Roll up your sleeves – it’s time for Spring Cleaning! – and brace yourself for recycling questions like “what do I do with my old stuff?” and “where do I recycle that?” While there are many resources available to help you recycle, there are some large bulky items that home owners find so hard to deal with that they are often illegally dumped. The following Spring Clean Recycling Tips are focussed on recycling solutions and resources for those hard to dispose of items including large appliances, mattresses and furniture.
Large appliances can be a headache for homeowners to deal with when it’s time to replace or dispose of them because they are so large and bulky. These items include water tanks, heaters, laundry machines, computer towers, detached fireplaces, refrigerators, microwaves, ovens, barbeques/grills and dishwashers.
The Metro Vancouver Transfer Stations and/or the Salvation Army are good options for recycling any old appliances. Alternatively, donate new and gently used items to Habitat for Humanity Restore where they will be sold to raise funds to build affordable housing for low-income families. Many people are also looking for deals on used items in good working order on Craigslist and other reuse sites.
It’s not okay to dump your old mattress and box spring in an alley or beside a dumpster. There are a couple of local non-profit organizations such as Helping Families in Need that will accept gently used mattresses that are in good condition. Otherwise, mattresses and box springs may be dropped off for recycling at Canadian Mattress Recycling or at any Metro Vancouver Transfer Station. Or you can always try selling it or giving it away on a site like Facebook Marketplace.
Finding a way to reuse old furniture is a win-win for home owners and the environment. There are lots of DIY project ideas to recover an old chair or use chalk paint to shabby chic a favourite piece. If that’s not for you, furniture donations are accepted at local organizations such as the Salvation Army, Helping Families in Need Society, and Habitat for Humanity Restore.
Still not sure what to do with your old stuff as you tackle your Spring Clean? Here are some local Metro Vancouver resources that will point you in the right direction.
- Visit the Put Waste in its Place online resource provided by Metro Vancouver to learn what options are provided by your municipality for difficult to recycle items.
- Metro Vancouver Recycles is a great tool for looking up the right recycling location for any item.
- Call the RCBC Recycling Hotline at 604-REC-YCLE (604-732-9253) or 1-800-667-4321.
Download the BC Recyclepedia Smart Phone App which provides users a list of the 10 nearest locations to recycle your item as well as a Google map with directions.