Green your (big) garbage

How not to dump your big trash

How not to dump your big trash

Moving, renovations, failed garage sales. The one thing these all have in common is that you seem to have way too much stuff, and a lot of it is too big to fit into your garbage can. But what do you do to get rid of it?

It won’t fit curbside, and the last time you tried burning an old dresser in the backyard fire pit you learned a hard lesson in burning wood you shouldn’t. But there are solutions. Read on for the greenest ways to dispose of your biggest trash in Edmonton.

First let’s assume that what you’re throwing away really is trash. If it isn’t trash, skip a little further down.

Big Trash in the City

During the summer, Edmonton runs a great program called Big Bin Events, accepting appliances big and small, used furniture, or home electronics, free of charge. Don’t take these events for granted, not many cities run such an event, and they are the envy of many of our prairie neighbours, including Calgary. Bring as much as you can safely secure to your vehicle to these events.

These events are a win-win for Edmontonians and for the city’s Waste Management team. You get to get rid of a truckload of junk at a local spot, and the waste management teams get to pre sort everything before hauling it away, increasing their efficiency, and saving operation costs. They don’t accept commercial waste or household hazardous waste, but you can take that to your local eco-station, and we’ll cover just what counts as hazardous in a later post.

If it isn’t Big Bin season and it must go now – take a trip out to the dump. It is an incredibly smooth process, and generally there isn’t a line. Which for a small fee, can be worth the weight of your load in saving time and getting service when you need it.

What if it isn’t trash?

Sometimes, what is trash to you will be a much-needed item to someone else. If it is in really good shape, consider selling it on Kijiji, or post it to Freecycle. There are also several great charities in Edmonton that are happy to help find new homes for gently used furniture, appliances, and electronics. The Thrift Store is one, and your local church or youth group will often help you find donation locations. If you want to find a great charity to donate your gently used items to, check out this great Reuse and Recycle web app.

2014 Big Bin Events Schedule

All events will run from 9am-5pm.




May 3 & 4 Commonwealth Stadium 112 Avenue & 90 Street
May 10 & 11 Callingwood 17740 – 69 Avenue
May 24 & 25 Castle Downs 11520 – 153 Avenue
May 31 & June 1 Ellerslie Facility 2415 – 101 Street SW
June 7 & 8 Blue Quill 11304 – 25 Avenue
June 14 & 15 Woodcroft 13915 – 115 Avenue
June 21 & 22 Northlands 11203 – 73 Street
August 16 & 17 Jasper Place 9200 – 163 Street
August 23 & 24 Blue Quill 11304 – 25 Avenue
September 6 & 7 Kennedale 12810 – 58 Street
September 13 & 14 SW District Yard 6609 – Gateway Blvd
September 20 & 21 Castle Downs 11520 – 153 Avenue

An Energy Feasability Study can save you money for your home.

Dandelion Renewables is a vibrant company that has just emerged in the Alberta renewable energy market, but already earned a reputation of a strong and knowledgeable team. Dandelion Renewables specializes in solar/wind assessments and installations, feasibility studies and energy conservation. The head of the company Mikhail Ivanchikov was working in the renewable sector for the last 7 years. “Now is the exciting time for energy conscious people in Alberta. Thanks to all energy options available on the market and declining costs for solar power, our company can implement energy solutions that not only benefit the environment, but improve the bottom line of our customers”, says Mikhail.

We talked to Paul and Maggie McCourt from Edmonton. Few years ago they began building their dream home in Entwistle area West ofMikhail installing the Solar Panels at the McCourt's Edmonton. It is a straw-bale building that is designed to leave as little impact on the environment as possible.  After walls were erected McCourts started to look for the options to get the power for the house. The estimates for connecting to the grid were astonishing. After paying for the interconnection, they would still have to pay the electrical bill every month. McCourts did not like this idea and they started to look for an alternative ways. In summer 2011 Paul contacted Dandelion Renewables. The feasibility study showed that the cost could be cut significantly. Paul was contemplating the idea of wind turbine, but the studies proved solar to be more viable solution from economic point of view. McCourt’s decided to build 2.7KW off-grid PV system. “It works well and supports all our electrical needs”, says Paul McCourt, “We are very happy with it.”
“Solar power nowadays is much more affordable than many think it is.” adds Mikhail. By educating customers about best energy options Dandelion Renewables quickly gains a lot of interest and appreciation by customers. Mikhail believes that  solar energy is poised to grow in Alberta in the nearest future.

Learn more about Mikhail and Dandelion Renewables, or connect with them on Twitter or Facebook.

Green Energy Futures lets you keep up with Green

Green Energy Futures is a new multi-media series about people involved in green energy solutions at home, in their businesses or their communities. Every week they produce an online video, a mini radio feature, a blog, photos and newspaper column on people involved with everything from solar to geothermal energy. Does geothermal make sense in your home? How can I get solar on my home or business. Or who is Canada’s biggest wind energy entrepreneur? Learn all this and more.

Here is a sample video story on Enmax’ Generate Choice solar program for Alberta homeowners. Learn more at