5 ways to consciously care for the environment this spring

Apr 19 2021, 9:56 am

As the days get longer, British Columbians are tidying their spaces and tossing out their garbage. But spring cleaning and seasonal activities, like renovations and gardening, shouldn’t come at a cost to the environment.

As we start tackling our spring to-do list, we each have a role to play in being mindful of how we dispose of certain items like leftover paint and household hazardous waste products including gasoline, camping fuel, BBQ lighter fluid, paint thinner and stripper, and other flammable liquids.

If you have any of these unwanted products lying around after your spring clean or much-needed home renovation, it’s important to be aware that they can’t just be tossed away. Rather, they’re meant to be recycled and can be dropped off for free at hundreds of Product Care Recycling locations across the province.

By doing so responsibly, we’re keeping these products out of our waterways and landfills, protecting wildlife, and reducing our impact on the planet.

Recycling unused paint from recent home renos

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With brighter days comes the motivation to tackle the projects we’ve been putting off. Whether this involves painting your living room or giving your kitchen a makeover, you’re probably going to have leftover paint afterwards. Instead of having half-empty containers take up valuable storage space, you can recycle them safely.

Fun fact: Since 1994, Product Care has recovered more than 56 million litres of paint in BC through its paint recycling program.

Reviving pre-loved furniture

Thrifting furniture is incredibly underrated. Plus, you can easily revive a wooden chair or table found at a local vintage store with some varnish or paint. If you have any leftover latex or oil-based paint primers, coatings, or aerosols after your completed furniture restoration projects, they can be easily recycled via Product Care.

Product Care also accepts products like paint and furniture strippers through its household hazardous waste program. Pro tip: Product Care only accepts paint and household hazardous waste products in original containers, with intact labels and sealed lids.

Once it’s dropped off at a recycling location, good-quality paint is processed and packaged for resale as recycled paint, and lower-quality paint is mixed into concrete, used as an energy source, or sent to a secure landfill. The plastic and metal from containers are also recycled.

Ridding of pesticides cautiously after your garden’s glow-up

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If you’re planning to transform your outdoor space with lush greenery, vegetables, and flowers this summer, it may require a little dedication and planning.  The same goes for keeping your plants and gardens healthy and thriving — which, for some, involves using pesticides.

At the end of the season, it’s good to know you can drop off certain excess gardening pesticides (for free!) at your nearest Product Care location for safe disposal.

Properly disposing of containers after backyard BBQs

Barbecuing is something many of us look forward to over the spring and summer. To get your BBQ fired up on sunny days, you’ll probably need lighter fluid. And if you find yourself with leftover containers of this fluid after channelling your inner BBQ master, all you have to do is dispose of them with Product Care. 

Safely discarding fuel after dining in the wild

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Since international travel plans are on hold right now, local getaways to the great outdoors will be popular again this summer. If you’re going camping in the backcountry (or maybe just your backyard) or getting the family together for a country camping adventure, you’re going to need camping fuel for cooking up meals. And if you like to go all-out with your snack game, you may even want to get some fondue fuel.

Don’t leave these household hazardous waste products in your garage or storage area after your trip, simply bring them to a free drop-off location where they will be safely managed by Product Care.


Before you visit a Product Care location, brush up on the list of accepted paint and household hazardous waste products and use this recycling locator tool to find your nearest drop-off location and confirm which products they accept.

Pro tip: Product Care also recycles lighting products and smoke or carbon monoxide alarms.

The three R’s (reducing, reusing, and recycling) are still the name of the game, all these years later. Follow the tips above to avoid throwing things into our landfills and reduce your carbon footprint. Visit the Product Care website to learn more or find your nearest location.

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