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As part of the organizing process, there is a lot more to think about than just what to get rid of. Once you've completed the first step: sorting your things by category (Save, Give Away, Donate, Recycle and Trash), you need to figure out a responsible way to send the stuff you're not keeping on it's merry way.

The possessions you've decided to SAVE need to find a logical place to reside in your home, or, bite my tongue, in storage. When you are making the Save pile, be realistic about the amount of space you have and the amount of time you want to spend maintaining and cleaning each item. When frustration starts to outweigh the pleasure a possession brings, it's time to adopt a tougher Save policy.

GIVE-AWAYs are usually things that you know other family members or friends need or would like to have. Please don't use these people as a guilt-free dump. Be strong and really try to asses the worth of the item from an unbiased perspective. No one wants the hair bow Great Aunt Esther used to wear when she was a girl.

DONATE encompasses anything that is in good, useable condition. There are many charities that will take these things off your hands; and you'll get a write-off to boot. Do a search online for local drop-off locations - some will even pick up. I have some listed below. Waste Management started a clothing collection program in conjunction with the Salvation Army.

We all know how important it is to RECYCLE. It takes a little extra effort, but it's worth it to protect the environment. See below for refrigerator, freezer, household hazardous and electronic waste collection programs.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help finding the right place to "dump your junk." And, by the way, if you are putting things in storage, it's time to give me a call.

Refrigerator and Freezer Recycling


Did You Know...
* Southern California Edison will pay you to haul away your old refrigerator or freezer.
* You will receive a $50 check for a working refrigerator or freezer.
* By swapping your old appliances with new, energy-efficient ones or disposing of a spare unit, you can save up to $330 per year on your energy bill.*

To Qualify:
1. You must be an SCE customer
2. The appliance must be picked up at your SCE service address
3. The appliance must be in working condition at the time of pick up
4. The size of the appliance must be between 10-32 cubic feet

SCE 1-800-234-9722, M-F, 7a.m. to 6p.m., Sat, 7a.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Household Hazardous and Electronic Waste Collection Program

The County of Los Angeles is pleased to offer its residents free, convenient and environmentally safe means to dispose of household hazardous and electronic waste (HHW/E-Waste). Residents may utilize mobile events or the permanent collection centers to dispose of their HHW/E-Waste.
Please note that it is illegal to transport more than 15 gallons or 125 pounds of household hazardous waste per trip. HHW/E-Waste from businesses are not accepted. For further information, please visit or call 1(888)CLEAN LA.

Permanent Centers:

Bradley Landfill
(small fee)
(818) 767-6180
9081 Tujunga Avenue
Sun Valley, CA

Randall Street SAFE Center
(800) 98-TOXIC (800-988-6942)
11025 Randall Street
Sun Valley, CA

AVECC at the Antelope Valley Landfill
(661) 223-3427
1200 West City Ranch Road
Palmdale, CA
1st & 3rd Sat. 9 - 3pm

Blue Barrel Yard
(free/e-waste only)
(661) 223-3427
25772 Springbrook Rd.
Saugus, CA

Click here for a calendar of all HHW/E-waste events.

Electronic Waste and Universal Waste

Did you know that it is illegal to dispose of old electronic equipment and universal waste with your regular trash? Electronic, or "e-waste," includes items such as old computers and their monitors, TVs, computers, microwave ovens and other electronic equipment. Universal waste includes products that have low levels of hazardous metals such as lead, mercury, cadmium and chromium. Universal waste must be disposed of at designated recycling centers or Household Hazardous Waste collection centers. They cannot be disposed of in the trash, and then subsequently deposited into landfills.

Universal waste includes:
* Common batteries - AA, AAA, C cells, D cells and button batteries
* Fluorescent tubes and bulbs and other mercury - containing lamps - high intensity discharge (HID), metal halide, sodium and neon bulbs
* Thermostats - old-style with the sealed glass "tilt switch" (newer electronic versions are not included)
* Electronics - televisions, computers, monitors, printers, VCRs, cell phones, telephones, radios and microwave ovens
* Electrical switches and relays - mercury switches found in some chest freezers, pre-1972 washing machines, sump pumps, electric space heaters, clothes irons, silent light switches, automobile hood and trunk lights, and ABS brakes
* Pilot light sensors - mercury switches found in some gas appliances such as stoves, ovens, clothes dryers, water heaters, furnaces and space heaters
* Mercury gauges - some barometers, manometers, blood pressure and vacuum gauges contain mercury
* Novelties - musical greeting cards, mercury maze games, athletic shoes (made before 1997) with flashing lights
* Mercury thermometers
* Non-empty aerosol cans that contain hazardous materials

Disposing of E-Waste and Universal Waste

E-Waste Pickup: Residents can arrange to have their electronic waste collected as part of a bulky pickup. Residents may request up to four free bulky item pickups per year, three items per pickup. Residents should call Waste Management at (661) 259-2398 to schedule a bulky item pickup.

LA County HHW Round-Ups
The County of Los Angeles now accepts e-waste and universal waste at their Household Hazardous Waste round-ups throughout the year. These roundups occur on almost a weekly basis on a rotating schedule. Residential e-waste can be brought to these roundups for proper disposal at no charge.

For more information on dates and locations you can also call the LA County Sanitation District at (800) 238-0173, visit their website at; or call the LA County Department of Public Works at (888) CLEAN-LA or log on to You may also contact the City's Environmental Services Division at (661) 286-4098 for more information on having Household Hazardous Waste picked up.

Household Hazardous Waste

Household Hazardous Waste is any product labeled: toxic, poison, corrosive, flammable, combustible or irritant. Households often discard many common items such as paint, batteries, oil, tires and pesticides. These products, if mishandled, can be dangerous to your health and the environment, and therefore should be disposed of in a careful manner. Also, these materials should never be discarded in a sink, storm drain or in your regular trash.

Disposing of Household Hazardous Waste (HHW)
For information on dates and locations you can call the LA County Sanitation District at (800) 238-0173, visit their website at; or call the LA County Department of Public Works at (888) CLEAN-LA or log on to

HHW Disposal
You may drop off HHW at the Palmdale Landfill's Antelope Valley Environmental Collection Center (AVECC). You may also contact the city's Environmental Services Division at (661) 286-4098 for more information on having Household Hazardous Waste picked up.

Document Destruction

Safe and Secure Community Collection Event

Click to find free document shredding events.

Clothes for Community - Clothing Reuse Program
  Donate gently used clothing to those in need with ease. Residents can place clean clothing in wearable condition in garbage bags and tape a Waste Management bag tag (they will be mailed to your home) on the front of the bag to be picked up by the Salvation Army. Clothes can also be donated to the new Salvation Army drop box at the Waste Management/Blue Barrel yard. For more information visit at 25772 Springbrook Road, between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. on weekdays.

The pick-up program is scheduled to begin during the first quarter of 2010. When the pick-up program begins, Waste Management will mail “bag-tags” to every household in the City. Residents will simply place clean clothing in wearable condition in garbage bags or cardboard boxes, place the self-adhesive Waste Management “bag tag” with the pick-up date to the front, and leave the bags on the curb on the designated pick-up day to be collected by the Salvation Army.

Other Resources

Waste Management:


Serving: Santa Clarita, San Fernando Vally, Los Angeles & Ventura County
Nikki Simon, owner/operator