How to get rid of everything

With the holidays, we usually end up with more material goods. But logically, that means something has to make way for the new. So how do you get rid of the old?

One caveat, some of these programs have been curtailed by the pandemic. But they’ll all likely be back sooner or later.

Donating/Giving Away

Several groups in the area take donations or allow you to give away items. There’s a secret Wallingford-Swarthmore swap group on Facebook where you can give away useful items to neighbors. Find someone in it to get an invitation, many parents of school-age children are members and trade clothes and toys that are quickly outgrown.

Goodwill Industries at 725 Chester Rd. will take many items as donations. Nana’s Attic at 1991 Sproul in Broomall takes donations to support the Domestic Abuse Project in Delaware County.


The township usually hosts electronics recycling events, often in collaboration with neighboring municipalities. Here’s a quote from an event last year.

Simply drive up and let us unload your old electronics. We accept the following: laptops, desktops, tablets, printers, scanners, fax machines, cell phones, keyboards, iPods, MP3 players, Fit-bits, VCR’s, DVD players, cords, game systems, remotes, etc. All computer drives are wiped clean.

Generally they’ll take almost any consumer electronics with a cord. Some items have costs: CRT monitors are $25-75, other TVs $10, air conditioners, de-humidifiers and air purifiers $15, microwaves $5.

Feb 20 update – You can also arrange a pickup with Retrievr to collect most household electronics (but not appliances).

Household Hazardous Waste

The county hosts regular household hazardous waste events that take specific items. They will not take latex paint or electronics.

  • Flammables (oil-based paints and sealers, paint thinner, gasoline, kerosene, gas/oil mixtures)
  • Batteries (non-alkaline including lead-acid, rechargeable, lithium, button batteries, Ni-Cad batteries)
  • Toxics (pool chemicals, rust/paint remover, antifreeze)
  • Herbicides and pesticides
  • Caustics (cleaners/solvents)
  • Mercury-containing devices (thermostats, thermometers, fluorescent tubes)

Auto Waste

The county has a page with a list of places that will take auto waste (tires, oil, car battery, antifreeze, scrap metal).

Large Items

Once or twice a year the township holds a community clean-up day for resident’s large items (example from a previous year). They will not take electronics or hazardous waste.


The township contracts with a company to pick up recycling at homes once a week. They have a pretty extensive list here.

  • Metal (metal and tin drink containers, food containers and plates and trays)
  • Cardboard (boxes should be broken down), no pizza boxes due to grease!
  • Paper (newspaper, printer paper, magazines, phonebooks, junk mail, tissue boxes, towel rolls, paper milk and juice cartons)
  • Plastics (screw top jars, plastic cups without lids and straws, milk jugs, soap bottles, soda bottles, etc.). The township lists items with symbol 1, 2, 4, 5 and 7
  • Glass food and beverage containers


The township collects leaves during the fall from the curb using leaf trucks.

The township will collect yard waste (sticks, leaves, etc – no weeds or grass clippings), or it can be dropped off at scheduled times.

Kitchen Harvest provides a bi-weekly composting service in the area for food waste for a subscription fee.


Everything that can’t be recycled should be trashed. If you have a question about how to get rid of something, whoever you’ve contracted with for your trash can probably help you. In the past they’ve picked up larger objects for us. The township maintains a list of trash haulers in the township. Here’s a list of some items that can’t be recycled,

  • Napkins, tissue paper, paper towels, wax paper, wrapping paper
  • Mirror glass, window class, ceramic crystal
  • Cardboard lined with plastic
  • Bubblewrap, plastic bags, plastic tableware
  • Styrofoam containers
  • Diapers, clothing, textiles
  • Plastic containers with #3 or 6
  • Coat hangers, paint cans
  • Medical wastes/sharps
  • Hard cover books