Spring officially starts on March 20, and many people have already begun, or are at least thinking about beginning, spring cleaning. While it’s not exactly the most fun part of spring, it does feel good to shed clutter and get organized.
Tailored Living is all about helping people get organized and STAY organized with personalized systems that are tailored to the individual, family or home. We’ve done a lot of blogging about getting organized. What we haven’t talked much about is what to do with all of that STUFF that you don’t need anymore once you’ve taken the time to re-organize. We thought it would be helpful to provide our readers with a list of places and resources in Vancouver, Greater Vancouver and the Fraser Valley that accept recyclable household items. We know that once you spring clean, you’ll have things to get rid of. Making the effort to properly dispose of these things benefits the planet and sometimes it even benefits local charities and organizations in the way of cash donations.
Where to Donate or Recycle Clothing & Textiles
Value Village – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor, books and furniture in usable condition.
Salvation Army Thrift Store – multiple locations throughout Greater Vancouver. Accepts clothing, linens, housewares, home décor and furniture in usable condition.
There are hundreds of other thrift stores throughout the lower mainland which are typically operated by community-based charities. Chances are good that there is at least one in your area, and many of them accept all of the things already mentioned.
Trans-Continental Textile Recycling Ltd. : Located in Surrey, this innovative company collects donated clothing, both wearable and unwearable. Nothing goes to waste, and a wide variety of charities benefit. All clothing is sorted into different categories. Wearable clothing in good condition is shipped to developing countries and distributed to people who need it. Clothing that is not in wearable condition is processed, usually according to the type of material it’s made of, and is sold to manufacturers who make it into new goods. The business employs 90-100 people and profits benefit numerous local charities, including Canuck Place Children’s Hospice, Vancouver Firefighters Charitable Society, the BC Centre for Ability and the Deaf Children’s Society of BC. Donate your old clothing and textiles by dropping it into one of Trans-Continental’s donation boxes (various locations throughout Greater Vancouver) or by contacting Trans-Continental directly.
Where to Recycle Used Motor Oil & Automotive Fluids
The BC Used Oil Management Association is a non-profit society that facilitates and encourages the recycling of used motor oil. It partners with businesses throughout Greater Vancouver who establish drop-off points for used motor oil in their shops. For a list of places to recycle motor oil near your own home, visit http://bcusedoil.com/.
Where to Recycle Batteries
Call 2 Recycle is BC’s official battery stewardship program. Visit www.call2recycle.ca/british-columbia/ to find out where in your area you can drop off any kind of household battery (no automotive batteries). Many automotive battery retailers and automotive shops accept used automotive batteries for recycling. You can also visit http://www.rcbc.ca/ and use the generator to find out where you can recycle automotive batteries in your area.
Where to Recycle Almost Anything
Regional Recycling Vancouver – Billed as your “one stop recycling shop.” Located in Vancouver, it accepts beverage containers, paper products & packaging, appliances, tools, equipment, scrap metal, paint, pesticides, fuel and most types of light bulbs (an official Light Recycle BC partner). For a comprehensive and detailed list of acceptable goods, visit the Regional Recycling Vancouver website.
For a comprehensive list of recyclers of all types of products close to your home, visit http://www.regeneration.ca/ or http://www.rcbc.ca/. You’ll find a handy little generator on the right of each of these sites’ home pages. Simply choose the kind of item you want to recycle from the drop-down menu and the city in which you live. You will be given a list of places near your home that accept the particular item you need to recycle. This includes all of the items already mentioned as well as items like appliances, old computers and electronics, paint, tires, building materials, thermostats, hazardous items, furniture and even vehicles.
What NOT to Recycle
Waste facilities in Greater Vancouver will not accept any items that are able to be recycled. This list grows and changes regularly as new recycling facilities are opened. If you have items that you’re not sure whether you can legally dispose of, visit http://www.metrovancouver.org/services/solid-waste/bylaws-regulations/banned-materials/Pages/default.aspx for a list of materials that are banned from local landfills. This list is updated whenever there are changes to regulations. If something is on this list, then there is a facility (or facilities) where it can be recycled.