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As Matt and I continue to visit summer events across Metro Vancouver, we feel as though we have been uptown, downtown, across town, and outta town letting British Columbians know their many recycling options. That’s why last weekend we made sure to head to New Westminster’s Uptown Live festival, where we aimed to highlight one program in particular – the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute of Canada (OPEIC) program. At this annual free, summer indie music festival in the heart of New Westminster, we had a fun day of catching local bands, and helping people find where they can recycle outdoor power equipment, such as lawnmowers, weed whackers, leaf blowers and more.

For this event, we decided to revamp our recycling game at the OPEIC booth and introduced a new bean bag toss. We had an excellent time inviting kids and families to toss bean bags into the correct recycling bin, handing out our popular green OPEIC frisbees, and starting the conversation about where to take any broken, old, or unwanted outdoor power equipment for recycling. After the event, we had so many fantastic questions and queries about the upkeep and recycling of outdoor power equipment, that we decided to break down the process into some simple steps.

The first thing to know about the OPEIC recycling program is that it offers a free and convenient way to drop off outdoor power equipment when it has reached the end of its lifespan. The program specifically accepts over 20 types of electric-powered outdoor equipment, better known as the tools you use to tame your garden. Although they are not part of the OPEIC program, many of these collection sites may also accept fuel-powered outdoor power equipment at their discretion. Accepted products include:

  • Lawnmowers
  • Weed Whackers
  • Chainsaws
  • Pressure washers
  • Garden sprayers
  • Mulchers
  • Woodchippers
  • and many more! Find a complete list here.

OPEIC booth at Uptown Live

3 steps to recycling your outdoor power equipment

  1. Say you have a broken or unwanted lawnmower, or some type of failing power equipment. First, explore the options of getting it fixed or find a friend, charity, or donation shop that has a use for it. A lot of times lawnmowers can be fixed or donated to extend their lifespan, so consider this before you recycle.
  2. If the power equipment is no longer in good working condition, it may be time to recycle it. There are many locations across BC, such as recycling and scrap metal depots that accept OPEIC products for recycling. It’s worth recycling these equipment because we can keep them out of landfills and recover any materials that can be used in the manufacturing of new products. It is all in an effort to rely on less new materials and resources for these products.
  3. Bring it to be recycled! Find which recycling location will accept your outdoor power equipment through OPEIC’s collection site locator. Before you go, ensure that any gasoline or oil has been removed (you can recycle this as well, find out where here!) from the equipment. If you happen to have a collection of parts that are mostly comprised of metal, collection sites should also be able to accept these parts. 

You are now on your way to recycling any old, unwanted outdoor power equipment that’s been hanging around, taking up space. Be sure to visit the OPEIC website for more information on accepted items, FAQs and locations!

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