Spring Cleaning Made Simple: find the right place for everything – in your house, garage and yard

Calgary, AB – Spring is a time for Calgarians to tidy up their yards and homes for the new season. All the spring cleaning means there are plenty of unwanted items to get rid of.

“Cleaning out the house, garage and yard is a regular spring activity. We want to get Calgarians in the habit of finding other options for their unwanted items where possible instead of throwing them into the garbage,” says Kim Fisher, public program coordinator at Waste & Recycling Services. “By disposing of materials the right way, it will keep unnecessary items out of the landfill and give a second life to materials that can be reused, recycled or composted.”

Keep your spring cleaning simple by taking advantage of these City programs and services:

Spring Yard Waste Drop-off to City Landfills is underway

Until May 31, all three City of Calgary landfills will waive fees for residential loads of leaves, branches, plants and other garden material. The yard waste will be composted at the sites, turning it back into a useful resource.

“Fallen leaves, branches, and other yard waste are a prime example of a material that can be composted instead of thrown away. Over a third of garbage at this time of year is made up of yard waste,” explains Fisher. “By composting this material, it will help reduce greenhouse gases and turn it into a useful product again that can help new plants grow.”

Here are five tips for Calgarians to know about the spring yard waste drop-off program before they come to the landfill:

  • Make sure your load only contains yard waste like leaves, branches and plants (no sod – it can’t be composted at City sites). Charges will apply if the load contains other items.
  • Residents are encouraged to leave their material loose or put it in paper yard waste bags, which can be composted as well. If loads are loose, residents should make sure they are secure and covered before transporting them.
  • City landfills are open seven days a week, 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the program.
  • Spyhill Landfill – 11808 – 69 Street NW
  • East Calgary Landfill – 3801 – 68 Street SE
  • Shepard Landfill – 12111 – 68 Street SE
  • For faster service, visit the landfill on a weekday or before 9 a.m. on Saturday or Sunday when wait times are shorter.
  • Residents who are still cleaning up their trees from last year’s September snowstorm are welcome to bring their damaged branches and tree debris for drop-off as well.

Safely dispose of household hazardous waste

Propane tanks, camping fuel canisters, old paint, stains, fertilizers, and automotive products are just some of the common items cluttering up Calgarians’ garages.

“These items are considered household hazardous waste and should not go in your regular garbage or recycling. We have nine locations around the city where we accept all types of household chemicals, pressurized tanks and paints for safe disposal,” says Fisher.

  • Common household chemicals in your house include automotive products, healthcare products, pressurized tanks, yard products, cleaning products and paints and stains.
  • If the products shows a flammable symbol, corrosive symbol, explosive symbol or poison symbol, it is considered household hazardous waste.

Household hazardous waste drop-off locations are open all year-round. Locations and hours can be found online at calgary.ca/springcleaning.

Recycle your electronics and gadgets

The fast pace of changing technology means lots of e-waste is created as people upgrade their televisions, computers and other devices on a regular basis.

“Recycling your electronics is an easy way to keep these items out of the landfill. They don’t break down and contain highly recyclable material that could be used to make new items,” explains Fisher.

  • Common electronic items that can be recycled include: televisions, computers, monitors, laptops, printers, scanners, fax machines and more.

There are several electronics recycling depots available in Calgary. Locations and hours can be found online at calgary.ca/springcleaning.

If in doubt, check it out at What Goes Where

And what about all that other stuff that you’re not sure what to do with? That’s where the What Goes Where online search tool comes in.

“Our What Goes Where online search tool is a great resource for Calgarians as they are doing their spring cleaning. Users can type in the name of hundreds of different items and find the correct way to take care of an item whether it be recycling, composting, donation and more,” says Fisher. “It’s a great way to find the right answers quickly and easily.”

The What Goes Where online search tool is available at calgary.ca/whatgoeswhere.