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Recycling Resources to Declutter Like a Pro

Are you busy cleaning out your garage? Do you need to recycle old bicycles and broken Christmas lights? Do you have a stash of old paint cans, electronics or power tools that you’ve been putting off dealing with? If you need help to get started with cleaning up and decluttering, read on to find out about some great Metro Vancouver recycling resources!

Metro Vancouver Transfer Stations & Vancouver Landfill
All kinds of recyclables are accepted in the recycling section of Metro Vancouver’s Transfer Stations – located in Coquitlam, Maple Ridge, Surrey, North Vancouver, Vancouver, and Aldergrove. These are very convenient recycling resources that you can rely on. We love the free one-stop location to recycle everything from basics like cardboard, light bulbs and plastics to hard-to-recycle items like paint, pesticides, propane tanks and small appliances.

Zero Waste Centre in Vancouver
Another one of the best recycling resources is the Zero West Centre in Vancouver. Visit the new Zero Waste Centre at the Vancouver South Transfer Station to drop off a wide variety of recyclables for free.  Everything from electronics to batteries to bikes and large appliances can be recycled here. This centre is a gem for all your recycling needs.

Vancouver Zero Waste Centre - 8588 Yukon Street, Vancouver, BC.

Sell or Donate your old stuff
Selling or donating your reusable items is a great way to get rid of your old stuff. These are some of our favourite places to do that:

Metro Vancouver Recycles
Residents and businesses can visit the Metro Vancouver Recycles web page to find places to donate or recycle just about anything. You will be asked to select the material you wish to recycle or dispose of and provide your location information to get a list of suitable recycling options.

Call us at Green Coast Rubbish
If you still don’t know what to do with your old stuff, give us a call at Green Coast Rubbish. We take great pride in being Vancouver’s environmentally conscious waste removal company and we donate or recycle at least 75% of the materials we pick up, with much of it being donated to charity. Get in touch by emailing pickup@www.greencoastrubbish.com or by calling 604 230 4530.

Recycling Resources in Metro Vancouver and BC

It’s not unusual to feel a little like Sherlock Holmes when you are trying to figure out where in the world to recycle or dispose of your old stuff.  You can use basic deductive reasoning and call your local municipality or recycling centre to try and get some answers. You can just pile up your old TV, propane cannisters, paint cans and other old stuff in the back of your garage in the hopes that it will magically disappear (or call Green Coast Rubbish to come and recycle it for you!). Or like Sherlock Holmes, you can do some “elementary” research using one of these great recycling resources to solve even the most puzzling recycling mysteries.

Recycling Resources in BC

1. BC Recyclepedia Smart Phone App 

We like this handy little app which offers recycling options throughout British Columbia for over 70 materials. Select the item(s) you want to recycle or dispose of from the pick list and you will receive a list of the 10 nearest depot’s and a Google map with directions. Download this free app onto your iPhone or Android device or view the same information on the Recyclepedia web page.

2. Metro Vancouver Recycles

Residents and businesses can visit the Metro Vancouver Recycles web page to find places to donate or recycle just about anything. You will be asked to select the material you wish to recycle or dispose of and provide your location information to get a list of suitable recycling options.

3. North Shore Recycling – Recycling Directory

If you live on the North Shore you are probably already familiar with North Shore Recycling; however their recycling directory is a great resource for all Metro Vancouver residents. This extensive directory describes where you can recycle your items as well as connecting you with detailed information on provincial stewardship programs and other resources.

4. Recycling Hotline

When all else fails and you can’t solve the mystery of where to take your items for recycling, the Recycling Council of British Columbia’s Recycling Hotline is the place to call. You’ll find an expert at the end of the line who will be able to do the detective work for any recycling or disposal mysteries you may be experiencing. Call 604-RECYCLE; 604-732-9253; or 1-800-667-4321 or email hotline@rcbc.ca.

5. Sell or Donate It

Sell or donate your reusable stuff to others using one of a variety of local websites such as:

No mystery here Watson. Just some good old fashioned detective work!

 

Deconstructing Vancouver’s Green Demolition Bylaw

Home owners and property developers in the city of Vancouver will follow new demolition waste recycling requirements for houses built before 1940 thanks to the Green Demolition Bylaw which went into effect on September 1, 2014. From now on, a minimum of 75% of the demolition waste from these older homes will be recycled; and that number increases to 90% for character houses from the same era.

We had the opportunity to interview Senior Sustainability Specialist Hugo Haley from the City of Vancouver to find out more about the Green Demolition Bylaw and what it means for home owners and developers. Here’s what he was able to share with us:

Q:  What led the City of Vancouver to establish these new recycling requirements for pre-1940’s houses?

demolition

Traditional demolition sends tonnes of waste to our landfills.

A: Metro Vancouver’s regional solid waste plan requires all municipalities to do more to encourage recycling of construction and demolition waste. Also, the City of Vancouver’s Greenest City Action Plan’s Zero Waste goal is to reduce the amount of solid waste disposed to landfill by 50% by 2020. To achieve this goal, the City intends to improve demolition waste recycling performance, and put in place policies to achieve 50,000 tonnes additional recycling from the demolition and construction waste sector.

Q: What is the difference between a pre-1940’s home to one that was built later that prompted this policy? Will newer home demolitions become subject to similar recycling requirements in the future?

A: Homes built before 1940 often have valuable architectural features … built with old growth timber and other valuable materials. The City would like to discourage older character homes from being demolished … if they are going to be demolished, the City wants to ensure that a high percentage of demolition materials are reused or recycled. In the future, the City would like to include recycling requirements for all ages classes of homes to make sure valuable and usable materials are kept out of the landfill.

Q: What is “deconstruction” and why is it being used to demolish these older homes?

A: Deconstruction is an alternative to traditional demolition. Deconstruction is a more systematic and careful approach to taking apart the house where more of the materials are kept intact and can then be separated for reuse and recycling.

deconstruction

Deconstruction techniques allow higher recycling rates.

Q: Is this new bylaw unique in Metro Vancouver, perhaps even in North America?

A: These requirements are not unique in North America. There are numerous municipalities in the United States that require demolition waste recycling, with California’s requirements applying state wide. Cities with similar policies include Chicago, Seattle, San Fransicso and Boulder. In Metro Vancouver, the city of Port Moody has such a policy.

Q: Do you have any relevant statistics you can share including how many demolitions and how much material you think will be diverted from the landfill each year?

A: There are about 1,000 homes demolished in the city of Vancouver every year. About 350 of those are from the pre-1940 era and subject to the new requirements. We expect about 12,000 tonnes of additional reuse and recycling to be achieved in the first year … This amount will increase as the requirements extend to more homes.

Green Coast Rubbish President & CEO Eamonn Duignan wrote a letter to Council in support of the new bylaw saying “we whole heartily support this policy initiative … far too often we see reusable or recyclable material landfilled, simply because there is no regulatory framework in place.”

Green Coast Rubbish specializes in demolition and deconstruction services.

If you are considering the deconstruction of a pre-1940’s home, here are some helpful links for more information:

Electronics Recycling and E-Waste

We live in a pretty amazing time. It seems every week, an announcement for some new technology changes the face of televisions, computers, or cell phones. Electronics are getting smaller (or in the case of TV’s, BIGGER), faster, and more equipped to handle all the tasks in our busy lives. But it comes at a cost. With a built-in obsolesce period for most gadgets being less than 2 years, people are finding themselves with basements and attics full of old TVs, printers, and VCR’s (remember those?). It all adds up to a huge amount of waste here in Canada each year.

It seems that many people are just unsure of what to do with it all. This fascinating (and somewhat alarming) StatsCan website shows the percentage of Canadians who have unwanted electronics in their households… in British Columbia, up to 31% of homes have unused televisions in their homes! Just wander down any alley in the Vancouver, and it’s likely that you’ll see abandoned electronics left beside dumpsters. Unfortunately, if they are not properly disposed of, these devices can get thrown into landfills, or sent to developing countries where they are dismantled for metal or parts; oftentimes without safety equipment. If handled improperly, the individuals doing it can be exposed to dangerous substances such as mercury, lead, and chromium—all known to be extremely toxic to humans, animals, and the environment.

We can help. Whether it’s a massive TV, old CRT monitor, or burnt out computer tower; whatever you have, we can take care of it for you. Quickly, easily and in the most environmentally conscious way possible. In 2012 alone, Green Coast Rubbish recycled 5.1 tonnes of electronics, and nearly 3 tonnes of TV’s. (Which, for those who are curious, equals roughly the same weight as an African Elephant).

After pickup, we work together with Encorp, a federally incorporated, not-for-profit association who is committed to recycling within our communities. They ensure that e-waste is properly processed, with all usable components diverted, and any remaining parts disposed of in safe and ethical ways.

You have a lot on your mind. Having these items collecting dust in your home creates both physical and mental clutter in your life. With a single call, we can handle it, and you can get back to focusing on what’s most important.

 

 

ReStore and Habitat for Humanity

Taking care of the environment, and helping people in our communities: these are two fundamental ideas we’ve built our company on from the start. They help us strive to reuse or recycle many unwanted materials, keeping them out of our landfills. If those materials can then be used to help local families put a roof over their heads, why wouldn’t we do everything possible to make that happen?

Because we care so much about this, we like to give shout-outs to similar minded businesses who are working hard to make a difference. One such business is ReStore, which opened it’s doors recently in North Vancouver.

ReStore is a non-profit organization that sells new and used building and home improvement materials that have been donated to them by builders and homeowners; with 100% of the money raised going toward Habitat for Humanity initiatives in the Greater Vancouver area. Run almost entirely by volunteers, ReStore/HH helps to provide modest-income families with affordable, accessible housing options (while at the same time giving some pretty sweet deals to people looking for items to complete renovation projects around their homes).

We believe in the great things that organizations like Habitat for Humanity are doing locally, so whenever possible GCR salvages usable material from the jobs we do and donates them. A recent demolition of an office on the North Shore allowed us to dismantle approximately 790 glass blocks from their walls and send them to ReStore—which could potentially translate to a resale value of thousands of dollars—toward their efforts in helping more people have homes in our communities.

Last year alone we were able to donate approximately 9 tonnes of various goods and materials to charities throughout Vancouver who can make good use of them. Check out what ReStore is doing; they are located at 126 Harbour Avenue in North Vancouver.