Ah, stuff. We need it, we want it, we love it. Until we hate it, get bored with it, or wear it out (unless you’re a hoarder and you just keep everything). Sure, some of it winds up in the green bin or goes to Goodwill. But chances are, you’re sending a lot of things that have a shot at a second life to spend their final days in a landfill. Here are some of the treasures and trash we toss–and the websites ready to snatch them up. Also check out WH‘s Tips for Green Living.

CDs, DVDs 
Why: Trashed discs don’t decompose, really–ever.
How: Go to cdrecyclingcenter.com (you pay for shipping); it accepts the disc and all its packaging, including sleeves, jewel cases, DVD cases, and paper.
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals
Cell phones, PDAs, and phone accessories
Why: They can be traded in for cash or overhauled and given to survivors of domestic violence.
How: For cash, go to greenphone.com; to help out, go to gooddeed­foundation.org (both offer free S&H).
Perks: offers cash back, helps those in need, free shipping, KOs toxic chemicals
Why: Americans toss 2 million tons of e-gear annually, releasing toxins into the air and water. Trashing electronics can send metals like gold and silver to landfills, necessitating more mining.
How: Costco members can recycle computers, camcorders, digital cameras, printers, faxes, game systems, monitors, and PDAs for a Costco Cash Card (go to costco.com and click on “electronics”). Office Depot stores take most of the above, plus VCRs, DVD players, TVs, and peripherals, for a fee ($5 to $15, depending on the amount; officedepot.com/techrecycling). Sony provides free drop-off locations for many of its products (sony.com/recycle).
Perks: offers cash back, KOs toxic chemicalsiPods
Why: Most components of MP3 players don’t decompose.
How: If you’re not keen on ­pawning your iPod on Craigslist or it has finally died, return it to an Apple store and get 10 percent off your upgrade. Or ship it for free via snail mail (get the address at apple.com/environment/recycling/ipodrecycling).
Perks: offers cash back, free shippingPrinter cartridges
Why: You can get cash for your empties, and recycling one laserjet cartridge saves three quarts of oil.
How: Go to tonerbuyer.com (free S&H), or go to hp.com to unload HP inkjet or laser-jet cartridges (they don’t offer you cash back, but shipping is free).
Perks: offers cash back, free shipping, KOs toxic chemicalsPrinters, peripherals, software, and computers
Why: Charities, schools, and public agencies can use them.
How: Find an organization through cristina.org; they’ll typically come and pick up your stuff.
Perks: free pickup, helps those in need, KOs toxic chemicals

Rechargeable batteries and cell phones
Why: Toxins from these items can leach into the waste stream.
How: Toss lithium ions into bins at Target, Best Buy, and other retailers (full list at rbrc.org). The Rechargeable Battery Recycling Corporation also refurbishes and sells phones to benefit charities.
Perks: helps those in need, KOs toxic chemicals

Regular batteries
Why: Americans use 3 billion per year, creating 100,000 tons of waste annually.
How:Batteryrecycling.com will take them off your hands for a fee (weight x $0.85 + S&H).
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals

Business attire
Why: Low-income women receive interview- and career-worthy ensembles.
How: Find drop-off locations or mailing addresses at dressforsuccess.org(you pay S&H).
Perks: helps those in need

Formalwear and accessories
Why: Disadvantaged girls in the Chicago area can be Cinderella for prom night.
How: The Glass Slipper Project takes dresses, shoes, evening bags, jewelry, and unused makeup. Go to glassslipperproject.org (you pay S&H).
Perks: helps those in need

Polartec fleece and base layers
Why: Worn-out threads become brand-new duds.
How: Patagonia will take your threadbare items. Drop them off at a retail store or mail them (you pay S&H). Get more info at patagonia.com.

Why: Your cruddy kicks are converted into athletic and playground surfaces.
How: Find drop-off stations or a mail-in address at letmeplay.com/reuseashoe (you pay S&H).
Perks: helps those in need

Why: You can help stock libraries and schools worldwide with textbooks, dictionaries, and children’s books.
How: Go to intlbookproject.org for info.
Perks: helps those in need

Why: About 3.5 billion pounds of carpeting gets dumped each year, but you can give it a second life as roofing shingles or railroad ties.
How: Find a local reclamation center at carpetrecovery.org.
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals

Home, office, and outdoor furniture, appliances, and supplies
Why: They get new lives at needy schools and nonprofits.
How: Go to excessaccess.com ($5 annually).
Perks: helps those in need

Why: Compact fluorescent bulbs (CFLs) contain mercury–one bulb’s worth can pollute 6,000 gallons of water.
How: Order a recycling kit at lightbulbrecycling.com/cf_bulb.html; there’s also free CFL drop-off at Ikea.
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals

Why: Support people-powered transportation and provide free wheels to needy kids.
How: Find participating community donation programs on ibike.org.
Perks: helps those in need

Outdoor equipment
Your used camping gear (boots, bags, tents) goes to youth hikingprograms, park rangers in Afghanistan, and female porters in Uganda.
How: Go to gear4good.com (you pay S&H).
Perks: helps those in need

Workout equipment
Why: Cash for dust collectors.
How: Try playitagainsports.com.
Perks: offers cash back

Toxic leftovers
Why: Anything with a caution label shouldn’t go in a landfill.
How: Find takers at earth911.org.
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals

Why: Traditional burial sinks tons of wood and thousands of gallons of formaldehyde, a known carcinogen, into the earth.
How: Arrange to have your ashes poured inside an environmentally friendly concrete Reef Ball and go under. Fishy kisses for all eternity. (eternalreefs.com)
Perks: KOs toxic chemicals

A Bit of Give and Take
You’ve got it. They want it. See how this works?