Photo: How to dispose of problem junk

Find a green junk removal service in your area! (Credit: Green Coast Rubbish)

What if there was a magical service that came to your house to pick-up used paint cans, Styrofoam packaging, that broken shower rod, e-waste, moldy drywall, old carpet, empty milk cartons, and more?

I have seen the light, people. There is a recycling heaven. It's a new phenomenon called "green" junk removal. And you need it in your life.

There have always been companies to haul waste to the dump. But what about those items that need a little more care because they'll poison the environment if they end up in the landfill, or sorting and disposal smarts because they can be reused or recycled?

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Twice, over the years — armed with my trusty green coupons — I've ordered "green" junk removal services. (That's right, when I'm not researching your frequently asked questions about waste and recycling, I'm plotting cleaning up my own garage of horrors.)

Green Coast Rubbish, located in Vancouver, solved my recent disposal conundrum (and these boys sweep up after themselves, too). They're local experts in sustainable waste diversion for residents and businesses. And they will pick-up mattresses, appliances, furniture, tires, paint, pesticides, batteries, and a host of building materials.

Green Challenge Waste Management offers a similar service in Metro Vancouver and helps people who may be struggling with barriers to employment by providing training and jobs.

Planning a public event or neighbourhood festival? Urban Impact helps businesses and community organizers realize their zero waste dreams.

Who does "green" junk removal in your city?

(Comment on this blog for a chance to win a Green Zebra coupon book by Greenster. Draw date August 7.)

Lindsay Coulter, Queen of Green

July 22, 2012

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Aug 04, 2016
3:22 AM

Informative post. Most people who stay near waste filled land sites are prone to various health hazards and often experience fatigue, sleepiness and headache. I have often used the services of an eco-friendly disposal company called junk works . They recycle all the junk that they collect from different houses. During the collection process they sort out the junk into separate categories and then are organized for proper distribution in their facility.

Apr 13, 2016
6:30 AM

Nice article, Lindsay! It is true that most of the Rubbish Removal Companies don’t care about what will happen to the waste after it has been disposed into the landfills. This is why we should be very careful when hiring one, and we should insist to see if they are a fully licensed waste carrier. In therubbish removal Kingston upon Thames where I work we transport, collect and dispose the rubbish into a reliable and eco-friendly manner all the time.

Chris — Rubbish Removal Kingston Upon Thames

Sep 04, 2015
12:50 AM

Interesting article with important topic trash removal is necessary to keep our environment safe and disease free. 1800 junk

Aug 31, 2015
8:00 AM

Approaching September, it pains me to landfill the kids worn out school bags.

Jun 03, 2015
10:52 PM

Organizing a public event or local community event? Elegant Effect helps companies and community planners understand their zero waste wishes.

Visit for Skip Hire Services:

Oct 20, 2013
8:42 AM

Very good stuff

Apr 04, 2013
12:47 AM

Thanks for giving the suggestion for the disposal of junk removal. Disposing of junk or trash that has built up to monumental levels over the years can be an overwhelming task, which is why calling a residential junk removal service can be the best move you have ever made.

Feb 11, 2013
10:00 PM

I love your suggestions for recycling our unwanted “stuff”. May I suggest a great place to donate used tools, gardening items, etc? It’s Vancouver’s own Tool Library! It is a free tool loan spot. They are dedicated to increasing Vancouver’s sustainability and will loan tools AND offer instruction in using them. It’s a really great place and the volunteers that work there will be more than helpful. Located near Commercial Drive. Check it (and their tools) out!

Jan 30, 2013
11:50 AM

I have a question in regards to recycling old ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ batteries. I use mostly rechargeable batteries and I have recently found out that I can recycle these at some Home Depot stores which is great BUT what do I do with the bread bag full of old ‘one time use’ batteries that I have saved up??

I have done some investigating online and cannot find a place in Calgary that accepts old batteries. In fact the city suggests to put them out with the regular trash but I’m not comfortable with that and I’m a little stubborn :) Do you know where I can take my old, one time use ‘AA’ and ‘AAA’ batteries for recycling in Calgary? Thanks for your time and keep up the good work!

Nov 19, 2012
10:30 AM

Thank you for the post! A lot of people take junk removal in Calgary for granted. The fact that we don't even know that they are there most of the time means they are doing their job right. They do a great job!

Nov 16, 2012
2:28 PM

Thanks so much for sharing this! This really is great advice for junk removal. I have been meaning to figure out how to do this most efficiently and get it done in the best way I could. Thanks for sharing!

Aug 10, 2012
9:26 PM

Hi Queen

Who does green junk removal in kelowna?? Me!!! I started my biz in 2008 with my main focus on educating people about the dangers of floresent and cfl lightbulbs and batteries… I am the only composter in the area accepting food waste, for a fee… the rest is just giving the junk to other treasure hunters… I myself am always looking for Wax, wood, and Ski's 250 864 1969 winfield to westside…

Aug 09, 2012
1:25 PM

I live in a Calgary Housing Company (CHC) building, with over 200 suites. There are NO recycling or waste reduction initiatives within the building. From the time a person's waste is thrown down the chute, their is no accountability. I've spoken to management about providing re-cycling bins, but there is no interest from their standpoint? How can I attempt to change this?

Jul 31, 2012
2:35 PM

Virtually all our local junk removal services here in Hamilton ON, claim to donate and recycle 'as much as we can', and feature green prominently on their websites, either as their corporate colours, or pastoral scenes of trees and fields and whatnot. So amidst this green tsunami, how is a consumer supposed to know who has the best practises? Is there some type of certification, or does the consumer just have to take their word for it?

Jul 27, 2012
10:24 AM

In Victoria I can recommend Atlas Junk Removal These guys pride themselves on keeping waste out of the landfill. They arrive on time and are personable and efficient.

Jul 24, 2012
8:00 PM

I don't know who does green junk removal in my city. How can I find out?

Jul 24, 2012
6:40 PM

I haven't used this service (I drop hazardous wastes off at special collection sites), but "1-800 Got Junk?" apparently picks-up and recycle things like computer monitors (as part of the range of work they do). And they've got franchises all over the place.

Here's what they do in my city, Ottawa:

Is there any sort of environmental certification (like ISO 14000 or EcoLogo) that we should be looking for to instantly give us confidence that the company really recycles or otherwise safely disposes of hazardous wastes?

Jul 24, 2012
5:50 PM

When I see people just dumping anything I just quringe because I'm lke that can be reused, recycled,passed on etc. It is great to see people who are taking a more green approach. I just wish there was more across Canada :)

Jul 24, 2012
3:15 PM

It's awesome that companies are doing this well, but what about avoiding all of that green junk to begin with?

Jul 24, 2012
10:34 AM

I would love! to hear about such a service in Toronto.

Any suggestions?

Jul 23, 2012
1:34 PM

I wish I'd remembered these guys sooner because my small reno produced so much waste! I'll be sure to call them up to take the last few pieces away. That might ease my conscience a little.

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