Recycle, compost or throw out: App helps you dispose of anything correctly

Do you know what can or cannot be recycled?. Mario Beauregard/The Canadian Press

What is the best way to dispose of an empty perfume bottle? What about an old vacuum or wine corks? Did you know you can throw animal hair and feathers in the compost?

Recyc-Québec launched its app, Ça va où ? (Where does it go?), in April to help Quebecers figure out exactly how to properly dispose of household items – including things we might not realize can be recycled or composted.

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The app has data on about 1,300 boroughs and territories in Quebec, with a list of over 800 recyclable household items.

“The app locates you and tells you which drop-off point is closest to you or suggests ways to reuse them,” said Brigitte Geoffroy, chief of operations at Recyc-Québec.

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If a product is not recyclable or compostable at home — like furniture or mirrors — the app will tell you where you can bring the items.

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If no eco-centre or drop-off points are accessible in your area, the app suggests bringing items that are in good condition to a nearby second-hand store.

To recycle, or not to recycle?

Geoffroy tells Global News that, despite common belief, aluminum can be put into the recycling, as long as it is rinsed thoroughly. She adds that because of the material’s high market value, it is a prized item.

Instant coffee pods are also recyclable as long as they are opened, washed and placed in a clearly labelled bag.

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Thin plastic products, like Ziplock bags, plastic wrap and frozen fruit bags can also be recycled when cleaned.

What about oil? Ça va où ? indicates that though cooking oils have to be thrown away, lamp oils can be brought into an eco-centre; engine oils and brake liquid can be dropped off at select car dealerships.

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Old felt pens and markers can be brought to a Bureau en Gros store for recycling as the store has a partnership with Terracycle.

Montreal residents can also bring their unusable, expired car seats to CAA-Québec, at 2380 Notre-Dame St. Ouest.

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CAA-Québec then sends the recyclable items to different companies to give them a second life.

For instance, Produits Re-Plast Inc. (1350 Quatre Saisons Rd., Notre-Dame-du-Bon-Conseil) buys recycled plastic and turns it into park benches, picnic tables and flower pots.

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“We buy what is commonly called post-consumable, which is everything that is connected in blue or green recycling bins, depending on the region. We take what comes out of sorting centers,” said Marc Francoeur, factory director of Re-Plast.

Montreal aims to make composting available to 540,000 homes by 2019.

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