Recycling Beyond the Ipswich Program

Recycling Everyday Items

First, make full use of the municipal curbside recycling program. For example, did you remember that cereal and cracker boxes, toilet paper rolls and metal can labels can be recycled in your bin?

Next, get your unwanted items into the hands of people who can use them. Clothing and textiles? Donate them in the box at the transfer station or in the Ecosmith box at any of Ipswich's schools. Additional items are listed below and in the DONATION GUIDE.

Other useful items not listed? Offer them on or Craigslist.

From the Store

Plastic Bags & Film

Plastic bags and film (case wrap, paper towel wrap, etc.) can be recycled! Many grocery and retail stores (Shaw's, Market Basket, Target, Kohl's, Staples, Lowe's) have recycling bins for plastic grocery bags (labeled #2 or #4) and plastic film. Recycle them during your weekly shopping trip, or consider reusing them for some other household purpose. Avoid using them completely by investing in reusable bags, which are available at most grocery and retail stores or online.

Styrofoam (Polystyrene #6)

Reuse these for crafts projects or avoid purchasing them altogether.

From the Office

Computers & Electronics 

At special collection events in May and September, Ipswich organizations offer electronics recycling for a small fee. For curbside pickup, call JRM at 978-536-2500 to schedule and prepay a pickup ($25). Goodwill accepts some electronics (no TVs) at their donation sites. Staples and Best Buy will recycle monitors and computers (for a fee) even if they were not purchased there. Call before you go.

Ink Cartridges

The Winthrop and Doyon elementary schools and Ipswich High School have collection bins for recycling used printer cartridges. The Council on Aging at Town Hall also collects them. Cartridges can be dropped off at Staples and Best Buy as well.


Rechargeable, button-cell and car batteries can be recycled. Tedford's Hardware, Best Buy and Staples will take rechargeable batteries for recycling. Button-cell batteries (watches, hearing aids, remote car starters, etc.) contain mercury and are collected at Town Hall at the Department of Public Works office and the Council on Aging, Zumi's, Rite Aid and Rainbow Jewelers. Car batteries can be brought to the Transfer Station during operating hours. The Massachusetts DEP advises that single-use batteries should be put in your trash, because they no longer contain mercury. These batteries do not have much material that can be reused, so they are expensive to recycle. Batteries Plus in Danvers may recycle them for a per-pound fee. Call first to confirm (978-774-4448).

Styrofoam & Other Packing Materials

The best way to recycle packaging materials such as Styrofoam peanuts, bubble wrap, and air pockets is to reuse them. If you have more than you can use, check with the UPS store in Rowley. They will sometimes take these materials for reuse in their business.

From the Closet

Clothing and Other Textiles

Bring your textiles to the American Red Cross donation bin at the Transfer Station or the Ecosmith bin at any of the Ipswich schools. A portion of the proceeds from this bin benefits the environmental clubs and other student initiatives. All textiles (including stained or ripped) must be clean and dry. If you need a pickup, many organizations will pick up your clothing items (see household items, below).

Wire Hangers

Wire hangers in good condition can be returned to the dry cleaner for reuse.

From the Sporting Gear Bin

Sporting Goods


If you have soccer cleats, balls, shin guards, pads, nets, shirts or shorts sitting in your garage or hall closet and not being used, consider donating them to Please email or call (978) 681-5050 to arrange pickup or delivery. 

Other Sports
Everything from baseballs and gloves to horseback riding gear can go to Instant Replays, located at 64 Central Street in Georgetown, for resale. Items must be in good condition and have no odor. Call Todd at (978) 352-8800 for more information.

Sneakers/Athletic Shoes

Items that can still be worn may be put in the collection bin at Ipswich High School. But worn-out shoes can be recycled! Nike collects all brands of worn-out footwear in their Reuse-A-Shoe Program at Nike and Converse locations. (Nike stores with collection bins are located in Boston and Somerville, MA; Kittery and Freeport, ME; and Tilton, Merrimack, and North Conway, NH. Converse outlet stores are in North Andover and Wrentham, MA.) Donated shoes are ground up and used in surfacing athletic courts and playgrounds.

Resell or trade them at your local Play It Again Sports outlet, which can be reached at 800-476-9249. One World Running will send still-wearable shoes to athletes in need in Africa, Latin America, and Haiti.

From the Entertainment Center

Toys & Kids' Items

Again, reuse is your best bet for getting rid of unwanted or outgrown toys and children’s accessories. Share outgrown toys with family members, neighbors, etc. These items (clean and dry) can be dropped off at the Transfer Station in the American Red Cross bin. Some items can be sold on consignment at The Children’s Orchard in Rowley and Newburyport.


Book donations can be placed in the More Than Words bin at the Transfer Station. The Ipswich Public Library will accept small collections of good books that can be resold.

CDs, DVDs and Video Games

Unwanted but still good CDs, video games and DVDs can be donated in the More Than Words collection box at the Transfer Station. Recycle scratched items at the customer service desk at Best Buy (Danvers and Saugus).


Vinyl records can be donated to Savers in Danvers (139 Endicott Street) or Goodwill (19 Howley Street, Peabody).



Any item at least 60% metal can be brought to the Transfer Station. Household Items: toasters, water heaters, refrigerators, washers, dryers, trash compactors, stoves, space heaters, humidifiers, vacuum cleaners, coffee makers, metal and cast iron sinks, AC units, boilers, metal bed frames, lamps, silverware, pots, pans, exercise equipment. Outside Items: lawn mowers, tools, grills, bikes, metal swingsets, chain link fence, propane tanks with tops off only, metal window frames, and siding. Automotive Items: car batteries, tires with rims only, and metal auto parts.
You will need a beach sticker or Transfer Station permit (free at the Department of Public Works Office).

Household Items

Many organizations, such as Big Brother Big Sister, the Epilepsy Foundation, Vietnam Veterans of America, Salvation Army, and St. Vincent de Paul will pick up reusable household items (small appliances, decorations, linens, etc.) from your home on a schedule or by appointment.

Working Appliances

Goodwill accepts working appliances, or you can contact the Steel Recycling Institute to recycle them. Call 800-YES-1-CAN or go to


The Ipswich Lions Club collects eyeglasses at the Council on Aging (Town Hall) and in their mailbox in the parking lot of Our Lady of Hope Catholic Church at One Pineswamp Road. The mailbox for eyeglasses is clearly marked and located in the back right corner of the lot, next to the clothing bins. The lenses are reground and are given, along with frames, to people in need.

Toothbrushes & Razors

Buy a Preserve recycled plastic toothbrush or razor, and the company will take it back to be recycled again into plastic lumber. Preserve products are made from Stonyfield Farms yogurt (and other dairy products) cups, Brita pitcher and water bottle filters, and Plum Organics pouches. Visit their website for information about their Gimme5 program.

Cars & Trucks

The Special Olympics Massachusetts Recycle for Gold program accepts unused vehicles for a good cause. This program helps fund year-round sports training and competition for athletes. Call 800-590-1600 or go to Recycle for Gold. Donors may be eligible for a tax deduction.