Additional Recycling Programs

The Town of Brookline has a number of different recycling program partnerships that residents can take advantage of! Please click on the items below you wish to recycle to learn more about the programs offered by the Department of Public Works. If you are looking to recycle an item that is not mentioned below, residents are encouraged to use MassDEP’s Beyond the Bin recycling directory to find local organizations that can recycle, reuse or repurpose your item! 

  1. Clothing/Textiles
  2. Mattresses
  3. Batteries
  4. Lightbulbs
  5. Other Items

MassDEP has established new rules requiring that mattresses and textiles be kept out of the trash so they can be recycled or donated for reuse, effective Tuesday, November 1, 2022.

Recycle your Textiles with Helpsy!

Did you know that approximately 23,000 tons of textiles are disposed of each year? About 95% of this material can be reused or repurposed! The Town of Brookline has entered into a partnership with HELPSY to to offer a free and easy home pickup clothing recycling service for the local community, as well as drop-off bins.

What clothing and textiles are accepted? All clean and dry pieces, even with stains or missing buttons, can be reused and repurposed. Don’t forget linens, shoes, and accessories, like hats, gloves, socks, underwear, belts, purses, and handbags, of any style, age or condition. For more details see FAQs below.

Schedule a Pickup

Free home pickups in Brookline take place weekly on Saturdays between 7am-5pm. Please note there is a 3-bag minimum for home pickups. Residents can schedule a home pickup by visiting the Helpsy website or calling 1-800-244–6350. All items should be placed in a closed bag and left outside by the curb on their assigned collection day. Helpsy will accept donations in any type of bag, so long as the items are dry and clean.

Drop-Off Textiles

The HELPSY Drop Boxes are accessible 7 days a week for dropping off bags of used clothing, shoes and other textiles. Please put all donations into the box. Do not leave trash in this area! We need your help to make this a successful program, so please make sure all materials go into the box.

Two drop-off boxes for textiles are located at 815 Newton Street, across from Skyline Park.

Two blue helpsy drop off binsGoogle Maps image showing the drop off box location with a red pin


Why is it important to recycle textiles?

While 95% of all clothing, shoes and other textiles could be given a second life, 85% are dumped in the landfill or incinerator, according to the EPA. Capacity for trash in Massachusetts is declining and we must recycle, compost, and reduce/reuse more! 

What kinds of textiles does HELPSY accept?

All clean and dry textiles, even items with stains or missing buttons! Linens, towels, shoes and accessories (like hats, gloves, socks, belts, handbags, purses, etc.). Follow this link for a complete list of what Helspy accepts.

What does Helpsy do with the textiles?

Every item is examined by hand. Approximately 95% of all clothing, shoes and other textiles can be given a second life. The best 40-50% are resold as clothes in the US and Latin America—that's what pays for the collections and supports so many American jobs at the sorting and retail companies. Another 25% or so are cut into wiping rags for use by different industries, bars, and contractors. The least-useful 20-25% or so would be ground into insulation. This insulation would be used in carpet padding and commercial (not residential) furniture.

Are clothes donated or does a company profit from the donated items?

Our textiles recovery partner, HELPSY, is a Certified B Corporation, legally obligated to prioritize its environmental mission and the well-being of its workforce alongside profitability. Proceeds from the sales of clothing pay for:

  • drivers and staff
  • trucks and equipment
  • payments to the Town and bin hosts
  • its 200 charity partners, and
  • its local vendors.

 You can learn more on the HELPSY website.

Does it matter what kind of bags I put the clothes in?

Helpsy will accept any dry and clean clothing in any type of bag. It is helpful to label bags with "Helpsy".

What if I have a problem with my collection?

Contact Helpsy at 800-244-6350 or email [email protected].