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Cutting clutter: where to recycle your old electronics, appliances and toys

Image of used appliances at a recycling dump

It's free to recycle electronic toys, power tools and your small kitchen appliances

Did your kids get an electronic upgrade over the holiday season? If Santa delivered a new handheld game system or tablet to someone in your household this year, or you took advantage of sales on Cyber Monday or Boxing Day to finally get that new high-powered blender, you might have an outdated version stuck in a closet somewhere.

Don't leave it there, taking up space. And definitely don't leave it plugged in, wasting energy and money on something you're no longer using.

Where to recycle small appliances and tools: ElectroRecycle

ElectroRecycle is the non-profit program that offers locations across the province a place to recycle more than 300 different battery-powered and electric items.

With 160 locations across B.C., chances are there will a depot in a location near you. Some of the most popular items that you can recycle for free include:

  • Small kitchen appliances, including blenders, choppers, knife sharpeners, stand mixers, toasters, countertop grills, bottle warmers and more.
  • Home appliances and devices, including digital alarm clocks, vacuums, bathroom scales, irons, fans, and oil-filled space heaters.
  • Personal appliances, such as hair dryers, curlers, rechargeable toothbrushes, beard trimmers or electric razors.
  • Power tools, such as drills, grinders, laser levels, and powered saws.

See the full list of accepted products and find a depot near you.

Recycle televisions, VCRs and DVD players at a Return-It depot

Don't relegate the old television to the basement or guest room. Unplugging a second or third TV will save you energy, and all it costs is a quick trip to a Return-It depot.

Return-It depots accept most home electronics, including desktop and laptop computers, tablets, telephones, and electronic children's toys.

If your monitor or television screen is broken, you'll need to visit a special depot that can accept broken glass, but otherwise, just find the depot nearest you.

Lighting and large appliances: where to take them

If you're getting a head start on spring cleaning and have a bunch of old fluorescent bulbs or tubes to recycle, it's easy to do. LightRecycle depots are offered throughout B.C. and you can drop off old, burnt-out bulbs for free. You can bring halogens, incandescents, compact fluorescent or even light strings. If you replaced the holiday lights for your home this year, take the old string in for safe and free recycling.

LightRecycle even accepts bike lights, desk lamps, and floor lamps. Check out the list of accepted lights and fixtures.

And if you need to recycle a large appliance, such as a refrigerator, stove, or dishwasher, start by using the Recycling Council of B.C.'s Recyclepedia to find recycling options in your area. If it's still in good working order, you can also try listing it for sale or for free on classified sites such as Craigslist.