This post is a resource guide for what goes where in Waterloo Region, with information and links about how to dispose of unusual items, as well as my favorite donation - accepting charities, Now that things are opening up, we all have things that we want to get out of our homes. Whether it is one bag or a truck load, it can be daunting to figure out the best places to take all that stuff without it ending up in a land fill. Old paint, cleaning supplies, clothing, what can you do with all this?
Getting Rid of Garbage
Most garbage in Waterloo Region can be put on the curb. There are a few categories that might come up more when decluttering then in your everyday life though:
these are picked up weekly within the urban areas, and monthly in the townships. The region picks up appliances, furniture, carpet and more. More details about bulky items are available on the Garbage and Recycling Rules page, and you can find your pickup days as well as download a calendar app on the Region's Garbage and Recycling page.
Household and Hazardous Items:
If your item contains harsh chemicals, there's a good chance it is hazardous waste. This includes things like fuels, chemical cleaners, paints, batteries, and fluorescent light bulbs. It also includes things like medicines and unused medical "sharps" If in doubt enter the item question into the Waste Wiz tool.
There are two main ways to get rid of hazardous waste: through stewardship programs like the one offered by pharmacies where you can bring in all unused prescription and over the counter medications, and most also also offer if you bring in your used sharps container you get a new one. The Cambridge and Waterloo Waste Management sites also have collection areas. You can find out about various recycling drop offs from sites like regeneration.ca or call2recycle.com.
There are a number of prohibited items including electronics, corrugated cardboard and tires. These items can be dripped off for a fee at one if the Waste Management sites (Waterloo or Cambridge), or you can find a program that recycles them. Fore e waste go to recyclemyelectronics.ca to find a complete guide to recycling your electronics.
Donating or selling usable items
The Restore, run by Habitat for Humanity, has two locations in the region (Waterloo and Cambridge), and is a great option for donation the reusable items that come available when you renovate, stage or declutter a house. Check out their extensive list of acceptable items through the link above, and then either drop off your stuff or request a pick up (including FREE salvage removal of kitchen or bathroom) using their online form.
Thrift on Kent is a thrift store in Kitchener (on Kent street!) that is run by the Mennonite Central Committee. They also offer pick ups for larger furniture items
You can also donate items directly by using websites like Freecycle (Waterloo, Kitchener, Cambridge) and Kijiji. To post on Freecycle you must become a member.
With lots of options, and a little time you can save most of your stuff from clogging up landfills. If you have some great tips or tricks that I have not mentioned here please comment and let us know your favorite recycling or selling ideas.