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Recycling made easy: How to get rid of your old clothes & electronics in one swoop with Retrievr.
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Recycling made easy: How to get rid of your old clothes & electronics in one swoop with Retrievr.

Retrievr will pick up your old digs from your door. We tried the service. Here’s how it works.

Spring means blossoming trees and spring cleaning.

Although there are plenty of drop-off locations for unwanted goods in the city, it can be tricky to arrange drop-offs. Think: hauling your goods, finding parking (or biking with a pile), making sure the destination is open and other conundrums. Plus, the rules! While some recipients only accept shoes in wearable condition, others discourage old textiles.

Unfortunately, tech companies trap us in planned obsolescence so we need to replace our electronics more often than we’d like. Although I try my best to use to the absolute end, my old laptops, modems and other gear adds up.

Revelations of old clothing ending up overseas or in landfills mean that the good intentions of your old threads might end up being a burden elsewhere. Plus, Pennsylvania requires electronics to be recycled.

Enter: Retrievr.


They’ll take the guesswork out of which items can be where, and accept a wide variety of clothing, shoes, textiles like towels or sheets, and even old jewelry. Retrievr works with trusted recycling partners who decide what can be sold and reused, or what should be recycled as new clothing or downcycled into home insulation or used in furniture stuffing.

They accept any clean and dry textile or fabric in your home, and most electronic devices or accessories. Just leave your old appliances like dishwashers, vacuums or hairdryers for another e-recycling day.

Retrievr is a part of a secure chain of custody and protect your data. If you recycle items like old cell phones or laptops, they’ll pass items that may contain sensitive data to certified third parties who securely destroy data. The great news is that devices that qualify are wiped and funneled towards the City of Philadelphia’s digital inclusion program, PHLDonateTech, to go to residents in need.

It ends up saving you time, sorting your used goods into piles, and several trips to various recycling centers.

What Retrievr Accepts

Retrievr lists its long list of accepted materials on its website. Here is it:

Retrievr list

Get Paid for Your Old Clothes or iPhones with Buyback

Have like-new threads or a collection of old iPhones? Add designated brands to your pickup, and Retrievr will pay you for them through their Buyback program.

Retrievr’s current Buyback brands for April 2021

Simply select the item category (clothing or electronics), choose the brand, and “Add item” to your pickup. Pack these items in a separate bag or box marked “Buyback” with your phone number.

Once Retrievr takes the items back to their warehouse, they’ll inspect the items, send you an email receipt with the final price and send a gift card for the amount you earned.

Retrievr Philadelphia pick up clothing and electronics

Putting Retrievr to the Test

Recently, I bought a house. (yay!) Despite several spring/fall/winter purges and Marie Kondo’ing my life, I had accumulated many possessions after seven years in a studio apartment. But, I wanted to purge responsibly.

I created two “no” piles: once as I moved out, and another as I unpacked. Although I started sorting and packing weeks before my move, it was a photo finish as the movers arrived, shoving things in boxes.

In addition to my used clothes, I parted with a defunct flat-screen monitor, old modems, and other old electronics.

After entering my phone number, it was easy to use Retrievr’s website. I scheduled my pick up day and added items I’d be recycling. Next, I received text messages reminding me to pay the $10 pickup fee and to leave my items outside my door. You also have the option to wait and receive a call when Retrievr arrives, to know when to bring your haul outside.

Jesse gave me a call around 9:30 AM when they appeared. I brought my clothes and electronics outside, asked a few questions and Retrievr was off for their pickup route.

It was so convenient to offload all of my unwanted goods in one shot, without coordinating pickup times, parking throughout the city, and dropping them off. Being sustainably minded, it was a relief to know that my used goods were going to a better “afterlife.”

TL:DR – Retrievr makes it SO easy to recycle and donate your unwanted goods.

How to Schedule a Retrievr Pickup

Head over to Retrievr’s “Schedule Now” button to get started, or text PICKUP to 757-703-3824 (757-70-FETCH).

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Julie Hancher is Editor-in-Chief of Green Philly, sharing her expertise of all things sustainable in the city of brotherly love. She enjoys long walks in the park with local beer and greening her travels, cooking & cat, Sir Floofus Drake. View all posts by Julie Hancher
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