Friday, August 2, 2013

Clearing Your Closets: 5 Tips for Decluttering Without Sending Anything to the Landfill

This stuff DOESN'T have to go to the landfill!
Did you know that August 10th is National Garage Sale Day? I've been thinking of having a yard sale for ages, but all the organizing & then dealing with the leftovers... well, not terribly motivating. For alternatives to a traditional yard sale, or ideas of what to do with the leftovers, here are some great ideas from BC’s province-wide small appliance & power tool recycling program, ElectroRecycle:

  1. Go Viral. List your items on online auctions sites like eBay or try free classifieds sites like Craigslist for a cost-effective way to reach a lot of people. Just think about shipping costs & whether you want to meet your buyer face-to-face before deciding which strategy to use.
  2. Go Green. Get rid of small household appliances like toasters, blenders, hair straighteners & power tools... with a guilt-free conscience. ElectroRecycle, BC’s small appliance and power tool recycling program, provides an environmentally friendly alternative for electrical products that would otherwise end up in landfills–even that treadmill that most recently served as a clothing rack in your basement. With drop-off locations throughout BC, it’s easy & convenient.
  3. Give Back. There are a number of local charities that will either pick up your leftover items right from your front porch for donation or will allow you to drop them off. Ensure a smooth donation by first confirming that the charity has a need for what you’re looking to give. Clothes, books & toys that are clean and in good condition are often a safe bet.
  4. Get Some Support. Even the best garage sale finds can be left behind if the right buyer never comes around. This is especially true for tailored clothing & other customized products. Why not get some help by bringing these items to a consignment store? Work with them to determine the right values & then leave the selling up to the professionals.
  5. Go Low–Real Low. If you’re really getting desperate, why not offer it for free? Freecycle is an online resource where reusable products in good condition are available–as the name suggests–for free. It’s a win-win situation: people love finding free treasures & you get rid of your leftover items! Search online to find a local group near you.

Remember to keep health & safety top-of-mind when dealing with your old products; only resell or donate items that have been thoroughly cleaned & are fully intact–no food encrusted blenders with worn & rusty blades! Instead, send these items straight to the recycling centre. For more information on which products are accepted by ElectroRecycle & where the drop-off locations are, visit

ElectroRecycle is BC’s province-wide small appliance and power tool recycling program. With over 135 collection facilities throughout the province, ElectroRecycle provides a convenient recycling option for British Columbians for over 300 types of electrical products including microwaves, toasters, treadmills, sewing machines, power tools & electric toothbrushes. ElectroRecycle is the first small appliance & recycling program of its kind in North America.

The Canadian Electrical Stewardship Association (CESA) is a not-for-profit industry association formed to create and manage ElectroRecycle for small appliances and power tools in British Columbia. CESA’s membership includes a wide array of small appliance and power tool manufacturers and retailers who import and sell the accepted products in British Columbia. CESA has partnered with BC-based Product Care Association to set up and operate ElectroRecycle throughout the province.

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