We are lucky in that our city has an annual "take (almost) anything" trash pickup day in the spring. It really encourages major spring cleaning efforts. We also have a recycling center in Hennepin County that will take everything else. But there is always a bunch of stuff for which it would seem a shame to send to a landfill just because we don't use it anymore. In fact, in the last couple of months we have stockpiled in the garage old vacuums, computer equipment, and other electronics with the hope that we might find someone who might be able to use them.
Leaving City Hall on Tuesday after voting I picked up a brochure for www.twincitiesfreemarket.org, which has this mission statement: "The Free Market is a listing service for residents who want to give or get free reusable goods for the home, garage and garden. It is part of an effort to reduce the amount of reusable goods being thrown away."
Last night, I listed everything we had in the garage and within 2 hours I had to de-list every single item because I was overwhelmed with emails. By the weekend, everything should be out of my garage and in the hands of people who have indicated that they can really use the stuff. I feel good about that, and recommend this approach as both painless and guilt-reducing for my fellow environmentalists.