As prescribed by Paulina Constancia

The Art of Community Living in Vancouver 3: BINevolence

On a recent trip to Vancouver, I saw how  a community can choose to not just trash but bin conscientiously.  BIN-ning is definitely something Vancouverites take to the next level.  I have never seen as many donation bins supporting different charities as I have in Vancouver. In most parts of the U.S. and Canada one has to drive to the nearest Salvation Army store/collection point. However, in Vancouver, there is bound to be one within walking distance from you,  perhaps just round the corner from where you live. The donation bin may not always be of the Salvation Army, but rest assured it will be to support a noble cause.

sample donation bin

Here is a donation bin I spotted in the Olympic Village area
for the Developmental Disabilities Association


A line-up of donation boxes ready to take your generous offering in Vancouver
Image from The Province

On a website called Donation Boxes.ca, donors who are particular about where their items are going can search for the nearest DROPBOX, WAREHOUSE or OFFICE of their favourite charity .

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 9.36.31 pm

Need help finding where you can donate your goods?
Click here to view interactive form and map on DonationBoxes.ca

I think easy access to these boxes encourages people to think of donating their pre-loved items instead of chucking them in the recycling bin. These donation boxes make it possible for goods to be reused and repurposed.

So you have donated your gently pre-used items, now where do you go to bin the rest of the stuff that you wish to get rid of?  During my visit to Vancouver I witnessed how comprehensive recycling is in this coastal city from sorting to collection.

Take a look at these photos, taken at a downtown Vancouver condo recycling room. (Thanks to Linda Wortman for the photos)

Screen Shot 2014-07-24 at 10.08.16 pm

Basic recycling bin colours
White: cardboard
Blue: Paper
Yellow: Recyclable Containers


Condo management’s blue recycling bin guide


Condo management’s yellow recycling bin guide

IMG_0824 - Version 2

FYI for condo owners and tenants
Where does the money go?

So what if the items you need to get rid of do not belong to the white, yellow or blue bins at your condo’s recycling room. Where do you go then?

In Vancouver, the possible answer is — London Drugs…

London Drugs is pleased to offer its customers a convenient place to drop off these items and will gladly take back these products purchased at London Drugs for responsible recycling. On items not purchased at London Drugs, recycling fees will apply to offset recycling costs. London Drugs will waive these fees if the item was purchased at London Drugs and you have the receipt.

Recycling is just one part of London Drugs’ ‘What’s the Green Deal’ program, which also includes in-store green product information, a blog and web site where customers can learn more about shopping greener.

– Info from London Drugs


London Drugs In-store Recycling Centre
Olympic Village, Vancouver

Items recyclable at London Drugs that you may not immediately think of include:

– Binoculars and telescopes
– Mini stereo systems, Speakers – mini, medium, tower and sub-woofers
– Gaming systems – Atari, Playstation 1, Nintendo Cube, etc.
– Coffee Grinders, Hand Mixers, Blenders, Coffee Makers, Food Processors, Stand Mixers
– Curling Irons, Hair dryers, Irons, Foot Spas
– Hand Held Vacuums, Vacuums, Carpet Cleaners
– Humidifiers – Large and Small, House Hold Fans
– Microwaves, Bread makers, Toaster Ovens, Toasters
– Cell phones, PDAs, rechargeable batteries
– Disposable cameras, Metal film canisters
– Ink jet and Laser cartridges
– Plastic bags
– Styrofoam and Cardboard product packaging
– Insurance plastic folders
– Phones – corded and cordless, Televisions, monitors, printers, faxes, computers
– Media storages – CD, DVD, Floppy Disk, Tape cassette
– Calculators
– Camcorders, Film cameras, Digital cameras, Digital frames
– Clock radios, Two way radios, Car stereos/decks

Info from London Drugs

Also important for customers to know: London Drugs is Canada’s only major retailer to offer a packaging recycling program, where customers can leave the packaging at the customer service desks as they leave with their purchases – from perfume boxes and cardboard packaging; from toothpaste to Styrofoam; from a microwave purchase or a boxed appliance. All of this packaging, including Styrofoam peanuts, is recycled.

– Info from London Drugs

Is your item not in the above list ? Return it has all the answers you need to recycle electronics you don’t want.

If you think Vancouver is doing wonders already in the recycling department, check out its latest Multi-Materials Recycling ProgramOn May 19th, 2014, an ambitious new recycling stewardship program was launched in BC, intended to deal with paper and packaging waste, but incorporating a whole lot more.
Learn more on How BC’s new Multi Material Recycling Program works (and why it matters even if you DON’T live in BC!)

– Read more on green deal.ca


Info Graphic of the new Multi Materials Recycling Program
British Columbia(BC), Canada
Image from green deal.ca

The province of BC has been a leader in implementing such Extended Producer Responsibility (EPR) programs, and we now have 18 similar industry-funded solutions for everything from tires to lights, used oil, batteries and smoke alarms. Other provinces are watching, so stay tuned and see how this program evolves.

– Info from greendeal.ca

Indeed Vancouverites (& other BC folks) are showing the world what it takes to be truly BINevolent! Bravo Vancouver!

“…the care of the earth is our most ancient and most worthy and, after all, our most pleasing responsibility. To cherish what remains of it, and to foster its renewal, is our only legitimate hope.”
― Wendell Berry, The Art of the Commonplace: The Agrarian Essays
-Quote from goodreads.com

image for headerSo do… bin conscientiously and try to pass along what could still be useful.

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This entry was posted on July 23, 2014 by in Care and tagged , .
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