The ‘Getting Rid of’ Guide – an eco-friendly version
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
Alphabetical List of Items
Audio and Stereo Equipment
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.
Note, due to COVID-19, plastic bag recycling may be on hold. Contact the retailer to confirm if they are currently accepting plastic bags before dropping them off.
Carpet Cleaner machine (and other electronics)
Clothing - used, damaged or stained
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.
Are you a big wine lover, and find yourself with a lot of leftover corks lying around?
Manitoba Liquor Marts are now accepting corks back through their ReCork program. ReCork is a natural wine cork recycling program across North America. Simply drop them off in your local liquor store bin, and they will grind them up and repurpose them. Synthetic corks are not accepted in these bins.
Drop off leftover corks at these Liquor Store locations:
- All Winnipeg locations (excluding Liquor Mart Express)
- Several locations in Brandon & Portage la Prairie
For more information, please visit their website.
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 Eyeglass Recycling 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 (search Winnipeg in their ‘collection locations’ form)
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:
- Promax Wood Restoration & Renovation – They restore damaged woodwork on furniture, cabinets or floors
- That Furniture Guy – Fixes or builds furniture
- Furniture Medic – A wide range of services, including antique furniture restoration, and disaster restoration
- FibreNew – They specialize in repair, restoration and renewal of leather, plastics, upholstery, vinyl and fabrics
These are just a few options for Winnipeg, but they are a good start to your furniture renewal conversation.
Lego and Duplo
Donate your undamaged Lego and Duplo blocks/bricks to LEGO’S Replay Program, where it will be redistributed to multiple donation partners for children to play and create with!
All you have to do is disassemble your lego and box it up, print up a shipping label from Lego’s website, and bring the box with the shipping label attached to your nearest Fed Ex shipping location.
Makeup and body care product containers
Old makeup? Used-up shampoo bottle? Handcream lotion container? Finished deodorant stick? While we encourage purchasing these products with low packaging to start with, there are now a couple of options to actually recycle those old containers!
Lush will take back their own-brand containers and recycle them in a closed-loop. They have an incentive program related to bringing in a certain number of containers for recycling – check with your local store for more information.
L’Occitane (Polo Park Mall), and Portia Ella (Outlet Collection) both have partnered with TerraCycle to accept a wide variety of body-care and makeup product containers for recycling. Please empty them and rinse them to the best of your ability. Both locations occasionally or regularly offer discounts for bringing in materials to be recycled.
Accepted materials as listed on the L’Occitane website:
“1. Beauty packaging such as lip balm tubes, makeup remover bottles and pumps, fragrances bottles and pumps, and deodorant sticks.
2. Skin care packaging such as face mask packaging, refill pouches, and dispensers and tubes for soap, facial cleansers and body lotions.
3. Hair care packaging such as pumps and caps from shampoo and conditioner bottles, hair care dispensers and containers, hair product trigger heads, and refill pouches.”
Remember, some body-care products may be recyclable in your blue bin program. For example, a white shampoo bottle with a pump could be recycled in Winnipeg if you remove the pump and rinse it thoroughly. But black plastics, and flexible plastics like moisturizer tubes, would both be unacceptable in Winnipeg’s recycling program.
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.
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!
Today, there is too much plastic in our daily lives that we don’t know what to do with after it’s used. Our first step should be to try to make choices to avoid plastic packaging wherever possible. Choose vegetables that aren’t wrapped or bagged, or buy in bulk, for example,
However, sometimes it’s unavoidable, and until we reduce plastic drastically, thankfully, ReGen Composites exists! ReGen aims to repurpose plastic waste materials into marketable commercial products, such as pallets and construction blocks. They accept plastics that cannot currently be recycled in our collection, such as plastic #3-7, with the exception of styrofoam. They also accept wood waste from construction or renovations. This includes painted, treated or composite wood materials. Both the plastic and wood waste are used to create a newer, stronger product – that is also recyclable at the end of it’s life too!
To arrange a drop off of materials, or to learn more, please visit their website at: http://www.regencomposites.com/
Waterbottles (and other hard plastics)
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.