Decluttering or moving to a new place? Consider recycling your pre-loved items with this quick directory.
There is no denying that the speed of our modern lives has a huge impact on our desire for convenience. This has in turn influenced the level of our consumption, which comes at a great cost to our environment.
To help each of us do our part to minimise waste, we have gathered a list of locations and organisations where you can donate and recycle your general waste, books, pre-loved clothes, or even electronics!
General waste items
There are designated recycle bins in every Hong Kong neighbourhood where you can chuck your general waste items. These recycle bins accept items like glass, paper, metal, and plastic.
To search for the closest waste separation bins near you, simply use this list provided by the Environmental Protection Department and filter it based on your district. If you live in a large residential complex, chances are there might be a recycling corner within your building.
While it's easy to find recycling bins around the neighbourhood for general wastes, it is a bit tougher to decide what to do with old books that you no longer want, but can hardly consider as waste.
Three options we recommend are to donate them to secondhand bookstores, relevant charity organisations or if you are a Hmlet Member, share them with the community by donating to Hmlet's free library!
Website | Marvel Industrial Building, 17-23 Kwai Fung Crescent, Kwai Fong
BooksMart accepts donations of English books, which are resold as secondhand books at affordable prices. Their shopfront is quite small so it is advised to email the list of books you would like to donate, or are looking for before making a trip down.
Hong Kong Federation of Handicapped Youth (HKFHY)
Website | No. 16-21, G/F, Wang Kei House, Wang Tau Hom Estate
Do your part for the community! HKFHY is a government registered charitable organisation that helps young people with disabilities. Services and programmes provided include providing education, employment opportunities, welfare, counselling services and more.
If you’ve found some children or young adult books (or even stationary) that are still in good condition while packing your child’s room, consider donating them to the HKFHY.
Hmlet Free Library
Website | 189 Portland Street and 17 Tsing Fung Street
And if you are already a Member with Hmlet, do check out what your neighbours are reading and share your thoughts in our little book club!
For a lot of us, clothes are something we want to buy more of. If you are finding it difficult to restrain yourself from shopping for clothes, challenge yourself with this — donate or upcycle some of your old garments before purchasing new ones.
Not sure where to start? Here are some ideas of where you can do so.
Website | 55 Clear Water Bay Road, Choi Wan (2) Estate, Kowloon
Launched in 2003, Christian Action is a social enterprise with a focus on sustainability and environmental protection. The organisation accepts your pre-loved clothes at over 60 collection points around Hong Kong, under their Green Collection Programme. Donated clothes are sold at Community Sales Outlets, distributed to underprivileged communities or exported to developing countries.
Green Ladies & Green Little
Website | Shop 8-9, 302-308 Hennessy Road, Wan Chai
Green Ladies and Green Little welcomes donations of high quality secondhand clothes, accessories and shoes for women and kids. They then resell them in their stores located at Wan Chai, Sai Ying Pun and Tsuen Wan. If and when your donated garment is sold, you stand to receive up to 30% of the selling price as a reward (kaching!).
Apart from promoting sustainability through reusing, Green Ladies & Green Little also supports middle-aged women by giving them job opportunities in their stores.
Website | 78 Ap Liu Street, Sham Shui Po, Kowloon
Redress is a charity organisation with a mission to reduce fashion-generated carbon footprints by transforming textile waste. The organisation partners with well-known fashion brands that include the likes of GEOX, Zara and Pull&Bear to set up garment collection boxes at convenient locations. These collected garments are then sorted, and resold, donated to charity partners, up-cycled or down-cycled as RPF fuel pellets.
Proper disposal of rechargeable batteries is not only crucial in protecting the environment from hazardous chemicals, but also allows for valuable materials such as magnetic alloy and stainless steel to be reused in the manufacturing of other products.
Realising the importance of recycling rechargeable batteries, the Hong Kong government set up Rechargeable Battery Recycling Programme (RBRP) in 2005. Under this programme, over 650 public collection points have been set up in convenient locations that include the MTR and convenience stores.
Making it even more convenient, around 240 McDonald's restaurants have joined the RBRP. So, if you ever find yourself with some rechargeable batteries to dispose of and need a quick meal, just head down to your nearest McDonald’s. That’s a win-win situation if you ask us!
In an effort to combat electronic waste, the Hong Kong government runs an E-Waste Collection Vehicle project. It aims to make the disposal of larger electronic items like air conditioners, refrigerators, and televisions more convenient for the public. The vehicle runs through 18 districts on Saturday and Sunday, from 9am to 6pm on a roster basis. More information can be found here.
However, if you are looking to donate smaller functioning electronics like laptops, speakers, and printers, there are many organisations that will be more than happy to take them off your hands. Some of them include:
- Salvation Army: An international Christian charity that raises money through the sales of donated items to support community programmes.
- Remar Hong Kong: A 24-hour safe haven that provides food, lodging and rehabilitation to drug addicts, alcoholics, homeless and those that fall through the cracks.
- Refugee Union: Refugee-led group that fights to safeguard refugee rights and to improve the protection, wellbeing, and prospects of refugees in Hong Kong.
- Po Leung Kuk: Social service organisation and fundraiser aiming to improve the welfare and education of the community at all ages.
The best approach to a more sustainable life is by reducing your consumption — whether it's food, clothing or plastics. Most importantly, living a sustainable life looks different to everybody, so don’t be pressured into going above and beyond what you are comfortable with. So, you do you.
While you’re here, take a look at some of our other tips you can adopt for a more eco-friendly home.