How to Go Green With Your Spring Clean
Feel good about your Spring cleaning by taking a sustainable approach to de-cluttering. Not sure what to do with burnt-out light bulbs and used paint cans that are piling up around the house? These items, as well as household hazardous waste items like pesticides, flammable liquids and gasoline can be recycled! With hundreds of drop-off locations across Canada, Product Care Recycling is a non-profit organization that allows you to get rid of items you didn’t know you could recycle — without the hassle. Here’s how you can reorganize your home and feel good about protecting the planet.
How Produce Care Recycling Works
It’s FREE! Drop off your items in their original containers (they must also have a sealed lid and original labels) at any one of Product Care’s 1,300 locations in Canada. Click here to find one closest to you and learn which products each site accepts.
It gives back. Paint is either recycled as new paint, used in the manufacturing process of other materials, or donated to the public.
It responsibly manages materials. Lights are broken down in a safe environment, and any hazardous components are responsibly managed. For example, radioactive components from smoke alarms are processed by licensed technicians.
It repurposes. Some HHW (Household Hazardous Waste) such as flammable liquids, gasoline, and some solvent-based paints are used for energy recovery, while metal and plastic from smoke alarms, lights and paint containers are recycled.
It responsibly disposes. Smoke Alarms are disassembled, and radioactive elements are shipped to a licensed radioactive waste facility. Pesticides are sent to licensed facilities for incineration, and corrosives are chemically treated prior to being disposed of.
Yes, They Can Be Recycled!
Lights & Light Fixtures
Program available in B.C., Manitoba, Quebec, and P.E.I.
Do you have patio lights that have seen better days? Don’t throw away burnt-out bulbs. Some light bulbs may contain mercury. Mercury can seep into the water, harming marine life and contaminating our water supply. Product Care’s program repurposes glass, metal, and other materials from old bulbs, giving them a second life. Note: light fixtures, string lights and ballasts can be recycled in B.C. only. Check here to see what other lights are accepted in your area.
Fun Fact: 9.5 million lightbulbs were prevented from reaching the landfill in 2020. That’s almost enough to light every street in the country twice.
HHW (Household Hazardous Waste)
Program available in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and Ontario
Don’t pour HHW products like gasoline, pesticides, and other flammable liquids down the drain or into the garbage. These items can enter sewage systems and landfills, posing a hazard to both human health and marine life. Product Care collects, recycles or responsibly manages these items to prevent toxins from impacting the environment.
Fun Fact: Depending on where you live, you can recycle a wide range of HHW products, from paint thinner to pesticides, and even gasoline.
Program available in B.C., Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Ontario, New Brunswick, P.E.I., Nova Scotia, and Newfoundland and Labrador
It’s on rare occasions that you buy the exact amount of paint you need for a project; there always seems to be some paint left over! With that in mind, why not gather those half-empty paint cans taking up space in your basement or garage, and them put to good use? A wide range of leftover paints — are accepted. Check here to see which types are accepted in your area. Some reusable paints are offered free to the public, through the PaintShare program.
Fun Fact: Product Care recovered approximately 10 million litres of paint in 2021.
Smoke and CO Alarms
Program available in B.C.
Although smoke alarms can last up to 10 years, once they’ve been replaced you still need to dispose of the old ones. Whether you bring in one or keep a collection and deposit them all at once, Product Care Recycling has found an environmentally friendly way to safely recycle almost everything, even smoke and carbon monoxide alarms.
Fun Fact: In 2021, 121,000 alarms were collected — more than three times the height of Mount Robson, B.C. when stacked.
For more information, visit productcare.org.