Going Green: Responsible junk removal and recycling

What do we do with our junk?


junk1Canadians produce more garbage than anyone else according to the Conference Board of Canada’s new study (CBC, 2013).  We are quick to replace furniture, electronics, and appliances with new purchases, leaving us puzzled as to the proper removal of old belongings.


Most apartment buildings have designated spaces where residents are instructed

to leave larger household items. The garbage truck picks up things like mattresses, old tube TV’s, mini fridges and computer chairs and hauls them off to the local landfill or recycling plant.


There are also locally advertised hauling services on offer through Craigslist. Usually, truck owners who work in the construction industry moonlight as haulers.  In truth, there is no way to check where these appliances will eventually end up, and they may just end up in a nearby back lane. This practice is against Municipal bylaws and punishable with a $2,000 fine. It also poses a mounting cost to taxpayers. City inspectors have to spend extra time and city resources sorting roadside trash and dropping it off at transfer stations (legal dump sites).


The first step to responsible junk removal is to look up the general number for your


City Hall and call to ask about the best way to remove the appliance in question from hour home. You can also inquire about a local program that can aid you in collecting, sorting, cleaning and processing materials.  These programs will reuse or re-make your junk and give it new life so that it doesn’t take up more space in the landfills.


The Greater Vancouver BC Garbage, Recycling and Waste Directory website has an exhaustive up-to-date list of recycling plants, programs, and transfer stations in Vancouver and surrounding municipalities:


Remove junk responsibly- Cleanestouch offers hassle-free hauling services. We

identified all the legal dumping sites and will take your unwanted junk to the nearest one.

Why Office Cleaning ? Workplace allergies may cost you your health

Why Office Cleaning? Allergy at work will cost you your health

A major work-related complaint is currently not about the recession or about bad bosses but about chronic allergies at the office.  Inadequate office cleaning and

lack of care for the work environment can make you feel ill when you need to feel the most productive.


The Canadian Lung Association lists itchy skin, eczema, runny nose, wheezing and coughing are common reactions to airborne allergens. Some symptoms may even surprise you: headaches, stomach cramps and hives.  The presence of allergens can zap your energy and make you feel brain fog.


According to WebMD and its online forum, your place of work contains more than 500 bacteria. Office clutter also attracts dust and particles that come from paper and human skin. Upholstered surfaces such chairs, as well as carpets and anywhere else that dust or mites might gather pose the biggest risk to your health.


How do you deal with bothersome and potentially painful reactions to allergens?  Some say that they insist on stringent office cleaning routines. Many clean around their desk once a week and wipe down their phones, headsets, chairs and keyboards. Those surfaces are most affected by skin shedding due to repeated contact.


Talk to your management about what is covered in the contract with the commercial cleaning company that services your building.  Unfortunately, most janitorial services focus only on visible dirt when they clean offices.  Write a memo asking for a weekly surface wipe-down and regular carpet cleaning, at least once a year.  The janitorial company may agree to wipe down most of your surfaces with damp paper towels, microfiber cloths or disinfecting wipes. You management may have to pay extra, but it may be worth it if it means decreasing employee sick days.