Stories from the NFCCA Newsletter, the “Northwood News”

Northwood News ♦ June 2008

Montgomery County Recycles Cellphones, Even Your Old Clothes

By Jacquie Bokow

In its efforts to keep even more trash out of our burgeoning landfills, Montgomery County accepts many items which it then recycles, if possible.  Now the County accepts old clothes and textiles for recycling and reuse.

Of course, if your clothes are still wearable, you can donate them to charities like Purple Heart, Multiple Sclerosis, or Value Village, which will not only pick the items up at your home but also give you a receipt you can use for a deduction on your income taxes.

You also can try to “Freecycle” them, offering them through the Silver Spring Freecycle List Serve (go to for more information).  You send an email to the group describing the clothing you’re gifting (including size and if there are any stains, etc.); if someone is interested, they’ll arrange to pick the items up at your home.

[Please note:  Children’s clothing in good condition can be sold at the biannual consignment sale run by Four Corners Community Nursery at Marvin Memorial Methodist Church in Four Corners.]

But, if the clothing is beyond repair (i.e., in “less than donatable” condition), you can take the items to the Shady Grove Solid Waste Transfer Station, 16101 Frederick Road (enter from Route 355), in Derwood, Maryland (tel: 301.840.2370).  Its hours of operation are:

What Will They Take?

Accepted items include:

They do not accept:

To prepare your items, clean and dry all cloth textiles, put shoes in pairs, and place the materials into a plastic bag.  (Plastic bags keep out moisture that could cause mildew.  Items with mildew cannot be reused or recycled, and will have to be thrown away.)

They Take Cell Phones, Too

Cell phone no longer working?  Maybe it still is, but you want to get rid of it?  Don’t throw it out!  Either way, someone can make good use of it.  Montgomery County won’t pick up your old cell phone at curbside, but you can take it to the Shady Grove Solid Waste Transfer Station.  Bring it to their Hazardous Waste Receiving Area or the Adminstrative Office.

You also can mail in your phone.  You recycle your old phone by simply packing it up, printing out a postage-paid label, and dropping it into the mail.  The Wireless Alliance offers free postage-paid labels for you to print and use (visit or call 866. 366.5791).

For Working Cell Phones

You also can donate your working phone for emergency use.  Mobile phones are equipped with a chip that allow calls to 911 or #77 (on state highways) even when they have no service connected to them.  Thus, the phones continue to be useful even after you have disconnected your service.

Please donate your phone along with its battery and charging device, to:

Another local donation opportunity is the National Zoo ECO-Cell program.

For more information, go to the Montgomery County website  [Note:  This URL has changed from what was printed originally in the newsletter.]   ■

   © 2008 NFCCA  [Source:]