Too much stuff in the garage to fit the car … or the bike? From that old, broken fridge to the vinyl bag of bowling balls, ‘tis the season for spring cleaning. Metro’s Judie Miller showed Janice Bangs how to reduce, reuse and recycle to get your garage in shape for summer.
Wondering what to keep? Determine whether you need the item now or will use it in the next year. If neither, read on to the other options below. Before buying new items, consider renting or borrowing what you don’t regularly use – for example, camping gear, tools for a one-time project or tableware for a party.
No use for that sewing machine or sporting equipment? If your unwanted items are in good working condition without need for repair, consider selling them at a garage sale or using online services such as Craigslist or eBay. Other options include consignment shops and newspaper classified listings.
Donate or give away
Not enough value to make selling the items worthwhile? If they’re in good condition without need for repair or cleanup, many local nonprofit organizations will accept them – whether home furnishings, clothing, tools or other useful items. Call Metro Recycling Information to find the closest donation option for your materials. To give away still-good items that nonprofits don’t accept, consider a classified ad or the online network Freecycle.
If items need repair or appear too damaged for reuse, resale or donation, try recycling instead. Is it mostly metal? Does it have a plug? Is it electronic? Is it easily disassembled? Call Metro Recycling Information for recycling options on common and unusual materials.
Can’t sell, donate or recycle the item? Then it’s probably garbage. Still, some materials – wood, for example – cost less to dispose of when separated from regular garbage. For disposal options and tips on sorting waste, call Metro Recycling Information.
Want more spring-cleaning ideas? From reducing junk mail to properly disposing of paints, pesticides and other hazardous waste, visit Metro's website or call Metro Recycling Information at 503-234-3000 for help.