Nov 19, 2013 / 5:00 am
Did you know that the average American generates almost five pounds of waste per day but only recycles 1.5 pounds? Let’s change that. Last week was America Recycles Day, and to celebrate, here are the answers to some of your commonly asked recycling questions:
Can I recycle batteries?
Yes! Get in the habit of never throwing batteries in the trash, especially rechargeable ones. They contain heavy metals, which can leak and contaminate the environment. See if your local electronics recycler accepts batteries. If not, sometimes electronics retailers and hardware stores offer battery recycling programs.
There’s a useful program called Call2Recycle (http://www.call2recycle.org/) , which recycles rechargeable batteries. Check out the Call2Recycle program locator to see if there’s a drop-off point near you.
The good news about technology is that more and more devices are using rechargeable batteries that you just need to plug in to charge. But the next time you need to purchase new alkaline batteries for a camera or handheld game, look for rechargeable ones—they’ll be a greener choice than single-use batteries.
Where can I recycle my old cell phone?
Try your local electronics recycler. If not—Call2Recycle (http://www.call2recycle.org/) , mentioned above, recycles mobile phones!
What do I do with my old laptop?
Laptops can definitely be recycled. If the computer is intact, contact your local electronics recycler or computer retail outlet (see if they’re running a program). If the screen is broken or there are fluids leaking from it, it’s considered a hazardous waste product. If the electronics recycling facility can’t take it, your local waste collector may have a recommendation. The most important thing to know is that you shouldn’t throw your laptop in the trash!
I bought something new, and not only is the old one too big to throw away, I would feel bad sending it to the dump. It’s still in good shape!
We still call it ‘recycling’ when we donate items in good condition, because that item is being given a second life and not being dumped in the landfill. It may also help someone in need. Think about donating that old lamp, MP3 player or forgotten toys to a local non-profit or charity thrift store, and feel good about making that choice!
What other surprising things can be recycled?
If you can’t find a drop-off point in your community, there are organizations popping up all over the place that will accept niche ‘what-do-I-do-with-this’ items if you are able to ship to them:
SHOES: The glue that holds shoes together can be toxic to the environment, so chucking shoes in the garbage is a bad idea. The national shoe charity Soles4Souls (http://www.soles4souls.org/) collects used and new shoes to help needy people in the community. Check out their website to see if they’re running any drives near you, or send them a package with your old shoes (make sure to follow the instructions on doing this properly).
TROPHIES: Did you know that you can recycle trophies? A company called Lamb Awards (http://www.lambawards.com/recycle.html) accepts old awards you no longer want cluttering up your room.
CRAYONS: Crayons - which contain petroleum and shouldn’t go in the landfill - can be sent to the Crayon Recycling Program (http://crazycrayons.com/recycle_program.html) where they melt down the wax into new crayons!
It’s well worth taking the time to recycle. We recommend you set a personal goal this America Recycles Day and see how much you can recycle over the next year…and beyond!
Jul 6, 2013 / 5:00 am
If you ever cleaned up your garage, you’ve come across some items that are not conventional. Spare bottle of engine oil? Some leftover paint from renovations? An odd bucket with skull and bones on it? I’m sure you stood there looking at the items puzzled over what to do with them. Well, here are few simple steps:
- Make a list. Round up all suspects in one place, and write down the names, brands, and any other helpful information.
- Contact local government office for help. Not sure whom to contact? Call Recycling Hotline of BC by calling 1-800-667-4321 and let them know what items you have to dispose. Depending on your municipality, they’ll direct you to the correct vendor.
- Keep an eye open for hazardous round-ups. Some of the municipalities organize annual round-ups for hazardous materials. Bring them all in on that day, and let professionals help you dispose of the items properly.
Just some local information about most commonly asked items:
- If you have cans of residential paint, you can drop it off at Battery Doctor in Kelowna. They will also take your computer waste, light bulbs, and car batteries.
- Propane tanks can be returned to Super Save stations free of charge or dropped off at Glenmore landfill for recycling.
- Engine oil can be recycled at quick lube change locations such as Mr. Lube, Great Canadian Oil Change, or Jiffy Lube.
Never, ever pour anything you suspect could be toxic down the sink or toilet. This practice can be very harmful to the local environment.
Mar 30, 2013 / 5:00 am
Ask any real estate agent how to make their life easier and better prepare your house for sale – and the answer will be focused around de-cluttering and organizing. The last thing any potential buyer wants to see is a cluttered house. Clutter will take away focus from your house, make it look smaller, and is just unappealing – and we all know that the first impression is the most important. Besides, if you’re serious about moving, you’ll have to do it anyway once the house sells.
So, how can you prepare your house to show better?
Declare a war on unorganized closets! Closets are important to potential buyers. They want to see potential – and closets filled with unwanted junk and debris is the worst advertising for your house. By reducing closet space, you’re devaluing your house – and that is counterproductive.
Clean up your kitchen - We all want a big kitchen to store appliances, to prepare meals and lunches, and to store food in pantries. Show its true potential to prospective buyers by making it feel huge by getting rid of all that extra stuff.
Don’t forget about bedrooms - Bedrooms are for relaxing. Less clutter – more relaxing. Make them feel peaceful and simple – no items on top of furniture, no clutter on night tables. Simple and tasteful do the trick.
Living room - Anything that attracts dust has to go. Doll collections? Pack it up. Stacks of paper on your table? Throw it away or shred it if it’s confidential. Newspapers for the last 17 years for later use? Let’s be honest, that’s old news.
Store smart - If you do decided to pack some items for later use, pack it smart. You don’t want to show a giant pile of debris in your garage – get some Rubbermaid containers and pack it away. They stack easily and your garage will look immaculate.
Purge! - It’s always a good idea to go through your items and assess them. Are you downsizing? Well, maybe it’s time to let go of some items. If you’re moving, no need to bring the items you haven’t used in years to your new place. Set up areas for everything you’d want to donate, anything that has to go, and anything you still have hope for. Maybe you can have a yard sale with all the items you don’t need! Maybe some items you just want to give away to your neighbours. Make the move easier on you by getting rid of some items in advance.
Give us a call if you need some extra help. We specialize in making houses look bigger.
Feb 15, 2013 / 5:00 am
Just because it’s headed for a landfill, doesn’t mean it won’t get recycled!
People are often surprised when we tell them we’re going to a landfill with their items. Their usual reaction is a puzzled “Well, I thought these guys recycle...” look. Yes, we’re going straight to Glenmore Landfill – but it doesn’t mean all of your items will be dumped and buried. Far from it.
Glenmore Landfill is operated by the City of Kelowna and provides its services to surrounding areas – whether you bring items from your home or office. It just so happens that Glenmore Landfill is leading the way in recycling efforts – and you will find multiple recycling options when you come there. What can be recycled at Glenmore Landfill? The list is long!
- Cardboard and paper products
- Plastic and containers
- Propane containers
- Lead acid batteries
- Christmas lights
- Glass (bottles, jars, etc.)
- Clean and unpainted lumber
- Yard waste, stumps, yard clippings, etc.
- Asphalt and concrete
- Scrap metal and refrigeration appliances
- Tires (with or without rims)
There are multiple designated areas where you can deposit these items, the staff is friendly and helpful and will be happy to answer your questions. While some of the items are shipped elsewhere for recycling, some items are used internally for landfill needs – for example asphalt and concrete is crushed and used for internal road construction. In addition, there’s a dedicated area for Big Brothers and Big Sisters donations – you are welcome to drop off gently used household items, clothing, and similar knick-knacks.
So, while it might take some time to sort and recycle all of your items, you can be sure that they’ll get recycled properly and benefit everybody – even if you drop them off at the dump. Personally, I think it’s time to rename it to “Glenmore Recycling and Disposal Facility”.
Read more Reduce, Reuse, Recycle! articles
- Fall cleaning better than spring Nov 2
- Is your garage full of junk? Aug 30
- Are you a hoarder? May 9
- The house that junk built Mar 15
- Inside a landfill Feb 12
- When recycling meets art Dec 1
- Disposal costs are going up Oct 1
- BC Hydro wants your old fridge! Jul 24
- It's not easy being green Jun 3
- What's special about electronic waste? Apr 19
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