New York City
Moving Sustainably in New York City

As New Yorkers prepare for a move, many will assess what of their belongings should and should not be kept. Did you know majority of unwanted items can be recycled, reused or disposed of in environmentally-focused ways? There are many sustainable options for disposing of unneeded items in New York City.  

Clothes, Towels and Blankets  

Most people can identify with the concept of a closet purge and preparing for a move is a  natural time to take it on. Fortunately, there are a myriad of options available to New Yorkers who want to donate clothes, accessories, towels and blankets:  

    • SCRAP NYC (Queens): gives donated items to second-hand stores as well as using clothes in their production cycle as textiles for new clothing. Pieces of clothing that go unused are recycled for stuffing, maximizing the usage.  
    • Bottomless Closet  (Manhattan): uses donated clothes and purses to support and benefit low-income women who are attempting to find work and get back on their feet.  
    • Happy Donations: allows residents to send in their items using a prepaid shipping label. All proceeds and funds help support the Vietnam Veterans of America.  
    • ACC Animal Care and Control (Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island)  – accepts all blankets and towels that are in good shape and new/ unopened pet supplies 


Bulky items like furniture tend to be the most daunting items in a move. Oftentimes furniture does not work from one home to another. No need to leave items behind or on the curb, there are trustworthy sustainable options available throughout the city.  

      • Angel Street Thrift Shop: 17th Street – accepts donated furniture and uses funds to support substance abuse programs, HIV/AIDS and mental health organizations, provide children with scholarships to summer camp, and a residential treatment program for opiate addicted pregnant women.  
      • City Opera Thrift Shop: Chelsea – uses donations and funds to support the arts in the city. 
      • Hour Children in Astoria and LIC – provides services for children and families of incarcerated mothers. 
      • Housing Works: many locations throughout the city – provides advocacy, services, and business to people affected by HIV/AIDS.  

Residents should also consider Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, and inquiring at vintage furniture stores to sell their unwanted furniture pieces.  

Beauty Products 

New/ unopened/ unused beauty product donation options:  

      • Bowery Mission: Manhattan – accepts unopened soap, shampoo, conditioner, deodorant, toothpaste and shaving cream. 
      •  Win: 105th Street location – a shelter for homeless women and children accepts all new toiletries. 

Used/opened beauty products

      • Tenoverten nail salon: Financial District – partners with a chemical recycling and disposal company to help manage leftover nail polish, as well as glass, plastic caps or brushes.  
      • The Package Free Shop: NoHo –  partners with a waste recycling program and accepts personal care items. 


Moving can be chaotic and deciding what to do with unneeded items can be stressful, but there is an abundance of programs and organizations around New York City and the opportunity to be sustainable while helping support individuals and communities in need is worth it.