Spring is finally here. With the arrival of spring comes the cleaning and purging of the junk. The City of has residents covered with several events to get rid of their unwanted stuff, including Upcycle Day, which gives residents the opportunity to donate their unwanted trash to several local organizations. is happening Friday, April 8 from 10 a.m. – 6 p.m. at Oak Park.

The City’s previous two Upcycle events diverted a combined 29 tons of usable materials that would have otherwise gone to the landfill. These impressive results contributed to the City’s award for leading Hamilton County in waste diversion. This year, the City’s Environmental Stewardship Commission has planned a new-and-improved for residents.

All organizations are returning for this year’s event, including Junk King, Goodwill, Reuse Center, Eco Development, Matthew 25: Ministries, and the Applied Arts Center of Cincinnati. The Cincinnati and Reuse Hub will take over the TerraCycle collection, and Keeping Cincinnati Beautiful will provide tire collection.

An exciting addition this year is New Life Furniture (NLF). In previous years, has accepted furniture on behalf of NLF, but this year NLF is bringing a truck to Oak Park from 1–4 p.m. NLF accepts anything from furniture, mattresses, and rugs to working appliances, kitchen utensils, shower curtains, cleaning products, toilet paper, and paper towels. The organization also accepts games, books, artwork, and home decor. NLF cannot accept furniture that is ripped, torn, stained, or shredded.

New Life Furniture also offers home pickup. If residents don’t want to transport a large piece of furniture or working appliance to Upcycle Day, they can call NLF directly at 513-313-0530 to schedule a pickup. They cannot enter your home, so items must be moved to the porch or driveway before their arrival.

“I’m really excited we’ve partnered with New Life Furniture,” says Patrick Walker of the Environmental Stewardship Commission. “They are a really cool organization. I encourage you to look into their group. Watch the YouTube video on their website, nlfurniture.org, and see if they don’t pull on the old heartstrings.”

Furnishings collected by NLF are used to furnish empty homes for local families transitioning out of homelessness, escaping abuse, or other devastating circumstances. NLF is the region’s only nationally registered furniture bank, and it’s seen an increased need for services in recent years. In 2021, NLF served 2,642 people and delivered 1,597 beds, half of those for children.

NLF’s services drastically improve clients’ chances of remaining in their homes. “There really aren’t any other services to help people overcoming homelessness and so many people who fall through the cracks,” says Connie Stahl, volunteer coordinator at NLF. “What we do allows people to just worry about keeping the house. We take all the other things to worry about off their list.”

Details

What can you drop off on Upcycle Day? It’s a long list, and there are some restrictions, but here are some highlights of the groups involved and what they’ll be collecting.

Junk King: electronics, appliances, scrap metal, exercise equipment

New Life Furniture: gently used furniture, mattresses, rugs, lights, kitchen utensils, home decor, cleaning supplies (see website for full list and restrictions)

Eco Development: clean white or clear Styrofoam (no contaminated food containers)

Matthew 25: Ministries: usable latex, acrylic, or -based paint (see website for restrictions)
Reuse Center: doors, vintage furniture and tools, architectural pieces, and usable building materials (no partial bags or boxes)

Goodwill Industries: clothing, housewares, toys, sports equipment (see website for full list and restrictions)

Cincinnati and Reuse Hub: TerraCycle foil drink pouches and wrappers, toothpaste tubes, pens and markers, plastic gift cards, Gerber and Kroger brand packaging

Applied Arts Center of Cincinnati: all battery types

Keep Cincinnati Beautiful: tires

“Thank you to all of our partners, who donate their time and equipment; to our numerous volunteers that help pull this day off; and to all our residents who help fill these trucks,” Walker says. “We are doing good work, people.”

For additional information, or to check if your item qualifies for Upcycle Day, call Patrick Walker of the ESC at 513-301-9230.