***Updated for 2018!
Clients often want to know what to do with old furniture, appliances, or electronics that they need to clear out. When decluttering (or renovating!), sometimes we have to get rid of old paint or cleaning supplies as well—what can go on the curb, what has to be taken to the dump, what other options are there for things that we don’t want but aren’t worn out?
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 our favourite donation-accepting charities. Have we missed anything? Add it in the comments, or tweet it to us!
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 than 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 Collection Schedules page.
Household hazardous items:
If your item contains harsh chemicals, there’s a good chance it’s hazardous waste. This includes things like fuels, chemical cleaners, paints, batteries, and florescent lightbulbs. It also includes things like medicines and unused medical “sharps.” If in doubt, check the Region’s list or enter the item in question into their Waste Wiz tool.
There are two main ways to get rid of hazardous waste: through various stewardship programs which often have collection locations at local stores, or at the Cambridge or Waterloo Waste Management sites. 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 dropped off for a fee at one of the Waste Management sites (Waterloo or Cambridge), or you can find a program that recycles them. A complete list of banned electronics is available on the Region’s Recycling Information page (open the “Electronic Waste Recycling drop down), along with links to recycling programs.
Another option for recycling electronics is the ReStore, which is run by Habitat for Humanity. The Waterloo ReStore, located at 120 Northfield Drive East, is now accepting household electronics. To find out what specific items they accept, you can call (519-747-0664 Ext. 221) or email them.
Donating or selling usable items
The ReStore has two locations in the region (Waterloo and Cambridge), and it is a great option for donating the reusable items that come available when you renovate or stage a house. Check out their extensive list of acceptable items, and then either drop your stuff off, or request a pick up (including a free salvage removal of kitchen or bathroom) using their online form.
Thrift on Kent is a thrift store in Kitchener (on Kent St!) 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, to offer something for free on kijiji, you select “post ad” in the top right hand corner of the site, and then select the “free stuff” heading in the “Buy and Sell” category and follow the directions. If you would like to sell your item rather than give it away, simply select the appropriate category from the “Buy and Sell” category and list a price.