Used articles donations in Greater Montreal
211 responds to many requests from individuals seeking to give away furniture, household appliances, clothing, computers and other used goods. Many non-profit community organizations can reclaim, re-use and upgrade used goods. However, it is essential to understand the specifics of each organization. Some may pick up furniture for free, others have drop-off locations and, of course, types of accepted donations vary greatly from one organization to another.
The table below lists accepted donations and links to several services in Montreal, Laval and the MRC de L’Assomption.
Links to community organizations collecting donations for different types of goods
Types of community organizations accepting donations
211 refers individuals to three kinds of organizations (NPOs) accepting donations of goods:
- Organizations selling items and providing services with the sums of money collected (e.g. food relief).
- Organizations providing furniture and other goods to people in need.
- Organizations reclaiming, recovering and refurbishing used goods. Refurbishing is the process of repairing and reconditioning used items to give them a second life.
Some organizations do all of the above: sell, give and refurbish.
What happens to my donation? Can I decide its future use?
Organizations use donations in different ways. Generally, they use them as a form of funding by reselling donations; others distribute donations for free or use them for their activities. Choose your organization carefully. Your contribution can be used to fund a good cause or an NPO in which you believe in. You can contact an agent by calling 2-1-1, this person will direct you to a service that will meet your needs.
Where can I donate my used items?
1) Donation pick-up (home collection)
Many people do not have access to a truck, or they are not able to move heavy objects and appliances. For them, donations pick-ups of goods and furniture is very useful. Link to donation pick-ups organizations.
A few community organizations can pick up your items. Note, however, that these services are in high demand, especially during moving seasons. Always contact the organization to check availability, because waiting lists can be long.
Each service attends a specific territory. When you consult the record of an organization on the 211 website, always check the “Coverage Area” field under the “Overview” tab. If you have doubts, give us a call!
2) Drop-off points or locations
Most organizations accepting donations have one or more warehouses or drop off points to accept donations.
Nevertheless, many organizations have limited storage capacity, in which case you should always contact the organization by phone or email to make sure they accept your donation.
Also, you should check the drop-off points’ opening hours. Never leave your donations outside an organization’s door outside opening hours unless otherwise stated, this can cause huge losses of time and material!
3) Donation Bins
For some donations, like clothing and small household items, organizations have donation bins all over the city.
Note that in recent years, some companies using fictitious organization names have installed donation bins; therefore, it is important to ensure the validity of an organization before dropping off goods in a bin. Here are some trusted resources you can use to find donation bins near you.
Accepted and excluded donations
A general rule applies to all types of donations: items must be in good condition. Any damaged, dirty or defective item can be refused by the organizations. Some services will ask for a picture of the item before picking it up.
Furniture, home furniture and electrical appliances
Most furniture and household items are accepted, but any furniture that is too large, too heavy or not essential is generally refused.
Items that people are looking to give, but that are generally refused are televisions, beds and mattresses. The advent of digital TVs has resulted in a large number of donated analogue televisions that organizations have not been able to sell, hence the decision to exclude this item. Beds, mattresses and sofa beds are also excluded considering the growing issue of bed bugs and its associated risks. However, some organizations decide nevertheless to pick up mattresses.
Appliances are accepted by some organizations. Note, however, that dishwashers are refused because organizations give priority to essential goods to help those in need who often do not have enough room to install a dishwasher.
Generally accepted items
Generally excluded items
|Tables and chairs||Beds, mattresses, sofa beds|
|Chests of drawers and cabinets||Carpet|
|Couches and sofas||Piano|
|Tableware and kitchenware||Pool table|
|Stove, refrigerator, washer, dryer||Dishwasher|
|Toaster, kettle, food processor||Barbecue|
Clothing in good condition is accepted by more than a hundred organizations in Greater Montreal. Underwear and stockings are obviously refused.
Many community organizations collect toys. However, if you want your donation to be used directly (not resold), several family houses and toy lenders collect these donations for their facilities or lend them via a toy lending library.
Although several organizations accept book donations, few are specialized in this field. In Montreal, the community bookshop Le Puits du Livre is the only specialized non-profit organization that collects and sells books. This organization even has a children’s books section for donations.
Several Thrift stores such as Renaissance, Salvation Army or Little Brothers also have a book section in their locations, amongst other things.
If you want to donate your old bike, there are a few options:
- Cyclo Nord-Sud collects your bike and sends it to one of its local partners in Central America or West Africa. Cyclo Nord-Sud asks for a $20 fee for any bicycle donation to help pay for the shipping costs of the containers. Bikes donated to Cyclo-Nord-Sud can be dropped off at the following service points or during punctual collections.
- SOS Vélo, a social insertion organization, refurbishes your donated bike. The organization accepts donations at its warehouse or through door-to-door collections.
- The Éco-Quartier Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Santropol Roulant, PRACOM and Vrac Environnement will collect your donations for their bike activities.
If you want to get rid of your old computer, it is important to choose specialized organizations which guarantee that all data on your hard drive are safely erased. Specialized NPOs also have the expertise to dispose of your electronic devices and recycle them if necessary in compliance with environmental standards.
We suggest that you donate your computer or computer equipment to one of the following organizations:
- Insertech - Social inclusion NPO collecting, refurbishing and reclaiming computer goods.
- Micro-Recyc-Coopération - Collects and reconditions computer equipment to create computer areas in disadvantaged countries.
- OPEQ (Ordinateurs pour les écoles du Québec) - Accepts donations of computers and refurbishes them for local schools.
Updated: August 18, 2017 - By Étienne Lajoie, Coordinator of Info-reference, and Mathieu Chaurette, Director of 211.