Getting rid of stuff? Here’s how to do it in Metro Vancouver

Apr 17 2019, 3:55 am

It’s easy to put off your spring cleaning, especially when the final season of Game of Thrones drops. But when hours turn into days, and days turn into weeks, you could end up doing a massive cleanup blitz later this season. And that’s totally normal — but what about the items you’re going to get rid of? How will you dispose of them?

That old couch or DVD player can’t be left in the alley or go in the recycling bin, nor can a well-loved coffee machine. In 2018, Metro Vancouver municipalities recorded over 40,000 incidents of abandoned waste. This included commonly dumped items such as mattresses, furniture, appliances, and electronics.

Every year, Metro Vancouver’s member municipalities spend around $5 million to clean up abandoned waste. And sadly, many of these incidents are linked with spring cleaning, move-outs, and home renovations. Today, Metro Vancouver is calling on locals to put waste in its place and prevent illegal dumping.

Here are some tips that will help make disposing of your household items easier (and save you unnecessary fines).

Recycle, repurpose, or donate items

Restoring chair/Shutterstock

If selling old items isn’t an option, why not take a second look at them to see what could be recycled or repurposed? An old desk could be the base of a great new coffee table, you could have a chair upholstered to look brand new, or you could donate these items to a local charity store. There are plenty of opportunities to get creative when repurposing items and it takes just one YouTube search to find an option that works for you.

By doing this, you’ll be helping the environment and reducing waste at the same time. Simply enter your location here and you’ll be provided with options for recycling or repurposing many household items in your area. It’s that simple.

Use a large-item pickup service

Loading truck/Shutterstock

When you’re finished with your successful spring clean, you don’t have to leave your larger household items in your backyard until your buddy with a truck can help you get rid of them. Instead, you can look for municipal programs, such as large-item pickup services, pop-up junk days, and spring cleaning events in your municipality.

Many municipalities offer annual garage sales and others will collect up to six large items per household annually — free of charge. You could even schedule a pickup of bulky items to coincide with your scheduled garbage collection. And you can find out more here.

Drop off waste at a disposal facility

If municipal collection programs or recycling aren’t options for some of your household waste, don’t worry. Metro Vancouver’s online tool can provide you with the useful information you need for regional disposal facilities — where you can drop off your garbage for a fee.

Unwanted items can’t find a second home or be recycled when discarded in alleys, parks, and on the curbside. And those found guilty of illegal dumping in Metro Vancouver could be fined a maximum penalty of $10,000 (who has that kind of money?).

For more information on services in your area and how to dispose of household waste like a pro, visit

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