When you clean up this spring, do some recycling too

Recycling electronics and appliances

The poet Tennyson wrote that "in the spring, a young man's fancy lightly turns to thoughts of love."

When the rest of us celebrate about the return of warm weather and sunshine we inevitably think about spring cleaning. Spring is, after all, a time of renewal and new growth. It seems appropriate to clean out the dirt and cobwebs, to let the breeze through the house for a good freshening.

If you're like me, you'll also find all kinds of things you no longer use or need. So this year, when you're cleaning out your basements, garages, and sheds, make a pile of things you can recycle.

More items than you think can be recycled

Every year more and more household objects become recyclable. Beverage containers, paper, and newsprint are so obvious that for most of us recycling them has become part of our daily routine.

If you're getting rid of a refrigerator, BC Hydro will not only pick it up for recycling, they'll give you $30 (some restrictions apply).

And last summer B.C.'s Electronics Products Recycling Association expanded the list of products it accepts to include:

  • telecommunications and IT equipment such as answering machines, conference phones, and networking devices
  • electronic musical instruments such as electric guitars, keyboards and synthesizers, mixers, and portable amps
  • medical monitoring and treatment devices such as blood pressure monitors, breast pumps, and hearing aids
  • video game systems and accessories

Add lights, small appliances, and power tools to your list

ElectroRecycle has more than 120 drop-off locations across the province that accept over 300 small appliances and power tools. First launched in 2011, the non-profit also expanded the products it accepts in July 2012. ElectroRecycle now takes unused equipment from air fresheners to vacuums, from table saws to treadmills.

And LightRecycle is the organization that coordinates the recycling of lighting products. It will take all types of ballasts, bulbs, and tubes, from fluorescents to halogens to LEDs. Even speciality lights like bike lights, flashlights, and work lights can be dropped of for recycling. And when you're ready to get new LED holiday lights, the old incandescents ones can go to LightRecycle.

Recycle encyclopedia app and more

Don't be discouraged from recycling because there are multiple organizations involved in collecting things. You can easily find out what can be recycled and where it goes using the app for iOS and Android mobile devices. It gives you the complete list of items that can be recycled and provides you with the 10 nearest locations to recycle those items, based on where you are.

There are also online and print resources with the complete list of what can be recycled and where you need to take it: