Sorry to go all parochial on you, but I've discovered a facility that is worth sharing. Oldham Freecycle is a Yahoo Group where, rather than take unwanted items to the tip, you can pass them on to someone who might have a use for it. Yesterday I got rid of a portable heater that had been lurking in the garage for ages. The whole thing from posting on the site to the nice chap collecting it took less than twelve hours.
I'm sure that there are similar schemes like this everywhere, I commend them to you!
P.S. If you do live close to Oldham there's a button at the bottom of this page somewhere - click on it to join.