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How to recycle your unwanted belongings

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Eco-lifestyle expert, Ashlee Piper, shows us where we can donate, or get some cash, for just about anything we have in our homes. (WLS)

Eco-lifestyle expert, Ashlee Piper, shows us where we can donate, or get some cash, for just about anything we have in our homes.

1. Sheets, Towels, Blankets, and Corks: The Anti-Cruelty Society will take all these donations. They also have a special program where families and children can create dog toys from old t-shirts and cat toys from old wine corks. Phone: 312-644-8338

2. Prescription glasses and sunglasses: The Lions Club will gladly take your prescription glasses, reading glasses, and sunglasses. They'll even take frames without lenses at their recycling centers. You can also donate to Walmart Vision Centers, who will route the glasses to the Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centers where volunteers clean, sort by prescription strength and package the glasses so that international mission teams may responsibly distribute them to people in need, either in developing countries or in the US, if the state's optometry laws allow.

3. Travel and Full-sized Toiletries: Sarah's Circle is an organization that provides shelter and wrap-around services to women experiencing homelessness or who are in need of a safe space. Sarah's Circle will take your new full and travel-sized toiletries to give their female residents. Phone: 773-728-1991

4. Old Cell Phones: Still have that Motorola Razr from 2006? Put it in an EcoATM kiosk to see if it's worth any money. If it is, you get cash on the spot. And even if it's not, EcoATM will take it off your hands and ensure it gets to people in need. For locations, please visit their website.

5. Bikes and Bike Parts: Put your bike parts to work by donating them to Working Bikes, where they'll use them to make functional bikes for those in developing countries like Africa to get to and fro. Phone: 773-847-5440

6. Mattresses and Box Springs: The Salvation Army will pick up your used mattresses and box springs that are stain and rip-free. Phone: 312-738-4360

If your mattress is too janky to donate, you can still defray sending it to the landfill, by paying a flat fee of $75 to Mattress Disposal Plus, who will pick up and recycle your mattresses, box springs, and other furniture.

Have other items you want to donate? Check our Zealous Good, which pairs your donation listings with needy organizations across the Chicagoland area.

For more information about Ashlee Piper, please visit ashleepiper.com

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