Pillows & Cushions Put in Garbage Cart/Bin Ways to Reuse Use as Packing Material Old pillows and cushions make great packing material, especially for items that need to be handled more carefully. Use as Pet Beds Try turning barely-used pillows and cushions into a bed for your pet, or check to see if an animal shelter or animal sanctuary could use them. The Humane Society will not accept them, but other shelters or sanctuaries often do. Did You Know? Pillows Should Be Replaced Regularly That’s right: you shouldn’t keep your pillows for longer than two years. They should be replaced about every six months. Just like mattresses, a pillow can become home to dust mites and debris, which can lead to dust allergy symptoms.