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5 solutions to keep unwanted items off the boulevard + out of the landfill

More than an eyesore, abandoned waste has financial and environmental costs
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As you tidy the garage or prepare to move this spring, here’s are some ideas for those items you no longer want.

As we tackle our spring cleaning, maybe eyeing a garage sale or a fresh start in a new – or tidier! – home, we’re likely looking at those things we no longer use or enjoy.

The key is to find an appropriate solution, and one that doesn’t impact our neighbours or our environment.

After all, we’ve all seen materials left along boulevards or worse yet, dumped in parks and forests, left to be someone else’s problem. Even with the best intentions, unwanted items left outside to the elements are often damaged and end up unusable, with removal and disposal of abandoned waste falling on municipalities – at taxpayers’ expense.

“When you dispose of your unwanted items responsibly, whether through re-use, donation, recycling or if needed, disposal, you improve the quality of life in your community,” says Russ Smith, Senior Manager of Environmental Resource Management at the Capital Regional District. “Not only can you contribute to the circular economy, you’ll help reduce the region’s waste by one-third to extend the life of the Hartland Landfill to 2100 and beyond.”

So, as you tidy the garage or prepare to move, here’s are 5 smart solutions for those items you no longer want:

  1. Does it really need to be replaced? First things first, is it time to re-think our consumption habits to reduce the amount of waste we create? Even as individuals, we can make a huge difference by taking care of items and prolonging their usable life.
  2. Give your items a refresh! If that old sofa is still comfy but lacks a modern look, consider reupholstering it in a fresh new fabric. And a new coat of paint or stain can transform a table or bookshelf.
  3. Re-home your usable items. Thanks to online listings, social media and other tools, it’s easier than ever to find a new home for our pre-loved items, all from the comfort of home. Even better, you can advertise your materials for free and let others do all the work to come and collect! And don’t forget local charities for items deserving a new home – depending on the items, free pick-up may be available. (Do not dump unwanted, unusable items for charities to dispose of – this takes valuable resources from their programs)
  4. Can you recycle it? Most abandoned items, such as electronics like TVs, vacuums and small kitchen appliances, can all be recycled. Find your closest depot on myrecyclopedia.ca
  5. If it’s garbage, act responsibly. Anything that can’t be reused or recycled should be properly disposed of at an appropriate garbage facility. You could even arrange a community disposal day with your neighbours, bringing everything at once to share the work and transportation.

Remember, doing the right thing may not be as costly as you think! For more information – and more ideas – visit www.crd.bc.ca/dumping

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