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Baby Goods

Baby clothing can be donated to any donation or drop box. Most places will not take items listed in recalls, check first to see if your items are on the baby products recall list. Salvation Army, will take baby clothing and toys. Craiglist or Freeycle or even consignment shops make great options for unused baby goods. Items such as baby bottles can be reused and repurposed for crafts, and storage. Baby bottles are made from either plastic with a recycling symbol on the bottom and can be recycled with your other household plastics. Contact nonprofit for a drop off: Massachusetts Children’s Fund 63 Lamplighter Drive Shrewsbury,


Unwanted mail and catalogs are recyclable, but it makes more sense to reduce them at the source:
• – a free service that gets your name off commercial mailing lists (;
• Catalog Choice – a free service that puts a stop to the delivery of unwanted catalogs;
• – a free service that ends pre-approved credit card and insurance offers;
• YellowPagesGoesGreen – a free service that takes your name off phonebook mailing lists; and
• EcoLogical Mail Coalition – a paid service that helps businesses eliminate mail addressed to former employees-

Fluorescent light bulbs

All fluorescent light bulbs contain mercury gas (even the ones with green tips). Many municipalities accept fluorescent bulbs from residents and businesses for free or a small charge. The Center for EcoTechnology offers free disposal guidance to Massachusetts businesses and residents. Contact Sean Pontani at or 413-586-7350, ext 225. Additional recycling options vary based on the type of bulb:
Compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) fit in standard screw-type light sockets and are made of a narrow coiled glass tube. They come in a variety of shapes and styles, and can be encased by an outer glass bulb. Free CFL recycling is offered at Aubuchon Hardware stores, Home Depot, Lowes, the Solar Store (Greenfield), Whole Foods, IKEA and Ace Hardware.
Larger fluorescent tubes do not fit in standard screw-type sockets. These include long straight, circular or U-shaped tubes, tanning bed lamps, High Intensity Discharge (HIDs), and neon light tubing. Commercial organizations generating large numbers of bulbs may contract directly with a lamp recycler; licensed mercury recyclers can be found at


Many older household thermometers (fever, candy, meat, deep fry, oven, ambient temperature) have liquid mercury-based indicators. A mercury thermometer can be easily identified by the presence of a silver bulb at the end of a glass tube. If the bulb is red, blue, purple, green or any other color, it is not a mercury thermometer. Most municipalities collect mercury thermometers for proper disposal; contact your community representative* for details.


Thermostats with digital displays typically do not contain mercury switches. Switches containing liquid mercury are found in older wall-mounted thermostats. Although these switches are fairly sturdy, they should be carefully handled to avoid breakage. In addition to municipal collection programs, mercury-type thermostats are accepted at no charge at many plumbing retail stores (search Yellow Pages under “Plumbing Supplies). For more information, go to


If your unwanted paint was purchased recently and is in good condition, consider donating it for use instead of throwing it away. Many school/community theatre groups and charitable organizations (such as Habitat for Humanity) will accept quality paint products. You may also offer it for reuse through Petroleum (oil-based) paints, stains, thinners, and varnishes are considered hazardous materials, requiring proper disposal (see “Hazardous Household Waste”). Latex paint and water-based stains are accepted at Devens hazardous waste collections, but may not be at other sites, but it can be thrown away when completely hardened. Speed up the process by adding paint hardener (available in hardware stores) or by stirring in clean kitty litter to the consistency of thick oatmeal and allowing the mix to harden for 3-5 days. When there are no free-flowing liquids, you may place the open paint can (without the lid) in your household trash.