Minimalism is all the rage right now. But amid the endless hustle and bustle of a perpetually busy life in Hong Kong, how much time do you really have to declutter, dispose and recycle your stuff responsibly?
We know that it can be a challenge to find the right homes for your once-loved items, so here’s a quick guide we made to help you recycle in Hong Kong.
It happens to all of us. We get on with our busy lives, buying a little something here and there and then suddenly…there’s a mountain of clothing in your cupboard that you know you’ll never wear again, a sofa in the corner that doesn’t quite fit your aesthetic, and a pile of books on the floor that you’ll never get around to finishing. We understand. Here’re the places to help you declutter, donate and get your life back in order.
1. Clothing, Shoes & Accessories
Did you know that every hour in Hong Kong, over 12,000 garments find their way into a landfill? Thanks to a few neighborhood charities and high-end fashion brands taking corporate and social responsibility to solve the issue, last season’s trends will be in safe hands when donated to:
- Salvation Army Hong Kong will take in your clothing, footwear, handbag and accessories (all of which should be in good condition). Proceeds from the sale of your donations go toward helping people in need, such as home alone elderly, street sleepers, ex-prisoners and CSSA recipients.
- Green Ladies will collect trendy, seasonal ladies’ clothing in good condition. They’re on a mission to promote eco-friendly habits such as buying second-hand clothing and buying less clothing in general.
- Redress will accept all kinds of shoes, clothing, and accessories in any condition from any brand. They’ll sort and redistribute them carefully to reuse, upcycle, down-cycle, resell (to raise funds for the continuation of this program) and recycle your unwanted clothing.
- Enrich Others is an app that allows you to connect with people within your community so that you can give them what they need directly, for free! It can’t be any more convenient than this to give back to your own community.
- Vision First mostly needs winter clothing right now, but their wish list is always growing. They are dedicated to improving the lives of refugees in Hong Kong.
- Friends of the Earth both recycles and upcycles your clothing, shoes, bed sheets, and handbags. Donated items will go to charities or people in need, or will be sold to fund environmental education and conservation.
- Caritas Community Centre HK will accept all wearable clothing. They are the official social service agency of the Catholic Church in Hong Kong and are huge believers in giving people a second chance. We think that you should give them a chance, too!
- Christian Action HK will accept all clothing that can be worn again. They are the only comprehensive provider of services to refugees, asylum seekers, ethnic minorities and foreign domestic helpers in Hong Kong.
- Castaways Charity Shop who will accept all wearable clothing, bags, and shoes (and household linen!). All profits from this shop, which is a part of St John’s Cathedral, are given to small locally-based charities.
2. Children’s Toys, Clothing, and Other needs
Kids, they grow up so fast, don’t they? And they leave behind plenty of still usable clothes, toys and things such as diapers and wipes. Where should they all go? Not in the landfill, that’s for sure! Give these places a ring:
- Pathfinders will take in your baby clothing (up to 2-year-old sizes), strollers, carriers, blankets, unexpired baby milk formula and maternity clothes. They are focused on helping pregnant, migrant women in distress and their Hong Kong-born children, and dedicated to making sure no child falls through the cracks.
- Mother’s Choice Has an ever-evolving, up-to-date list, but usually needs diapers, rice cereal and baby massage oil. They are a local charity dedicated to serving children who don’t have families and pregnant teenagers in Hong Kong.
- Po Leung Kok Orphanage will accept all wearable clothing, toys, baby items and stationery. They provide welfare, educational and cultural services to their community of orphaned children.
- Christian Action HK is looking for toys and baby items. You can give them a ring to have them pick up your donation right from your doorstep.
- Retykle will take in your secondhand and new designer kids clothing. You can also find some great, ultra fashionable clothes for your kids while you’re there.
What kind of monster could ever just throw away a perfectly good book? Here are some places willing to take in the books that you’ve outgrown, and will make sure that they find good, safe homes:
- BooksMart, who you should email with a list of your titles before sending books their way. They’re a second-hand English bookstore that has found thousands of books lovely new owners and homes.
- Castaways Charity Shop, who will accept all books still in readable condition. If you needed an excuse to visit this gorgeous church (on whose grounds the shop stands), this is it.
- Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth, who will accept all books in usable condition. They are a government organization that supports disabled youth.
- Salvation Army Hong Kong, who will also accept all books in usable condition. They have more than 200 collection boxes in Hong Kong- check out their website to find one closest to you.
Give your old furniture a new lease of life by letting them live another life with someone new. Here’s where you can drop them off and wave goodbye:
- Crossroads, who are looking for Home, Office and School furniture (you’ll need to fill out an online form and arrange for your own transport service to the donation centre, though!). They’ve been collecting donated goods and redistributing them to those most in need in Hong Kong and beyond since 1995.
- St James Settlement, who are looking for furniture and electrical appliances (and will arrange to pick up of these items for you if you call the specific number on their website for each donation category). They offer multiple services for children and youth, families, the elderly, and rehabilitation.
- Green Dot Home, who collect all furniture and homeware still in usable condition. They donate some of their collections to the public while others are sold in second-hand markets. Proceeds from what they sell are donated to non-profit/charitable organizations.
- Remar, Hong Kong, who will collect secondhand furniture and appliances right from your house for a small fee. They are a Christian charity organisation who work for the rehabilitation and reinsertion into society of drug addicts, alcoholics, the homeless and the needy.
- Second Chance Hong Kong, who will help you sell your furniture at a reasonable price- contact them via email and they’ll help you out. It’s a platform for people to buy and sell quality secondhand furnishings and accessories at a reasonable price.
5. Electronic Waste
This one is a toughie. We’re all emotionally attached to our screens these days, and every year it seems like we find newer and more amazing ways to harness the power of technology. But aside from laying your old tech stuff to rest in the kitchen junk drawer for the rest of eternity, where else can they go? Fret not, we’ve found a few better tech graveyards for you:
- Caritas Computer Workshop works with Hong Kong’s Computer Recycling Program and re-donates gadgets in good working condition to those in need. They also properly recycle items that can no longer function and have 18 collection points across Hong Kong.
- EcoSage will take in everything you own that uses electricity. They’re experts at making sure that every part of your donation will be properly recycled. And they’ll not only pick up your items from your doorstep for free, they’ll even pay you for them too!
And there you have it, all your alternatives to landfills combined in one handy-dandy webpage. If you’re not from Hong Kong, here’s the Singapore version, ready for you to take action with. Go forth, and responsibly declutter.
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