If your garage is anything like mine it’s a bit overstuffed and in need of a top-to-bottom reorganization. Among the usual kids’ bikes, camping gear and the car we manage to wedge in there, there’s a ton of stuff that I wasn’t sure what to with – stuff that was not suitable for the garbage can but that I certainly didn’t need taking up space in the garage. With a little digging, literally in the garage, and figuratively on the internet, I have found places to unload all of that excess cargo. I’m referring to those items that can be recycled or have to be disposed of in special ways that do not comply with the rules governing ‘blue bin’ recycling.
Paint Can Conundrum
Like a lot of people, I have cans of paint in my garage that I either inherited from the previous owner, never intend to use, or have no idea how they came to be there. You can’t simply stuff paint cans into the trash and it is important to dispose of them properly. The quickest way to find the closest depot is to visit www.productcare.org. Product Care is a not-for-profit industry association that was set up to manage programs for household hazardous and special waste. You can use the search tools to pick the product you need to dispose of and then simply type in your postal code or find your city on the drop down menu. Product Care will help you find places to dispose of lighting products, pesticides and flammable liquids, small appliances and smoke alarms as well as paint.
Ditching the Old TV
Since adding a small flat screen TV upstairs we have an old TV in the garage that has been waiting for a certain husband (me) to find a disposal option. Encorp Pacific’s Return-It depots will accept electronics as well as beverage containers. In checking their website (www.return-it.ca) for acceptable materials and procedures, I actually came away with a longer list of items that needed to go! They will take scanners, hard drives and old computer equipment as well as that old TV…turns out I am going to be busy but will be clearing a lot of space at home, all while being environmentally sensitive, a win-win.
Losing the Spare Tire
Automotive parts also present a challenge for recycling if you choose to do some maintenance yourself. If you buy new tires the vendor will take care of the disposal for you but if you have one stray tire in your garage, as I do, it needs to be taken care of properly. Tire Stewardship BC is a non-profit society that manages BC’s tire recycling. Their website, www.tirestewardshipbc.ca, has all the information you need including where you can dispose of that tire and what will happen to it once you do. Similarly, the BC Used Oil Management Association website (www.usedoilrecycling.com) is a wealth of information around disposal of used oil and antifreeze.
For even more information the city websites for Coquitlam (www.coquiltam.ca), Port Coquiltam (www.portcoquitlam.ca) and Port Moody (www.cityofportmoody.com) all have sections on recycling that include the above items as well as information on expired medications and other household items that require special care. This will help you clean up your house and the planet, all at the same time.