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 lea@greenactioncentre.ca

Alphabetical List of Items

Audio and Stereo Equipment

Retire your old speakers, stereos and audio equipment at Saving Audio Recycling!

Saving Audio Recycling is a volunteer run environmental organization based in Winnipeg, MB which is committed to limiting the amount of un-wanted stereo & audio related equipment ending up in our landfills.
The operation is maintained by retired and semi-retired electronics technicians who possess the experience, expertise and specialized equipment necessary to work on audio electronics. (Our technicians have on average 45 years experience each)
How it works;
Items received are assessed or repaired, then equally distributed to locally created and operated Winnipeg Charities to help them maintain their community function. We perform this service free of charge. 
Accepted Items;
 
Amplifiers, loudspeakers, turntables (record players), AM/FM/SW receivers, tuners, reel-to-reel tape decks, mixers, processors, test equipment, musical instrument amplifiers, audio component parts and even home made audio projects.
Pick-up and drop-offs are free. Please email savingaudio@gmx.com to arrange a time and leave your phone number in the reply.
If you are uncertain about your item, please make contact and a volunteer will be glad to assist you.
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.
Car Seats

Whether your child has grown out of their car seat, or if you’ve been in an accident, or noticed the car seat is expired, please don’t throw it out.

So what do you do with it? Drop it off with Recycle Car Seats Winnipeg. For $15, they guarantee that your car seat gets properly dismantled and recycled by material, and that it does not get reused. Rather than adding more garbage to the landfill, and using more resources to create another, the plastic and fabric gets recycled here in Manitoba. 

To arrange a drop off or pick up, or for more information, please visit their Facebook page here.

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.

Cork

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:

  • Kenaston
  • St. Vital Square
  • Northdale
  • Grant Park Mall
  • Madison Square
  • Brandon Corral Centre

For more information, please visit: https://www.liquormarts.ca/retail-marketing/cork-recycling?fbclid=IwAR0vq4dvxwVSmjDsBPk2fNoGV19E4ViLEhrxQOMHemBZAOgmtqaZROj2M2s

Eyeglasses

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

The Lions Eye Bank 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)

Furniture

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 Staples, Costco or Printer Refillers. Want more information about sustainable ink cartridge practices? Visit everycartridge.com.

Lawnmowers
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.
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. 

Mattresses
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.
Oil/Grease
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.
Pianos
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

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/

Stickers
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.