop off hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

Donate: Items For Children
A Woman’s Place (accepts all children’s items—toys, clothes, etc.—with the exception of stuffed animals)

Donate: Fix-It Items
Habitat for Humanity Re-Store (paint, garden supplies, tools, etc.)
119 E. University Ave.

Donate: Household Items
A Woman’s Place
Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
Empty Tomb
Salvation Army

Donate: Furniture
Habitat for Humanity Re-Store
Salvation Army

For those with a little extra time on their hands, there’s also the
Champaign-Urbana Freecycle listserv, where you can try to give away anything (anything legal); and, of course, Craigslist C-U.

There are likely many more recycling or donation sites not listed here: if you can think of any, please post them to the comments.

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