Household Items

Questions About Household Items

Trash Can




Fabric Scraps



Car Seat

How do you dispose of a trash can used for city trash? 

Had some trouble finding some good green answers to this question (most were just put a sign on it for the trash trucks), but this website had a few good answers: Basically, it says to first put a “free” sign on it in case anyone could use it. If it’s unusable, check the bottom to see if it is recyclable, and if it is, take it to the recycling center. If it’s not recyclable and is so banged up/broken that no one could use it, put a sign on it for the trash trucks. If it’s made from aluminum, you can take to a local scrap metal yard (I found this one, but I don’t know how legit it is:

Is there any way to recycle old razors?

I’m sorry we could find a local answer for you. Here is what we found: There is currently no easy option to recycle razors because they are a mix of plastic and steel; however, if you buy a razor by PRESERVE they will give you a take-back envelope so that you can recycle after use. I love this company. They have the same program for toothbrushes. This article definitely point to another reason to keep the recycling drum in Cville and the U.S. Strong. Which is why we’ve launched Zero Waste Warriors volunteer team. Let us know if you are interested! In the meantime, thanks for caring.

We have just bought two new beds for our kids (they are getting too big!). We have two older twin mattresses that we hate to just toss out. Do you have suggestions as to where or how to recycle them?

Though a well-run facility can recycle 95 percent of the materials from a single mattress, I found no mattress recycling facility in this area. My Betty brain and research did dig up the following local solutions.

Ask family, friends, neighbors, or fellow employees if they or someone they know needs a good mattress, or call local places of worship or nonprofits: PACEM, an organization for the homeless; FOCUS women’s shelter; the International Rescue Committee (973-1234, ext. 114); or the Salvation Army (979-5230 or 1-800-728-7825 to schedule a pick-up, as long as there are no stains or tears).

Richmond shelter organization Caritas also runs a furniture bank that takes mattresses and distributes them and other essentials to needy families.

Finally, there is one local mattress company that offers mattress recycling: Savvy Rest. If you buy a mattress from them, they will take back your old mattress and recycle it at the nearest facility in South Carolina, Nine Lives Recycling.

Want to know more about how a mattress gets broken down and recycled? Check out the website of California company DR3 Recycling (

Hi, I am wondering where in/near Charlottesville I can drop off “textile recycling.” When I go through clothes (and other household goods made of fabric), I often have a BIG pile of stuff that is not suitable to be donated for resale. For example, torn or stained clothing items, threadbare sheets, etc. A friend of mine in Blacksburg mentioned that she can take bags of such stuff to the local YMCA thrift shop b/c they have a “textile recycling” dropoff/program there. Is there something similar in/near Cville? I live in Madison County, about 40 mins north of downtown Cville.

Great question! There is a great program that can help you out with this and here is their information! Bags for Foster has been going on for at least three years now. Volunteers of all ages come together about once a week to sew bags for children in the foster care system. I believe they have made close to 1,000 so far. Because the bags will be used by the children to carry their personal possessions, the fabric needs to be sturdy — a tight weave is best — and washable. This article on the program from a few years back will give you more info.

The Mary Williams Center is located in the Jefferson School City Center, right next door to the Vinegar Hill Café. The Center is open Monday through Thursday and the number is 987-8433.

For lighter fabric — the arts and crafts program at our Adult Day Centers (ACC) may be able to use donations. We have one ACC in Charlottesville at 674 Hillsdale Drive, 22901 (817-5222) and one in Louisa at the Betty Queen Community Center, 522 Industrial Drive, 93093, 540-967-4433.

Do you know where in the C-ville area I can recycle textiles? These are various scraps of fabrics that are not suitable for anything else…. Thanks.

This has been a local question Betty has been grappling with for years!  It seems that select artists and art teachers like to use them in their classes, but it’s a matter of finding these artists.  We just found out that McGuffey Art Center actually has an area where you can drop off all kinds of materials (including fabric) and artists will come in and take what they want. You just have to go in the North door and you’ll see a sign that says “FREE.” I’ve been assured that as long as you aren’t dropping off truckloads, it will be taken!

Betty’s long term idea is to have a reuse/community exchange center for art supplies and scraps of this kind.  For now, I would say go to McGuffey or, if you’d like, call your nearest or favorite local school and see what they say and/or the Discovery Museum 434.977.1025.

What should I do with my old jeans—they’re too destroyed for Goodwill, is there a way to recycle them?

With old denim, there are some neat recycling programs that allow old jeans to be upcycled into insulation, much of which is donated to initiatives like Habitat for Humanity. Blue Jeans Go Green is a great and easy-to-use program that does just this with plenty of options for getting your jeans to them… so here are 3 easy steps!

  • Mail-in options to:
    Blue Jeans Go Green™
    Denim Recycling Program
    431 North 47th Avenue
    Phoenix, AZ 85043
  • Retailers who collect jeans with discounts on their own jeans:
    Madewell (the website shows you the nearest locations!)
    Nearest to Charlottesville is in Richmond
  • Make your own Denim Drive with friends—instructions and support for starting
    your own can also be found at their website.

Does anyone know of a good place to drop off coats that are not being used?

Great question! A great option for this would be donating coats to the Salvation Army, SPCA Rummage, or local Goodwills.

I have several old car seats that I need to get rid of. Everything I have read says that I should just put them in the trash. Is there anywhere that recycles the parts or where I can get rid of them without adding to the landfill?

Great question!! It’s been my understanding that for safety reasons there is no recycling going on of car seats, HOWEVER at the prompting of your question and with my new app irecycle, I have found out about a program that accepts car seats out of Texas… It’s called Apparently you have to pay for the shipping costs, but they will recycle/salvage whatever they can. Check it out.