De-Cluttering : How to easily get rid of unwanted stuff
Several years ago when my Mom moved from a three-storey house to a two-bedroom apartment, we had to get rid of a staggering amount of stuff.
In spite of numerous garage sales, ads on Kijiji and Craigslist and many trips to a nearby Goodwill donation centre, we had a mountain of garbage bags picked up by a junk removal company because we were pressed for time and simply didn’t know what else to do.
But the next time I find myself in a similar situation, there is a great new resource I can turn to. The Waste Nothing website created by Michael Fagan makes it easy for anyone to find out how best to get rid of unwanted items.
The Waste Nothing database includes a full range of solutions from selling and donating to recycling, composting, and as a last resort, putting items in the trash. Just enter the name of the item and hit the search button to get available tips.
Here are some examples of what I found out, when I searched for disposal solutions for a number of common items:
Paints and Stains: Find a nearby Orange Drop site to take your hazardous waste and its container, where it will be safely recycled or otherwise disposed of. Take care in transporting so liquids do not spill.
Electronics: Now there is curbside collection in Toronto for electronic equipment on scheduled garbage bin collection days. Computers, monitors, printers, fax machines and televisions are also accepted at Recycling and Solid Waste Depots or Community Environment Days.
Prescription Eyeglasses: The Lions Club collects, cleans, and sorts eye glasses (as well as hearing aids), and provides them to needy people in many countries around the world. You can drop glasses off at any eye care office (e.g. optometrist), directly at your nearest Lions Club , or even mail the glasses to the Canadian Lions Eyeglass Recycling Centre.
Sports Equipment: Donate sports equipment, camping gear and/or outdoor seasonal clothing to Futurewatch to provide more eco-outdoor recreational activities to newcomers and help to enhance programs the organization is already running. All gear donated that is over $50.00 in value will receive a taxable receipt.
The website is a work-in-progress, and a labour of love for Fagan. He is not looking for or receiving any compensation or advertising revenue. Therefore, he encourages you to fill in the gaps if an item is missing, and add your own tips. You can also add suggestions in three new categories: rent and borrow, get second-hand, and repair and maintain.
Currently most of the municipality-specific information applies to the City of Toronto, but if you would like to get your city or organization included, contact email@example.com.