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Ideas for Reusing or Recycling Other Items


The City of Milwaukee's Self-Help Centers accept a variety of items for recycling that are not accepted in the curbside program. If you have something not accepted at one of these centers, browse this page for ideas on how to reuse or recycle it. The below list is not all inclusive and companies or organizations listed are for informational purposes only. Listing does not confer an endorsement or recommendation of any company or organization from the City of Milwaukee. To be included on this list, call: (414) 286-2349.

Batteries, rechargeable - Find a battery recycler near you

Books - See the Yellow pages under "Book Dealers - Used"

Cell phones -   Show/Hide More
  Check with your carrier or at any cell phone retail store to find a recycling service near you.
Clothing and Home Furnishings -   Show/Hide More
  Check with your local Goodwill, Salvation Army, or St. Vincent DePaul stores for donation guidelines. You can also drop off used clothing, shoes, and linens in any one of the red and white US’Again textile recycling bins that are located throughout Milwaukee.

Electronics -   Show/Hide More
  City of Milwaukee Self-Help Centers - Effective September 1st, 2010, many consumer electronics are banned from landfills. City of Milwaukee residents can recycle these electronics for free at either of two locations: 6660 N. Industrial Rd, and 3879 W Lincoln Ave. Visit for hours and a full list of accepted items. For more information on the ban and the new state wide E-Cycle Wisconsin program for recycling electronics, visit the DPW’s electronics webpage.

Other Recycling Options – For a list of collection sites by county, visit the DNR's website."

Donate – Many local organizations also accept electronic equipment as donations. Examples are:

IndependenceFirst accepts computers which will be refurbished and made available to people with disabilities who could otherwise not obtain one. For guidelines and more information, call (414) 226-8141.

New Horizons Un-Limited, Inc. - Computer equipment is refurbished and made available to people with disabilities. Visit or call (414) 299-0124 for accepted components and requirements.

Fats, Cooking Oil, Grease -   Show/Hide More
 Residents may drop off used cooking oil at City of Milwaukee Self-Help Centers. Used oils will be refined into biodiesel fuel by a local company and supplied back to the community as an alternative fuel source. The City of Milwaukee has greened its fleet of diesel engine vehicles by using some of this fuel.

Acceptable used oils include: Canola, Soybean, Palm, Sunflower, Corn, Olive and other vegetable oils.

If possible, transport oil in original container or find an airtight, spill-proof alternative. Do not transport used cooking oil when it is hot.

Large quantity generators (over 50 gallons) can call Cream City Grecycing at (414) 688-7672 for special arrangements.

Food, Non-perishable -   Show/Hide More
  Food donations can be made to local charities, food banks, and homeless shelters such as the Hunger Taskforce, Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, The Guest House. Additional organizations can be found by searching the yellow pages under "Food Bank" or a similar term.

Food Packaging -   Show/Hide More - Send in cookie wrappers, drink pouches, yogurt containers, and more to be recycled into new products.
Food scraps -   Show/Hide More
  Don't waste a valuable resource, compost your food scraps! To learn more, visit You can also use your in-sink disposal system to grind up food waste and send it down the drain to be recycled into energy and fertilizer! Visit for more information.

General -   Show/Hide More

Almost Anything Resale Shop

  • 7621 W Beloit Rd, West Allis WI 53219, (414) 321-0226
  • 9116 W Oklahoma Ave, West Allis WI 53227, (414) 755-4881
Accepts almost anything!  NOT ACCEPTED: encyclopedias, tires, mattresses. - Free to post an advertisement, sell a variety of items. - Free to join!

The Guest House: (414) 345-3240, 1216 North 13th Street, Milwaukee, WI 53205. Accepts a wide variety of household and food items.  To view the full list, visit

Purple Heart Pickup Service: (414) 281-4281, 5380 S 13th St, Milwaukee, WI 53221.  Accepts clothing, shoes, toys, games, and other household items such as decorations, dishes, pots, pans, sheets, clothes, and furniture (as long as there are no repairs needed).  Call to schedule a pickup.  NOT ACCEPTED: appliances, waterbeds, metal desks or home improvement items.

1-800-GOT-JUNK: Have almost anything removed, from old furniture and appliances to garden waste and renovation debris.  Loading and cleanup is provided.  Fees apply.  Call or visit

Goodwill – Accepts useable clothing, and household goods. Visit to locate a store and donation center near you.

Salvation Army – Accepts a wide variety of items, from household goods and non-perishable food items to vehicles. Visit to find a store and donation center near you.

St. Vincent de Paul – To donate useable clothing, household items, furniture and appliances, call (414) 462-7863; non-perishable food items: (414) 462-7837; school supply items (every August): (414) 462-7837. You can also visit for donation instructions.


Hope House – To find out what items this organization could use the most, visit and choose "Donations", then "Wishlist". No used clothing or toys are accepted.

Holiday Lights -   Show/Hide More

Send in your old incandescent Christmas lights. will recycle them along with the box that you sent them in, and send you a coupon good for 25% OFF LED Christmas lights. Visit the website for shipping address and instructions.

Home Building & Renovation Materials -   Show/Hide More

Community Warehouse - (414) 383-7792, 520 S 9th St., Milwaukee WI, 53204.  Accepts building and home improvement materials such as doors, windows, paint, sinks, bathtubs, flooring and cabinets.  ITEMS MUST BE NEW.  Donations are tax deductible.

Habitat for Humanity ReStore - (414) 257-9078, 3015 N. 114th St. Wauwatosa, WI 53222.  Accepts good, reusable, or new appliances and building/home renovation materials.  Visit for a list of accepted items, and call ahead to make sure someone can assist with your donation.

Home Source - (414) 344-4142, 3701 W Lisbon Ave, Milwaukee WI 53208.  Accepts building and home repair materials, such as: toilets, refrigerators, stoves, furnishings, tables, sofas.  No soft items, such as sheets, are accepted.  Call to confirm that your donation is acceptable.

IM Salvage Company - (414) 645-8733, 737 W Cleveland Av, Milwaukee, WI 53207. Accepts building materials such as doors, windows, sinks, hardware, etc.  No tax receipts are given for donations.

Inkjet Cartridges - Check with your local office supply and inkjet cartridge stores, or search at

Light bulbs, fluorescent -   Show/Hide More
  Fluorescent bulbs, including compact fluorescent bulbs, contain mercury. Mercury is toxic and can permanently damage the brain and nervous system and lead to very serious health consequences. It’s important to properly dispose of these bulbs when they no longer work.

The good news is, there are many options for proper disposal. Many hardware stores and other retailers collect used compact fluorescents for safe disposal. Visit to find a recycler near you. Residential fluorescent tubes can be recycled through household hazardous waste (HHW) collection programs. For information on Milwaukee’s HHW drop-off locations, visit the hazardous waste disposal page at

Tubes from businesses must be recycled under Wisconsin law. WasteCap Wisconsin provides information for recycling fluorescent tubes from businesses. Visit to browse fluorescent tube recycling markets.

More information about CFLs, including instructions for proper cleanup of broken CFLs can be found at

Media -   Show/Hide More
Half Price Books, Records, Magazines - A local option for selling used CDs and DVDs
  • 8514 W Brown Deer Rd, Milwaukee
  • 5032 S 74th St, Greenfield
  • 17145 W Bluemound Rd, Brookfield

The Exclusive Co. (414) 271-8590 - A local option for selling your used CDs and DVDs - Video tapes, floppy disks, jewel cases - CDs, DVDs, including packaging - Sell your old CDs, DVDs, and games

Music-Go-Round - Pays on the spot for good condition musical instruments and equipment in great working condition. Brand-new accessory items are sold at discounted prices. Call (414) 281-2777.

Organic Kitchen and Garden Waste -   Show/Hide More
Packing Peanuts -   Show/Hide More
  Many "pack and ship" businesses accept packing peanuts from the public for reuse. Check the Yellow Pages under "Packaging Service" or search under "Packing Peanut Reuse."

Packing Pillows -   Show/Hide More
  Pillows marked "Fill-Air" can be deflated and mailed to:
Ameri-Pak Sealed Air Recycle Center
477 South Woods Dr
Fountain Inn SC 29644

Paper - Shredded and Shredding Services -   Show/Hide More
 Paper you shred at home may either be placed in paper bags with the tops rolled and stapled or tied in clear plastic bags and placed into the recycling cart. For quantities too large to shred at home, see the Yellow pages under "Paper Shredding Service" or "Office Records Destruction" for companies that provide confidential shredding and recycling.

Plastic Bottle Caps -   Show/Hide More
AVEDA partners with schools to recycle bottle caps. Some AVEDA locations accept caps from individuals, too. Call your nearest AVEDA store and visit to learn more!

Plastic Grocery Bags - Return to certain retailers to recycle them: all Wal-Mart and Pick'n Save locations. For more information visit

School Supplies
     Many local organizations accept donations of school supplies for area children including House of Peace - Milwaukee and the Boys and Girls Club of Greater Milwaukee For more ideas, go online and search for "school supply donations, Milwaukee".

Scrap Metal - Accepted at both City Self-Help Centers, or see "Scrap Metal" in the Yellow Pages for private metal recycling yards.

Sharps - needles, syringes, and lancets

Sports Equipment -   Show/Hide More - buys, sells, and trades used but good-condition sports gear

- Provides sports equipment to underprivileged children around the world. Equipment may be mailed to:
Sports Gift
32565 B Golden Lantern Street, #190
Dana Point, California 92629

- Send in your used skis to be recycled into Adirondack-style beach chairs.
4 Abbott Place
Millbury MA 01527


The Boys and Girls Club – Accepts bicycles, among a long list of other items. For more information call (414) 447-5333.

The Milwaukee Bicycle Collective – Donate your old bicycle. For more information call (414)-431-0825.

Milwaukee Recreation: Accepts used baseballs, basketballs and other sporting equipment in good condition. Call (414) 475-8180 for more information.

Tyvek Envelopes -   Show/Hide More
  Mail in envelopes to be recycled (for large quantities of 200-500, call 866.338.9835 for a free pouch).
Tyvek Recycle
Attn: Shirley B. Wright
8401 Fort Darling Road
Richmond, VA 23237

Unused Medication -   Show/Hide More
  Help protect Lake Michigan. Never flush or pour unused medicine down the drain. Wastewater treatment plants are not designed to remove it. If you can store it safely, save your old meds and bring them to a medicine collection day. Check for the latest information on permanent collection locations and upcoming collection events. Otherwise, dispose in trash.

Wheelchairs -   Show/Hide More - Matches individuals with wheelchairs with those needing one

Wine Corks - Recycling your wine corks into a variety of new products. Visit and search for "wine corks" for recycling programs.



2013 DPW Annual Residential Recycling Report

Did you know:  From 2009 to 2013, recycling pounds per Milwaukee household increased by 19.6%, continuing a string of annual increases in tons of recyclables recovered!

Also in 2013, the City of Milwaukee and Waukesha County signed an intergovernmental agreement to seek proposals for a Regional Recycling System for the Processing and Marketing of Single Stream Recyclables.  The process resulted in signing a second intergovernmental agreement as well as a contract with a company called ReCommunity to jointly process Single-Sort recyclables for the City and County utilizing new, state of the art recycling equipment in the City’s existing building in the Menomonee Valley.  The facility is expected to be operational by spring of 2015.

 Read about these highlights and much more in the 2013 DPW Annual Residential Recycling Report.


Operations Division
Room 501
Zeidler Municipal Building
841 N. Broadway
Milwaukee, WI 53202

Preston Cole
Director of Operations