Abandoned waste isn’t just an eyesore – it’s also costly to clean up, encourages further illegal dumping and leads to increased health and environmental risks.

Abandoned waste isn’t just an eyesore – it’s also costly to clean up, encourages further illegal dumping and leads to increased health and environmental risks.

3 ways to keep spring cleaning community-friendly

Proper disposal key for unwanted household and yard material

If the recent sunny weather has you busy with your spring cleaning, remember that proper disposal of unwanted items is easy – and will go a long way to keeping our community clean and safe.

“If you’re purging the old and outgrown, or using the longer days to spruce up the garden, be responsible about where those things end up,” says Russ Smith, senior manager, environmental resource management. “Most of your furniture, clothing, electronics and décor items can be sold online, given away, donated to charity or recycled. Anything that can’t be re-used or recycled should be disposed of properly at Hartland Landfill or another waste facility to keep our region’s plants, wildlife and watersheds safe.”

Of course, the message is especially timely as we celebrate Earth Day this week, shining a light on the simple steps we can take to support the planet.

  1. Moving? Anything that can’t be sold, donated, given away or recycled should be disposed of properly. If you plan to donate no-longer-wanted items, ensure they’re in good condition so a local charity isn’t on the hook for getting rid of your garbage. Consider calling ahead to see if your items are currently needed. Don’t make your junk somebody else’s problem – make a plan before moving day to properly dispose of it.
  2. No car? No problem. Plan ahead to dispose of what you no longer want without even leaving your couch. List your stuff on an online buy/sell site, email friends and family, post to social media, contact charities that pick up items for free, ask a friend or neighbour to borrow a truck, book a vehicle through a local car share co-op or hire a junk hauler. Living car-free shouldn’t stop you from properly disposing of your garbage.
  3. Prepping your yard for summer? Every year municipalities receive reports of yard waste illegally dumped on boulevards and in parks. In addition to being a significant spreader of invasive species and a possible fire hazard, collection and proper disposal requires time and money. When gathering yard waste, consider where it belongs – including your green bin, depending on your municipality, at a local garden waste drop-off or composted in your yard. Tip: Mulching grass clippings into your lawn can create a natural fertilizer and protect your soil. Learn more about mulching and backyard composting at www.compost.bc.ca.

Abandoned waste isn’t just an eyesore – it’s also costly to clean up, encourages further illegal dumping and leads to increased health and environmental risks.

If you spot abandoned waste in your community or witness illegal dumping – don’t confront the individuals, but do report it. While reporting procedures may vary by municipality, helpful information may include the types of materials dumped, photographs, date and time, vehicle description, license plate number and a description of the occupants. Contact your municipality or visit their website for details.

Thank you for helping keep our communities clean and our region’s plants, wildlife and watersheds safe!

For more information, visit www.crd.bc.ca/dumping

Wondering if something can be recycled? Look it up at www.myrecyclopedia.ca

Capital Regional DistrictEnvironment