Metro Vancouver urges residents not to illegally dump while cleaning up for spring

AS the region emerges from winter, Metro Vancouver is reminding anyone planning to spring clean that there are many convenient and affordable ways to recycle, donate or dispose of unwanted bulky items such as sofas and mattresses through the Waste in its Place online portal.

Abandoned waste is a major irritation for Metro Vancouver residents. While most people hate seeing couches, mattresses and appliances littering the streets, many still engage in illegal dumping. Of those polled in a recent survey, 57% of residents have the perception that disposing of bulky items is difficult, and 45% noted that cost was also a significant barrier.

“Abandoned waste is a costly problem for local municipalities, who collectively spend about $5 million per year on clean-up,” says Malcolm Brodie, Chair of the Metro Vancouver Zero Waste Committee. “We hope the Waste in its Place initiative will make the public more aware of the many cost-effective options currently available.”

The City of Delta is one of the municipalities with a cost-effective and convenient option for residents. Its annual Spring Clean-Up program over a 10-day period in April allows residents to place unwanted items on the curb for free collection by the city. Port Coquitlam also holds an annual garage sale, this year taking place on April 21, which gives residents a chance to declutter, make some cash and find a new home for reusable items. Many other municipalities offer free pick of up to four large items per household annually.

“Our aim is that by teaming up with our member municipalities, we can all work together to bring more attention to this issue and better educate residents on how to properly dispose of unwanted items,” says Metro Vancouver Chair Greg Moore. “Our residents all want to keep their neighbourhoods clean but many aren’t aware of available easy disposal options or the location of facilities throughout the region that accept bulky items.”

In 2017, municipalities reported the most frequently dumped items were mattresses, furniture, appliances, carpeting, tiles, green waste and larger amount of household garbage.

To find out what services Metro Vancouver municipalities offer for large item disposal, residents are encouraged to visit for disposal options, pop-up junk days and spring cleaning events.