Updated on 13 February 2013
GENEVA, SWITZERLAND – From time to time we find ourselves with more than we need or want. More often than not, the objects of our disaffection end up hidden in the attic, the cave, on the street clogging sidewalks, or worse yet, they end up in green areas.
Before hastily throwing something out think if it can be recycled. If so, give them a second chance.
If you are ready to part with your refrigerator, skates, picture frames, clothing or anything else that no longer suits your lifestyle, there are eco- and socially-friendly alternatives to the bin or the dumpster.
Clothes and accessories
The easiest option are the containers located every few blocks – called boîte à fringes – in Geneva, usually next to the neighborhood recycling center, where you can drop off clothes and accessories in sealed bags. Each container is distributed to a different charity in town. You may not drop toys or books in these containers.
Several charity organizations also offer to pick up your objects free of charge in most cities in the Canton. Most of these organizations accept books, clothes, house items, appliances and computers in good working condition.
Two rules to follow: First, the donated items must be in good / working condition. Second, you should call at least two weeks in advance to allow for pickup.
Try these charities which pick up small and large items from your home and re-sell them in their stores:
- Armee du Salut (Salvation Army), +41 (0) 22 736 1580
- Caritas Genève, +41 (0) 22 884 9999
- Centre Social Protestant, CSP +41 (0) 22 884 3800
- Emmaüs, +41 (0) 22 342 3959
Old furniture and other household rubbish
If your items need to go to the dump, call the public roads division of the city of Geneva (voirie). Call toll free: +41 (0) 800 22 4222, Monday through Friday from 7:00 to 11:30 and from 13:00 to 16:00, to schedule a pick up. You may also email them for further information: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Disposing of appliances and electronics
Small appliances and electronics can be returned free-of-cost to stores that sell similar items. Stores do not require proof-of-purchase to drop them off. The canton imposes a drop-off tax on everyone buying new electric/electronic products at the time of purchasing.
Technically, old large appliances such as refrigerators and stoves need to be taken to ESREC centers, where they can be dropped off, free of charge.
For guidelines on what else to recycling in Geneva read my previous post.
Be kind, don’t just throw it away!