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Here's How to Declutter Your Basement for a Good Cause

You might not need those crutches anymore, but someone else probably does.

Photos courtesy Pennsylvania Resources Council


In the spirit of the upcoming Earth Day (and spring cleaning), the Pennsylvania Resources Council is holding its sixth annual ReuseFest to collect materials that can be reused by local nonprofits. The free collection is set for 10 a.m. to  2 p.m. on April 21 in the Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh employee parking lot.

“This is the only time in western Pennsylvania that you have the chance to go to one central location and drop off as many things at one time,” says PRC spokeswoman Mary Beth Mueller. “No other organization does this type of collaborative event.”

Donations will go to the Animal Rescue League, Brother’s Brother, Catholic Charities, Construction Junction, Free Ride, Global Links, Goodwill, Off the Floor, Pittsburgh Center for Creative Reuse and UPMC Medical Equipment Recycling Program.


These organizations are seeking items such as art supplies, clothing, furniture, bedding and bath items, bikes, general household items, kitchen items, medical supplies, pet supplies, usable building materials, vintage items and more. PRC asks that donated items are gently used and in working condition.

“We’re looking for items that truly are in condition to be reused,” Mueller says. “This is ReuseFest, so we’re trying to gather things that are gently used and send them on so that somebody else can use that wheelchair or that set of crutches.”


Though many items are being accepted, ReuseFest isn’t necessarily a place to dump absolutely everything cluttering up your home — there is a chance that an item won’t be needed by any of the 10 participating organizations. For example, no e-waste (TVs, computers, etc.) will be accepted. Your best bet is to check this list of desired items before attending.

ReuseFest also will include an Earth Day featuring food trucks, a pop-up shop and giveaways. All materials donated will be reused in some fashion, whether they’re resold, repurposed or given to those in need.

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