October 26th, 2023

Adeilah Dahlke of Jigsaw Organizing Solutions, a member of Green Economy Peterborough, carries a bag of donations destined for a community program in Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Adeilah Dahlke of Jigsaw Organizing Solutions, a member of Green Economy Peterborough, carries a bag of donations destined for a community program in Peterborough. (Photo courtesy of Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

The following column was co-written with Green Economy Peterborough member and recycling enthusiast Adeilah Dahlke of Jigsaw Organizing Solutions.

When getting yourself organized in the home and business, it is essential to focus on the decluttering process. Decluttering means removing unwanted or un-needed items from a cluttered area.

We have so many amazing resources in the Peterborough area which will help you divert your disposed items from the landfill. They can help you reuse/repurpose/recycle your old items, find a new home for the items, and ultimately help reduce the waste you have at home!

Start by finding new homes for your items. Habitat for Humanity and Vinnies are both fantastic options for donating unwanted items.

Habitat for Humanity takes household goods, building supplies, tools, kitchens and cabinetry, furniture, scrap metal, sports equipment, vacuums, all electronics (whether working or not), and more.

Vinnies takes household items, clothing, linens, hygiene products, working electronics, bicycles and some furniture.

Both of these places are registered non-profit organisations, and contribute back to our local community.

A collection of small items you may not know you can recycle or donate, including glasses, a fluorescent lightbulb, earbuds, a travel shampoo bottle, and a battery. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

A collection of small items you may not know you can recycle or donate, including glasses, a fluorescent lightbulb, earbuds, a travel shampoo bottle, and a battery. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Good Neighbours, YES Shelter, One City, One Roof, EFRY, Food Not Bombs, Kawartha Food Share, and Community Fridgeare also wonderful local resources to support if you want to reduce the waste you create. Your items can find a new purpose by being used to support these community programs.

Next, choose to recycle your items. The City of Peterborough Waste Wizard search engine on their website is a useful resource for identifying whether an item can be recycled or not. The Wizard is a great starting point for quick answers!

Ready to take your decluttering to the next level? Here are some specialty recycling or donation programs that you may not be aware of:

Batteries

Batteries of all shapes and sizes need to be disposed of with other Household Hazardous Waste (HHW). They can be dropped off at the HHW section at Pido Rd. or depending on the size, in the collection bins at GreenUP, Kingan Home Hardware, Staples, or Home Depot.

Chopsticks

Chopsticks can be recycled (used or new) at the Peterborough Public Library, where they’ve partnered with ChopValue, a company that repurposes chopsticks to make cutting boards and furniture.

Computers

Computers, accessories, LED/LCD monitors, network equipment and mobile phones can be donated to reBOOT in Peterborough. They will even clear off your data, and can provide a charitable donation receipt.

Chopsticks being dropped off at the Peterborough Public Library to be upcycled into furniture and cutting boards through ChopValue. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Chopsticks being dropped off at the Peterborough Public Library to be upcycled into furniture and cutting boards through ChopValue. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Textbooks

These can be dropped off at the new Textbooks For Change locations around Peterborough, all found at Trent University.

LED and Fluorescent Light Bulbs

These can also be recycled at HHW at Pido Rd. Regular incandescent bulbs must go in the trash.

Grocery Bags (Plastic or Reusable)

These are in high demand at thrift stores, where they can be used for purchases. Donate them to Vinnies or Habitat for Humanity!

Medications (Expired)

To properly dispose of old prescriptions and OTC medications, drop them off at your local pharmacy.

Textiles

If you have old clothing or fabric that is not reusable (hole-y socks, for instance), drop them off as material recycling at Pido Rd.

Towels/Blankets

Drop off old towels and blankets at the Peterborough Humane Society, where they use them to keep their animals cozy. They are in need of a wide range of items, so check out their site for more info!

Dried-up pens collected in a plastic bag and being recycled at Staples through their Terracycle program. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Dried-up pens collected in a plastic bag and being recycled at Staples through their Terracycle program. (Photo: Adeilah Dahlke / Jigsaw Organizing Solutions)

Oral Care Packaging

Empty toothpaste tubes, toothbrushes, and floss containers can be recycled through Terracycle, either through their mail-in program, or at the drop-off bin at GreenUP!

Printer Ink Cartridges & Pens/Markers/Writing Utensils

These can be recycled at Staples.

Paint Cans

These can be dropped off at the HHW section at Pido Rd.

Tires

Drop tires off at Canadian Tire! These tires will be recycled into rubber surfaces for children’s playgrounds.

New Personal Care Items

Never-opened menstrual products, toiletries, and toothpaste/toothbrushes can be donated to a Personal Care Bank, open 24/7 for people to access personal care items when/if needed! There are 2 locations currently in Peterborough (509 Gilchrist St. and 14 Alexander Ave.)

GreenUP accepts donated unwanted jars to be used to promote refill stations at the GreenUP Resource Centre. Refilling your previously used bottles prevents plastic waste from reaching the landfill. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

GreenUP accepts donated unwanted jars to be used to promote refill stations at the GreenUP Resource Centre. Refilling your previously used bottles prevents plastic waste from reaching the landfill. (Photo: Lili Paradi / GreenUP)

Who’s ready to reduce waste and get decluttering?

Adeilah Dahlke (she/her), owner of Jigsaw Organizing Solutions has been helping people declutter and organize their spaces since 2015. She is a member of GreenUP’s business program Green Economy Peterborough, and is passionate about creatively reducing the number of items being sent to the landfill.