Donate: Building Materials
Donating high-quality building materials, new or used, helps people repair and improve their homes while also sparing the environment from needless waste. Because the Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources is a 501(c)(3) charity, both material and financial gifts are tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law.
Materials We Do Take
For the kitchen
- Sinks and faucets
- Appliances (in showroom condition, less than five years old)
For the bathroom
- Sinks and faucets
- Tubs and enclosures
- Low-flow toilets
- Ceramic tile
- Accessories (towel racks, etc.)
Windows (no lead paint please)
- Vinyl and wood replacement
- Insulated double hung units
- Awning and hopper windows
Doors (no lead paint please)
- Interior (minimum width 30”)
- Storm doors (with frame and hardware)
- Hardware (locks, knobs, hinges)
Lumber, plywood, drywall
- Dimensional lumber (6’ minimum length, no scraps)
- Plywood (half sheets or larger)
- Drywall (half sheets or larger)
- Exterior house shutters (wood, no lead paint)
- Carpeting and carpet tiles
- Ceramic and vinyl tile
- Sheet vinyl
Electrical (working and complete)
- Residential surface-mounted light fixtures
- Paddle fans
- Interior: full cans, minimum two gallons of the same color
- Exterior: full containers, minimum five gallons of the same color
- Neutrals and pastels only
Materials We Don't Take
- Doors with lead paint
- Storm doors without frame, screen, or glass
- Sliding patio doors unless in excellent condition with wood interior and clad exterior
- Used bi-fold doors
- Hollow-core doors
- Used shower doors
- Cabinet doors without the cabinets
- Storm windows
- Casement or fixed windows
- Any sash without its frame
- Single-pane wood sashes
- Picture windows larger than 24 sq. ft.
- Used cast iron tubs
- Toilets that are not low-flow
- Used pipes (cast iron, PVC already glued)
- Steam radiators
- Wall-mount sinks
- Commercial electrical equipment
- Commercial light fixtures that don’t have residential application
- Recessed lighting (“cans”)
- Appliances not in excellent working condition
- Appliances not in “showroom” condition
- Any appliance that is five years old or older
- Used wall ovens without their cabinets
- Colors other than white, neutrals, and pastels
- Boston residents can consider giving other containers of paint to the city’s paint swap shops
- Acoustic ceiling tiles
- Countertops that are worn, stained, or dated
- Kitchen cabinets too old to be reused
- Furniture (consider donating residential furniture to the Massachusetts Coalition for the Homeless and office furniture to The Furniture Trust.)
- Office equipment
- Recreational and exercise equipment
- Fill—clean or otherwise
- Glass of any kind (e.g., storefront, plate, jalousie, mirrors)
- Concrete masonry units or bricks unless they are delivered to us (must be clean and free of mortar)
- Used chain link fencing
Guidelines for Donating
While we do our best to assess the appropriateness of a donation before pick-up, there is no substitute for actually seeing it. Therefore, the BBR staff member has the authority to refuse items that s/he determines to be inappropriate for the homeowners and nonprofits we serve. We are a small nonprofit and must be careful not to accept items that we will need to pay to dispose of later on.
If we are picking up your donated items and they are particularly heavy or large, it may require an able-bodied person at the pick-up location to help load it onto our truck. If you have told us that such a person will be available, and that person is not there, we will be unable to pick up the donation.
If you plan to deduct the fair market value of the materials from your taxes, we suggest taking photos of the materials before they are donated. Keep the photos with the Boston Building Resources receipt to document your donation.
Materials being picked up by our truck must be at street level and in close proximity to the street or driveway. Materials in basements or several floors up will not be picked up unless specific arrangements have been made.
Because Boston Building Resources cannot test or warranty appliances, we accept only appliances that are in like-new condition and not more than a few years old. As with all donations, our staff member has the last word on appliances.
Our modest pick-up fee ($25 inside Route 495; $50 outside Route 495) helps cover vehicle and staffing costs associated with collecting your donation. (Be sure to fill out a Materials Donation Offer Form to be sure we can use the materials before paying the fee.)
You may drop off donated materials Monday through Friday, 8:00-4:00, or Saturday, 9:00-2:30. If you plan to drop off your donation, we recommend contacting us first to make sure that we will be able to accept the materials.
To donate items, click on the Donation Offer Form. Upon receipt of your form, we will contact you to confirm your pickup. On the day of the pickup, kindly use the envelope provided to leave a check for the driver.
Please contact Reuse Center donations manager Paul Kiefer with any questions, or to give feedback and/or suggestions. Paul can be reached at 617.442.2262, x 232, or firstname.lastname@example.org.