It’s almost spring, and we know what that means – spring cleaning!

Of course spring isn’t just about “cleaning” – there’s usually quite a bit of decluttering to be done as well. Outside, garages, sheds, and yards accumulate tons of junk. Inside, basements, attics, and spare rooms pile up junk just as quickly.

And it’s not enough just to figure out what to get rid of. If you’re at all eco-conscious, you also don’t want to just throw everything in the landfill. If something still has some life in it, you’d likely prefer to donate it. You’d like to recycle things as appropriate. And then you’d throw away only the things that are truly “used up”.

Fortunately, Eau Claire has a number of organizations that accept donations, take recycling, and help you make eco-conscious decisions as you’re working through your piles clutter. No matter what you have, the odds are good you’ll be able to dispose of it in an eco-friendly way.

  • General thrift stores are usually happy to have your old books, clothes, and other household items. Some thrift stores specialize in home furnishings and building supplies, and they’ll be happy to take furniture, tools, building supplies, wood, and other “home improvement” type items. And food pantries are always happy to have all those canned goods from your kitchen and pantry that you’re not likely to ever eat. Our favorite places to donate include:
  • Recycling facilities will take appliances, metal, electronics, and more. If you have a large amount of metal, you can even sell it and get paid! Scrap metal is worth money, so if you have a big pile of metal – even if it looks a little bit “ugly” – there’s a good chance that a metal recycler will give you some money for it. Always call and ask.
  • Yard waste can be put curbside twice a year in Eau Claire. Your regular garbage service will pick it up. This spring the dates are May 1st-5th, and this fall the dates are November 6th-10th. Some residential garbage services also offer year-round yard waste pickup with your regular trash service – we recommend Earthbound Environmental if that’s something you’re interested in. And even if there’s not a scheduled yard waste pickup in the near future, Eau Claire also has a “green waste facility” on Jeffers Road that will take your yard waste. Just load it into your vehicle and drop it off.
  • Hazardous materials (paints, oils, aerosols, propane cylinders, etc.) can be brought in for recycling during Eau Claire’s “Clean Sweep” events. This year the events are May 13th, July 22nd, and September 16th.
  • The things you can’t donate or recycle can usually go curbside during Eau Claire’s spring & fall cleanup pickups between April 17-21 and Oct 2-6. You haul it to the curb, and they haul it off. Check with your residential garbage service provider for details. If you have a large enough load, it may even be worth taking to the local transfer station or landfill yourself. That has a cost associated with it, but you can do it any time of year – and it’s usually significantly less expensive than getting your garbage company to haul it off.

This may seem daunting, but it’s not that challenging when you do a little bit of planning.

  • Plan a yard/property walkthrough for the week before the yard waste pickups. Identify big items that need to go, and make plans to put it curbside during the free pickup days.
  • Plan to start your “spring cleaning” at least two weeks before the free pickup days. Going through everything can take time, so it’s best to give yourself a couple weeks’ head start.
  • Plan your trips to donation/recycling centers. If you have a spot in the garage or basement to put things temporarily, gather up boxes of things for the thrift store or recycling center, and run them to the donation/recycling center when you get enough to make the trip worth it. There are also junk removal companies – like us – that will come pick up your piles of stuff and even haul it out of your home for you.

And our final tip? Don’t let this all stress you out. It’s okay to give yourself time to relax, breathe, and handle this at your own pace. If the stress gets to be too much for you, just give us a call and we’ll come out and do it all for you – loading it up, sorting it out, and making sure that everything gets donated, recycled, or disposed of in the most environmentally-friendly manner possible.

No matter what “spring cleaning” looks like for you, we hope the above tips set you on the right path for both a cleaner home and a cleaner planet!

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