The ‘Getting Rid of’ Guide – an eco-friendly version

by | Feb 20, 2018 |

Recycling, thankfully, isn’t a new phenomenon, but sometimes we don’t know where to recycle items that aren’t accepted in our city blue bin. Both the Province of Manitoba’s Waste Wise site, and the City of Winnipeg’s Water and Waste ‘What Goes Where?’ page provide a lot of help in answering these questions, and Winnipeg’s 4R depots accept a wide range of materials. But what about those odd and unique items that aren’t on the list? Green Action Centre has tried to take the guesswork out of how to get rid of your other unwanted items in the most responsible way.

Please note that this a working list, and we may not have all the items you have questions about, but please let us know if you have more to add, or if you have helpful information to share, by calling (204) 925-3777 or emailing

Bubble wrap, and other mail packaging materials

Even though they’re fun to pop, they can be given a new life for another package to be mailed by dropping them off at your local UPS store or at your local grocery store that has a plastic bag recycling bin near their front entrance. Visit Take Pride Winnipeg here for a full list of all the plastic items accepted in these bins.

Carpet Cleaner machine (and other electronics)

Working or not, Mother Earth Recycling accepts a wide range of electronics to be fixed and resold at their store (including carpet cleaners or even weed whackers!), or disposed of responsibly. Learn more about this great, local organization here.

Clothing - used, damaged or stained

If your closet is bursting at it’s seams (pun intended) or you have badly stained, ripped, or really outdated clothing, there are several options to dispose of these without dumping them in the trash (just don’t). Diabetes Canada has ‘Used Clothing Donation’ bins out in the community where you can drop them off at and they will recycle and reuse items responsibly. You can locate your local drop box here. Don’t want to go anywhere to drop it off? Diabetes Canada also offers household pickups regularly for homeowners. Email or call them here to book.

Want incentive? H&M stores in Winnipeg will accept your used clothing, no matter the condition, in store and offer you a voucher of $5 your next purchase of $30 or more.

For more information about how to reduce, reuse and recycle clothing, visit our blog here.

For a full list of places to drop off your unwanted clothes, please visit our blog here.


If your prescription changed and you no longer need your old pair, don’t trash them – they can be useful for someone else!

Canadian Lions Eyeglasses Recycling Centre (CLERC) has collection sites around the city to provide used eyeglasses for children and adults in developing countries. To find a collection site near you, check out their list online here.


Older or damaged furniture doesn’t have to end up in a landfill. If it is still in good condition, but you have no use for it anymore, there are many thrift stores that will accept this.

If you want to feel like you made a difference in your community, there are several organizations you can donate to. Oyate Tipi Cumini Yape is a local non-profit organization in Winnipeg which accepts donations of gently used household goods and furniture. These items are then ‘distributed to women and children who are trying to better themselves by escaping poverty and/or abusive situations.’ Free furniture pick-up is also available through them if you’re not able to deliver it yourself. Learn more about them here.

Hands of Hope also accepts furniture for a good cause. Learn more about them here.

If you still like the furniture, but it’s damaged, there are several options for you to choose from:

These are just a few options for Winnipeg, but they are a good start to your furniture renewal conversation.

Ink Cartridges

Consider refilling your ink cartridges once they’re empty. Purchase a kit to do it yourself, or visit places such as Costco or Printer Refillers.

Want more information about sustainable ink cartridge practices? Visit


Lawnmowers are hard working machines, and often get beat up pretty bad by landscaping in our backyards. If your machine is at the end of it’s life, or you’ve switched to a newer, model and don’t know what to do with the old one, Winnipeg Lawn Mower Recycling will take it off your hands. They will pick up your unwanted lawnmower anywhere in the city for free, and recycle the parts. They also offer tune-ups and repairs for your current model. Learn more about them here.


Local organization Mother Earth Recycling accepts ‘clean’ and dry mattresses. They know that all mattresses discolor and get dirty over time, so don’t get discouraged. Did you buy your new mattress through IKEA or Sleep Country Canada? They will recycle your mattress through them for you! There is a $15 fee per mattress, but that is less than taking it to the landfill and paying their fee. To learn more about this great organization, visit their site here.


Car Oil and grease – MAARC (Manitoba Association for Resource Recovery Corp.) has several depots in Manitoba to drop off used automotive oil, oil filters and oil containers. Find your depot here .You can also ask your car dealer or automotive shop before you go for an oil change, on how they plan to recycle the oil after. Get informed and feel empowered

Food oil/grease – Rothsay in Winnipeg helps restaurants, supermarkets, butchers and other food service operators safely and sustainably dispose of used cooking oil, meat byproducts and offers grease trap maintenance. Learn more about them here.

We are currently still looking for where homeowners can take used cooking oil, so if you have the answer, please let us know.

Photo frames

Old and outdated frames don’t have to be tossed. Arts Junktion in downtown Winnipeg will accept your old frames to be re-purposed into art. Visit this amazing community-based, charitable organization, after learning more here.


These beautiful instruments shouldn’t end up in a landfill, so please don’t make that an option.

If your piano is badly in need of repair or a tuning, hire a local piano tuner and technician to get the job done – like Joe Cote Piano Tuning & Repairs. They understand how to best get your piano back in working, beautiful sounding order.

If it is really beyond repair, try re-purposing it as a unique furniture piece. The cast iron frame can be removed (but it’s very heavy, be careful!) and sold at a scrap metal depot. If you want unique re purposing ideas, try browsing through Pinterest, and you may find an old piano can be made into a neat desk, a cool bar, or even a hall table!

Plastics and Styrofoam

Today, there is too much plastic in our daily lives that we don’t know what to do with after it’s used. Thankfully, Winnipeg Recycling Service offers collection of:

  • plastic bags
  • plastic cutlery
  • candy/chocolate bar wrappers
  • chip bags
  • frozen veggie and fruit bags
  • juice and liquid soap pouches
  • aluminum foil trays
  • clean Styrofoam cups and food containers
  • bubble wrap
  • plastic wrap
  • plastic banners
  • and more!

Simply purchase a collection bag from your local Pollocks Hardware Co-op, fill up the bag, and call or email them when it’s ready to be picked up from your home.

For more information, please call (204) 299-7368 or email


If you don’t have a young child, grandchild or niece or nephew at home that loves stickers, and if you have more than you need in general, drop them off at Arts Junktion. They will be happy to share your sticker collection with the community.

Waterbottles (and other hard plastics)



If you are in the commercial, industrial, graphics, or municipal sector, Cascades Recovery Inc. will accept your bulk hard plastics, and other materials to help reduce your impact on the planet, and reduce your overall waste. Contact them or learn more here.


Window coverings - blinds and drapes

Are you thinking of getting new window coverings, but don’t know what to do with the old ones? Donate them to Flavie Laurent Centre, who’s mission is to help the city’s less fortunate by providing them with furniture, clothing and household items at no cost. Do good and feel good. Learn more about them on their website here.