Back to School Recycling Tips
Kids are back in school after a summer of fun! That means parents have been out shopping for new shoes and clothes, backpacks, sports equipment, musical instruments and school supplies. But how can you reuse or recycle all the old back to school stuff so it doesn’t end up in our landfills? This week’s blog is chock a block full of back to school recycling tips:

Shoes and clothing
Because shoes, clothes and backpacks can usually be reused, there are lots of good recycling options for parents. Donate to your local thrift store; these shops sell everything at low prices helping those who are in need and raising money for local charities. Book a table at your local swap meet if you have more items such as toys, games and sports equipment that you would like to divest of.

Backpacks Gently used backpacks may be dropped off along with shoes and clothing at a Canadian Diabetes Association drop box. It’s easy to find a Drop Box with over 3,000 locations in Canada.

Laptops, tablets, cell phones The Canadian Diabetes Association will pickup (and recycle) laptops, tablets and cell phones from your home. Make an appointment by calling 1-800-505-5525. Or drop off these and other electronics at your local return-it store or Salvation Army.

Musical instruments Donate gently used musical instruments to the Boys & Girls Club of Vancouver to help underprivileged children or to your local thrift store.  Some music and guitar stores including Long & McQuade and Tom Lee will buy back or consign musical instruments. Or sell it yourself on Craigslist if you feel you know what your items are worth.

Sports Equipment Check with your local sporting store to see who will do consignment or give credit in exchange for certain used sports equipment such as bikes, skates, skis and snowboards, and lacrosse equipment. Great examples of this service include Corner Sports in Port Coquitlam and the Sport Junkies Clearance Centre in Vancouver. Buying and selling used sports equipment on Craigslist is also an option!

School Supplies Add used school supplies to your child’s craft kit. Save things like scissors, rulers, and gently used pens, pencils, markers and binders to use again at school next year.

Be sure to involve your children in your back to school recycling efforts. You’ll teach them values about respecting the environment and giving back to your community that they will remember for a lifetime.

For more information on back to school recycling challenges, visit Metro Vancouver Recycles.