What to Do with Leaves, Pumpkins, and Broken Tools

Below we offer some ideas on how to dispose of several items we typically see this time of year.

As the trees shed their leaves and we engage in the annual ritual of raking and bagging them, it is a good time for a reminder that yard trimmings do not belong in recycling collection containers for packaging and printed paper. If organics collection is not offered where you live, or you cannot include yard waste with organics collection, check with your local government to see if special, seasonal collection or drop-off locations are offered in your community.

While you rake your leaves and prepare your garden for winter, if you discover broken shovels, rakes, and other tools that cannot be repaired, please check with your local government, depot, or the Recycling Council of BC for disposal options. Some depots accept the metal as scrap.

Fall is a popular time to clean out the garage or basement, but much of what you find does not belong in the recycling bin, including old lawn furniture, outdoor toys and equipment, and car parts. Paint is also not accepted in the Multi-Material BC (MMBC) residential packaging and printed paper recycling program, but can be dropped off at several locations around the province. Check the Recycling Council of BC or Product Care for information.

This weekend, after you have finished handing out treats to neighbourhood goblins and ghosts, remember that discarded pumpkin shells and seeds, and other organics spoil recycling, so please do not include them with your next recycling collection. Most candy wrappers are made of multiple layers of different kinds of plastics, making them incompatible with the plastic recycling process; these should not be included with your recycling either.

And while the list of items that are not accepted in MMBC’s program may seem long (largely because nearly all of the items mentioned above are neither packaging nor printed paper), there are a few accepted items that pop up with more frequency at this time of year. If you have been enjoying seasonal hot beverages to ward off cooler temperatures, remember that the empty paper take-out cups and lids can be included with container recycling in the MMBC program. The same is true for empty aerosol hairspray containers used to add finishing touches to Hallowe’en hair.