Recycling and Garbage
An old saying goes, “If you’re not recycling, you’re throwing it all away.” And if you’re not recycling right, you might still be throwing it all away and potentially creating mess for others. So, to do your part not just for the planet but also your community, please follow these guidelines to recycle effectively and keep our building clean.
Getting rid of household goods
Stuff happens. If you’re decluttering, moving, downsizing, etc., please do not leave household items you’re trying to get rid of in the recycling/garbage room. Instead, there are several better ways to do it:
- Recycling depots: Items at the end of their useful lives, like old electronics, computers, appliances, Christmas light strings, or larger metal or plastic items, can be taken to a local depot or Return-It Centre, most often free of charge. London Drugs also accepts light bulbs, batteries, ink cartridges, electronics and small appliances for recycling when you’re purchasing new ones.
- Thrift stores: Items in good condition can be donated to local thrift stores in New Westminster, such as New To You (Royal Columbian Hospital Auxiliary) at 706 6th Ave. and many more.
- Charitable organizations: If you have large items or a lot of things to donate, some groups offer pick up, such as Big Brothers, Habitat for Humanity or Diabetes Canada.
- Online sharing: Victoria Hill has an active Facebook community group where you can offer your items to neighbours. You can also post items for free on local groups such as Share New West. Posting free items on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace often brings a quick response and speedy pickups too.
Compost and recycling dos and don’ts
- Don’t put plastic bags in the green compost bin – even the ones marketed as “compostable” or “biodegradable”. Our local composting facilities do not accept them and we can get fined for it. Instead, use newsprint or paper bags to line your compost bin.
- Don’t put glass jars, styrofoam or plastic bags in the large blue bins. They can go in the smaller blue bins that our volunteer recycling team takes to the depot.
- Do put only clean containers or bags into the blue bins. Dirty containers cannot be accepted for recycling, and may create more work for the volunteer recyclers!
- Do crush plastic containers and metal cans, as much as possible, before putting in the bins. This helps make room for everyone’s recycling.
- Do flatten all cardboard boxes for recycling. It saves space (and it’s fun).
- Do put your refundable beverage containers, cans and bottles in the bins provided. The proceeds from our bottle refunds are donated to local charities.
- Don’t “Wishcycle.” For example, broken glass, drinking glasses, plastic straps/six-pack holders, plastic squeeze tubes and paper coffee cups cannot be recycled. If in doubt whether a material can be recycled, throw it out.
- Finally, don’t leave garbage bags, compost, recycling etc. on the floor in the recycling/garbage room. If the bin you want to use has been taken outside for collection, please hold onto your items until you can dispose of them properly.
Helping our volunteer recyclers
We’re lucky to have a team of volunteer recyclers in our building. They collect and take items to the recycling depot that aren’t picked up in the curbside collection, including:
- glass containers
- plastic bags
- “crinkly” plastic packaging (e.g., potato chip bags, stand-up and zip lock pouches, woven and net plastic bags, and bubble wrap and air bags used in packages)
You’ll find smaller blue bins in the recycling/garbage room to put these items. These volunteers are doing us all a great service, so please put in only CLEAN items, and no broken glass, drinking glasses or light bulbs.
Thank you again for your cooperation and efforts to help the planet, just a little at a time.