Where in the Boston Area can I recycle textiles and shoes?

Amy Collier
5 min readOct 19, 2020


source: https://www.baystatetextiles.com/massachusetts-school-box-programs/

Bay State Textiles

Bay State Textiles collects used clothing via bins located in various school parking lots in the area, but also recycles textiles that are not fit for donation. According to the FAQ page of their website:

Q: Can I recycle my textiles that are ripped and stained?
A: Yes. Bay State Textiles will accept your textiles in any condition, as long as it is clean and dry! If it can’t be reused, it gets recycled into wiping rags, or broken down into fibers and made into new materials.”

You can use this tool to find a location near you (though it doesn’t seem completely up to date and I recommend using the list below instead). Before you drop things off, check out what they do and what they don’t accept. (Hint: pillows, which many places won’t take, can be donated here.) If the bin is full, find another bin. They can’t take clothes wet from the rain, etc. as it can cause mold and mildew. For school listings, the bins are typically located in the school’s parking lot. Below are some locations in the Greater Boston Area:

Boston Neighborhoods


Up Academy Dorchester
Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School Lower
Dr. William W. Henderson Inclusion School Upper

Hyde Park

New Mission High School

Jamaica Plain

Joseph P. Manning Elementary School


Phineas Bates Elementary School
Mozart Elementary School

West Roxbury

Kilmer Lower School
Kilmer Upper School
Ohrenberger School

Outside of Boston


Ottoson M.S.
Bracket School
Pierce School
Stratton School
Bishop School
Thompson School
Gibbs School
Dallin School


Highlands Elementary School
South Middle School
Liberty Elementary School
Braintree School Administration Building
Braintree High School
Mary E Flaherty Elementary
Hollis Elementary School
Monatiquot School Kindergarten Center
Covanta Braintree Transfer Station
Archie T Morrison Elem School
East Middle School
All Souls Church
Meeting House Montessori
Donald E. Ross Elementary School


Albany St Garage


Dedham Middle School
Early Childhood Cntr


Diamond Middle
Minuteman VoTech
Recycle Center
Hartwell Ave


Bailey Elementary School
Greenhalge Elementary School
Lincoln Elementary School
McAuliffe Elementary School
McAvinnue Elementary School
Moody Elementary School
Morey Elementary School
Murkland Elementary School
Pawtucketville Elementary School
Reilly Elementary School
Shaughnessy Elementary School
Washington Elementary School
Rogers STEM Academy


Early Learning


Medford H.S.
Brooks Elementary
McGlynn Elementary
McGlynn M.S.


Charles Pierce Middle School
Tucker Elementary School
Milton H.S.
Collicot School
Glover School
Milton Academy


Johnson School


Clifford H. Marshall Elementary School
Point Webster Middle School
Lincoln-Hancock Community School
Amelio Della Chiesa Early Childhood Center
South West Middle School
Bernazzani Elementary School
The DPW Yard
Wollaston Elementary School
Atlantic Middle School
Eastern Nazarene College
Montclair Elementary School
North Quincy High School
Francis W Parker Elementary School
Squantum Elementary School
Beechwood Knoll Elementary
Merrymount Elementary School
Broad Meadows Middle School
Snug Harbor Elementary School
Atherton Hough Elementary School
Quincy High School
Christ Church Episcopal


Salem H.S.
Saltonstall School
Witchcraft Heights
Collins M.S.


Dana Hall
Recycle Center
Autism Services


Daniel L Joyce Middle School
Reeves Elementary School
Woburn Memorial High School
Shamrock Elementary School
Goodyear Elementary School
Malcolm White Elementary School
Kennedy Middle School
Altavesta Elementary School
Linscott-Rumford Elementary School
Hurld Wyman Elementary School

Second Chances

Second Chances is an organization local to Somerville. They collect donations for local shelters and organizations that distribute them to homeless and low-income people, and then recycle leftover textiles. According to their website:

We appreciate your donations of women’s, men’s, and children’s clothing, shoes, and accessories in good or better wearable condition. Our clients need clothing, shoes, and accessories for all kinds of activities including work, school, casual and dressy events, sports, and more. Anything our clients cannot use is either recycled or sold wholesale to support our work.

We accept:
Clothing from any era
Footwear including shoes, sandals, sneakers, and boots
Outerwear including all kinds of coats and jackets
Hats and scarfs
Costume jewelry
Purses and bags
Blankets (not comforters)
Sheets and pillowcases (not pillows)
Tablecloths, placemats, and cloth napkins

Below is a list of locations for Second Chances bins. If you own a business in Somerville or Cambridge (or nearby) contact Second chances to become a donation bin host.


Whole Foods Market, Arlington
808 Massachusetts Avenue | Arlington, Massachusetts | Map »
Donation bin is to the right of the electric car charging station in the parking lot.

Arlington Recycling Center
[The clothing donation bin has been moved outside the gates. Now you can donate any time.]
51 Grove Street | Arlington, Massachusetts | Map »
For Arlington residents only. Visit the Recycling Center website for information about recycling events and more.


Fresh Pond, Danehy Park parking lot, near the dog park
162 New Street | Cambridge, Massachusetts | Map »
Donation bin is in the parking lot on the left side, near the entrance.
Hours: Generally, the parking lot gates are open from dawn to dusk, every day.

Cambridge Crossing — for residents only
Inside One Leighton Street | Cambridge, Massachusetts | Map »
For Cambridge Crossing / North Point residents only. The concierge can show you to the loading dock area where the donation bin is located.


TAB parking lot, West Somerville
169 Holland Street | Somerville, Massachusetts | Map »
Donation bin is near the exit, to the left of the attendant’s booth.

Tufts University Campus — for the Tufts community
101 Talbot Avenue | Medford, Massachusetts | Map »
Donation bin is in the driveway to the left of the office/house. This location is very close to the Medford/Somerville line.

Note: if you see Planet Aid bins in your neighborhood, please do not use those! They’ve sued the news organization Reveal for the reporting Reveal did on their organization’s corruption, and The American Institute of Philanthropy’s watchdog organization CharityWatch gives them an F rating.

Learn more tips!

Interested in learning more low waste tips specific to the Greater Boston Area? Join the Zero Waste Beginners group and its network of free item exchange subgroups.