Archive for March, 2019

Zero-Waste Spring Cleaning: How To Do It

Posted by pauloneal

It’s that time of year again – spring cleaning. As we Vancouverites put our snow shovels away we can finally begin to think about clearing the junk from our homes. We can once again freshen our homes after a long winter. This year, we propose a challenge: to make your spring cleaning efforts zero-waste.

You might be scratching your head: how do I do that? Is it even possible?

We’re here to say yes, that it’s possible to avoid throwing your old junk in the garbage. We think it’s possible to tackle your waste differently, to find a new use for them or find someone else who can take it off your hands.

Why we should make our spring-cleaning zero waste?

As news about landfill waste, plastics pollution, and packaging waste become publicized, and we move towards reducing our environmental footprint, why not do the same for spring cleaning? Most people throw away their junk, like old chairs, furniture, mattresses, and odds-and-ends, into landfills, but what if there are cheap, fun ways to recycle or repurpose your items? After all, a trip to the local landfill can be quite expensive. So take advantage of these five tips to turn your spring cleaning into a zero-waste activity:

Tip 1: Ask your friends, families, or neighbours.

Before you throw away your chairs, sofas, tables, or home decor, why not ask people you know if they have a use for them? With the ease of social media these days, simply posting a photo of your furniture or item in local buy and sell groups can lead to a successful connection. You never know who may be looking for an item that you are looking to throw away! As the saying goes: one person’s trash is another one’s treasure.

Many times people are looking for cheap furniture or used furniture that adds character to their existing decor.

Additional suggestion: take a creative photo of your item to show how people can use it. This can help increase the interest in your item. If you have a lawnmower to throw away, maybe place it on your lawn and take a photo. This will look better than a grainy photo of a lawnmower taken inside a cluttered garage.

Tip 2: Host a zero-waste repurposing party with your friends.

This is a fun activity for adults or even for families with young children. Host a zero waste party or an upcycling crafts night where you turn empty containers, tea tins, and jars into new, stylish stationary holders.

Repurpose old jars with a fresh coat of paint instead of throwing them in the garbage. (Source)

Maybe even turn old fabrics and bedsheets into a tote bag. Make bandanas, head scarfs, or even beach towels using old fabrics, or tie-dye them to create brilliant colour schemes.

Save old t-shirts and jeans and turn them into stylish tote bags. (Source)

Other ideas include stripping down wood from mattress boards and cut-offs to repaint them into home decor signs. The benefit of finding out how you can upcycle your own items is learning a new skill or technique. Sometimes simply refitting or brushing up an old item will make it last longer, and brighten up your home. This way, you can keep your items out of landfills and find another use for them, while having fun!

Recommended Article:  How to introduce recycling to your children

Tip 3: Drop-off items at the Vancouver Zero Waste Centre.

Take your old items to the Vancouver Zero Waste Centre. (Image Credit)

Formerly the Recycling Centre, the City of Vancouver unveiled a new zero-waste facility last year. The facility encourages people to recycle items instead of dumping them in landfills. The best thing about this facility is that it’s free of charge for Vancouver residents. So come by and drop off old electronics, glass bottles, jars, household batteries and more. They hand the items off to a recycler or a repurposer, so that your item stays out of the landfill.

Unfortunately, the centre does not accept mattresses, propane tanks, and general garbage. Their website has more information on what they accept – and how you can get there.

Additional tip: if you make a trip out, ask your neighbours if they have things to recycle you can bring along. Saving a trip reduces air pollution and traffic conjestion.

Tip 4: Donate items to charity.

Donations tend to decrease after the Christmas season, so check your local charities to see if they’re running low on specific items. Toiletries, blankets, pillows, and clothes can be useful for these organizations. Think about donating items to a thrift store run by a charity. These organizations rely on sales through their stores for much of their work, so you’ll be contributing to a good cause.

Give your items a quick wash so they’re in good condition before you donate. Donating larger items such as mattresses and furniture may be difficult as most organizations reject them due to sanitary concerns. It may be easier to take your furniture and mattresses to a recycler instead.  Doing your part to recycle helps keep the environment healthy and our society sustainable.

Tip 5: Host a community yard sale.

Hosting a yard sale can help keep your old furniture away from the landfill. 

If you live in a condo or townhome with a strata, approach them or your neighbours to see if they are interested in hosting a community yard sale. If you have a detached home, you can also host a yard sale too and get your street involved. This can get more people attending the yard sale, especially when they know there are more than one household is hosting. You can even sell reusable bags, mason jars, and glass Tupperware so that people can get their hands on zero-waste items. A good tip when having a yard sale is to provide details about the product, as well as inspiration how shoppers can use them in their homes.

Before you put your items up for the yard sale, think about cleaning them and making them look nice and presentable. If you have items like extra jars or boxes, think about decorating them for an extra charming look. Selling an old piece of furniture or accent cabinet can be as easy as giving it a fresh coat of paint or a wipe-down with a warm, soapy cloth.

Recommended Article: Top 5 Environmentally Friendly Changes You Can Make

Bonus tip: Dump wood scraps or boards into your compost.

If you have clean wood lying around after a home renovation or a woodworking project, you can break the scraps down into smaller pieces and compost them. Many people don’t realize that clean, dry wood can be composted. So instead of leaving them on your lawn or taking them to the landfill, compost your wood scraps. If you don’t have a compost bin, this can be a great time to start one. Be sure to know what kinds of wood are compostable. Pressure-treated or painted wood cannot decompose easily and should be taken to an appropriate facility instead.

Do you have any other helpful zero-waste tips on spring cleaning? We covered items that are commonly thrown away, like large furniture, bedsheets, wood scraps, and jars and glasses, but there are countless of activities and ways to think about turning your activities into a zero-waste one. Share your ideas and tips with us on our Facebook Page and Twitter.

Canadian Mattress Recycling is a 100% locally-owned BC company with a team of employees dedicated to customer service and environmental preservation through recycling. We are located in the middle of Metro Vancouver on Annacis Island on Delta, BC and serve the entire Lower Mainland region and beyond. We are winners of the Green Business of the Year in 2016 by the Delta Chamber of Commerce.

Global Recycling Day: What to Expect

Posted by pauloneal

This year, Global Recycling Day is on Monday, March 18th.

First launched in 2018, this annual global event aims to promote recycling and the recycling industry across the world. Raising awareness, the event showcases recycling’s vital role in preserving the future of the planet.

With the amount of waste that still aren’t recycled around the world, youths, teachers, and families are encouraged to think differently about recycling. By thinking of recycling as a valuable resource, people would recycle more in their lives.

Recycling as a Resource

Global Recycling Day wants people to realize that recycling is an important resource. It is as important, if not more, than water, air, oil, natural gas, coal, and minerals. These other resources risk being used up since they’re finite.

But recycling is infinite.

A renewable resource like recycling supports local jobs and combats climate change. And as its name suggests, recycled materials can be recycled over and over again.

Because of the value recycling brings, the event wants to recognize recycling as an important resource that needs investing by countries around the world.

Ending Wastefulness

Even as we practice recycling, there is still so much waste being produced that aren’t recycled. You’d be surprised to see how many cities or countries that don’t commit to three-stream garbage collection. How many cities don’t take organics and convert them into biofuel. How many landfills that produce biogas that aren’t converted into energy.

Ending waste requires thinking creatively and critically about recycling. What can we recycle? Or we ask ourselves: what can we do about plastic waste that are destroying our ocean and natural habitats?

What can we do with hard to recycle items like large furniture and mattresses? Again the question is there, but not enough people are taking the effort to reduce these kinds of waste.

Therefore Global Recycling Day wants to address recycling as a resource to help businesses, institutions, and people invest in recycling.

Global Recycling Day 2019

So what can you expect for Global Recycling Day 2019?

This year, the event focuses on educating youths about the power of the Seventh Resource. The event provides information for teachers and educators to use in classrooms.

What else will happen on March 18th?

You’ll see the hashtag #recyclinggoals trend online. The second part of the Global Recycling Day campaign revolves around using the sport of football (soccer) a global sport, to communicate recycling.

The challenge is fun — it encourages youths and adults alike to place a recycling bin by a football (soccer ball) net on the field.

Then it encourages the challenger to take a video of them reciting their recycling goal pledge, nominate a friend or family member, and then take a shot with their football (soccer ball).

After that, the challenge suggests sharing the video online. Challenge friends and family to set their own #recyclinggoal and take the pledge.

How To Take Part

If pledging to a social media challenge is not your thing, that’s okay!

The Global Recycling Day event also gives several activities for educators to do at school.

From organizing a litter pickup around the school to getting them to wear green in solidarity — the Global Recycling Day website has a lot of interesting event ideas to incorporate into your classroom.

They also have lesson plans. Their recycling citizen graphics shows hot topics in the recycling industry. From single-use plastics to climate change and the circular economy, teachers can use the information to teach their students about recycling. Topics on their website include cool items made out of recycled materials and more.


We hope you find this blog post helpful! Global Recycling Day takes place all day March 18th, 2019. It is an annual event that aims to educate and spread awareness about the importance of recycling as a resource. Now that you’re in the know, take to social media or in your class and join in on this important event!

Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is Metro Vancouver’s leading mattress and furniture recycler. Since 2011, we have diverted over 25 million lbs of waste that comes through our doors. Recycling everything we receive, we work with the local community to help divert waste and improve the environment. We also enjoy supporting organizations and charities working nationally and globally to improve the world we live in.

How To Recycle A Couch

Posted by pauloneal

Out with the old, in with the new.

Whether you’re spring cleaning or moving, sometimes it’s time to part ways with an old couch. You might be eyeing a new sectional, or want to change the entire look of your home. Regardless of the reason, many people struggle finding a way to dispose of their couches. They’re big, bulky, and hard to carry. So how are you supposed to recycle a couch?

Easy – couch recycling is possible for many Vancouverites. A local recycling facility takes upholstered furniture for recycling. Their Furniture Destroyers will dismantle all upholstered furniture, sorting the materials for reuse. All you need to do is drop off your couch at their recycling centre located on Annacis Island, Delta BC.

Metro Vancouver residents can also hire professionals to take the couch from their home. Both junk removal services and furniture recyclers offer these pickups.

How to prepare a couch for recycling

One. Keep your couch in good condition.

Whether you book a pickup service or transport it yourself, keeping your upholstered furniture dry is the first step. Many recyclers reject wet couches for recycling. To avoid having to go to the landfill, keep your couch indoors, and dry.

Two. Give your couch a good wipe or vacuum.

Recyclers try to set aside cushions and fabric for reuse by local animal shelters, but they only take clean materials. Therefore, to increase the probability of your couch to be reused, give it a wipe. Else, dirtied fabrics are sent as-is to textile recyclers.

Three. Dismantle it as much as possible.

Consider dismantling the couch as much as you can before a pickup crew arrives. Even setting cushions aside on the day of a pickup can make it easier for the crew to lift the couch down the stairs. If the couch comes in two parts – such as a chaise and couch – separating them will make the process go smoother. It’ll be easier for the crew to squeeze the item through tight doors, narrow hallways, or even fit in elevators.

When you’re ready, you have two options:

One – Transport the couch to a recycling facility

For option one, simply load up your couch in a pick up truck, strap it down, and take it to a recycling facility near you. For Metro Vancouverites, it will be Canadian Mattress Recycling, located on Annacis Island, Delta BC. In addition to mattresses, CMR dismantles upholstered furniture including couches and sectionals. Be sure to check their hours and recycling rates before you go.

Two – Let a pickup crew take the couch away

Metro Vancouverites have the option of letting their city, or a private company, haul away their couch. Large item pickups can be arranged through your city’s waste disposal department. Otherwise, pickup crews from junk removal companies can take the couch off your hands. Be sure to choose a company that will recycle your couch. Recycling a couch is good for the environment.

Couch Recycling – Why It Matters

These days, couches and sofas last more than a decade, but when it’s time to dispose of your old couch, recycling is an option for Metro Vancouver residents.

But you may be wondering, why should I bother recycling a couch?

Couches are made out of high quality materials from exotic wood and high-end fabrics. Even cushions and the foam inside of them may be of high quality. It’s a shame to just throw these away in the landfill when a more sustainable option is available.

1. Landfilled couches take over 80 years to decompose.

Depending on the fabrics and construction, a couch can take decades to decompose fully. Metal springs or wooden frames take time to wear out in the natural elements. Some couches have been reported to take up to 60 – 80 years to decompose. This is roughly eight times the time the couch has been in use in your home!

2. Couches occupy a lot of space in landfills.

Couches, due to their size and bulkiness, take up a lot of landfill space. And because they also take a long time to decompose, these pieces of furniture clog up landfills. This makes it harder for landfills to accept additional couches, or items, if they’re almost at full capacity. And these days, expanding a landfill site may damage local ecosystems and natural habitats.

3. Recycling couches avoids illegal dumping

When  more companies offer couch pickup and recycling services, it reduces the likelihood of the couch ending up on the side of the road. Couches are often dumped illegally in back alleys when people move or spring clean. This costs cities hundreds of thousands of dollars a year to clean up. Therefore, when couch recycling is affordable and convenient, it helps the environment and the city.

4. Decomposing couches can be toxic.

The materials used to make a couch can be toxic when it starts to decompose. This occurs for all couches whether they are in landfills or dumped illegally on the side of a road. Many couch fabrics have been chemically treated. The wood and metal too, when they decompose, can cause a variety of problems. For example, wood could attract pests and bugs. Deteriorating metals could react with rain and sun. The entire couch, when decomposing, would turn into toxic sludge that seeps into our soils, and into our groundwater.

5. Couch recyclers support local economies. 

Because most specialized recyclers are locally operated, they support local economies. A city and its residents become more self-sufficient if a specialized recycler can thrive. For example, taking a couch to a recycler supports local jobs when you pay for the recycling. Instead of having the couch sent to a landfill, where it either sits there, or gets shipped overseas for dismantling, a local couch recycler would keep valuable materials, reduce emissions, and support the local economy.


Canadian Mattress Recycling Inc. is a recycling centre located on Annacis Island, Delta BC. Since 2011, we have helped Metro Vancouver residents recycle over 25 million lbs of mattresses and furniture. We have also supported over 90+ organizations through donations and our blogging efforts. Read about the other organizations we have supported in the past.