August 27, 2008

Move it, but not to landfill

You are overwhelmed and stressed out by having to clean out the home you grew up in. But, mom and dad are moving to a Care Facility, so it has to be done. The temptation is to deal with all the stuff  in the easiest way possible. You’ve got enough on your plate already. But, I encourage you to stick to your values and do the right thing when it comes to being responsible and being “green” when sorting through unwanted items.

The accumulations of 30, 40 or even 50 years may yield items that are landfill-bound. But rather than throwing everything into a dumpster, seriously consider what can be recycled or reused.

First look at what could go to a charity and benefit people in need in your community. This will include furniture, housewares, decorative items, and clothing. Unexpired and unopened food can be dropped at a food bank.

Worn but clean towels and linens are often welcomed by animal shelters.

After the donations are done, take a second look at the “trash” that remains; you can quickly determine what can go where responsibly.

First, be sure to separate basic recyclables like paper, glass and plastic items. Recycle them in the appropriate containers available for your community.

Household hazardous waste (partially filled paint cans, insecticides, etc.) should go to specially designated sites in your community. Contact your communities waste management department to determine where these items are accepted. Some communities have a pickup service for these wastes, e.g., Toronto’s “Toxic Taxi.”

Wire hangers can go back to the dry cleaners.

Old appliances will be picked up by the Ontario “Great Refrigerator Roundup.”

Odds and ends can be listed on Freecycle, or on the free sections of craigslist or Kijiji.

You’ll feel “lighter” when all the excess baggage is gone, but you’ll feel even better if you’ve disposed of it in an environmentally responsible way.

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