Despite the city’s massive watershed clean-up initiative people are still dumping garbage, but other free options are available.
August was watershed clean-up month, and city workers and volunteers removed a total of about 476,190 kilograms of garbage out of the area. At the time, city water operator Brian McLoughlin said he hoped cleaning up the area would deter people from dumping their garbage.
However, Luisa Richardson, an environmental educator working for the city, recently went on a walk through the area and found more garbage that was dumped during September. A “perfect” mattress and bed frame that looked like it had just broken during unloading were some of the items, and Richardson said they could easily have been reused instead of dumped illegally.
“Most of the stuff you could find another home for,” said Richardson. “People are obviously not aware that there’s options.”
One option is The ReStore in Campbell River. It takes household items like appliances, doors, cabinets, mirrors, furniture and tools. Manager Ken Miller said that last year it diverted over 30 tonnes of metal and renewable goods from the landfill per month. And he said the number’s probably higher this year as sales have increased by about 40 per cent.
A manager must approve an item for drop off, meaning junk cannot be left there, but he’s happy to take things that can be reused.
“If it’s got a slight scratch, dent, it doesn’t quite do what it’s supposed to do and it’s not a lot of work, we’ll take the time to fix it, mend it, wash it, clean it, and get it ready for resale,” said Miller.
The ReStore also educates people about where to take the things that it doesn’t, as Miller says people often don’t know about some other options.
“There are places that we can further get out there that yes, they can take that,” said Miller.
He often refers people to the Return-It depot. It takes counter-top appliances, household electronics, like televisions and computers, household paint, and car batteries, among other things.
Various thrift stores like Nifty Thrift and the Salvation Army take old clothing.
The City of Campbell River’s website also has links to different businesses and organizations that reuse or recycle various items. Visit http://campbellriverrecycles.ca for more information.