spring-cleaningIt’s that time of year again. The often dreaded, yet necessary process of clearing out the winter’s dust bunnies and welcoming the renewal of spring.

It usually involves more than a couple of bags of garbage, a trip to a recycling depot, and quite possibly a ride to the dump.

You might not think that spring cleaning has much to do with helping the homeless – but you’d be surprised.

Here are 5 ways that recycling can provide for the men and women at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

1. Clothing Donations

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Your gently used clothing is always in need.

The men and women at the Calgary Drop-In Centre have limited resources. Their incomes rarely allow for the luxury of buying new clothes. And yet, because they can only carry one or two changes of clothes with them any given time, their clothing wears out quickly.

Your generous donation to our Free Clothing Store gives us the constant supply of pants, shirts, sweaters, shoes and jackets we need to provide our clients the basic dignity and right to proper clothing.

Before you throw out last season’s fashions, consider donating them to the men and women at the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

2. Cloth Donations

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What about those clothing items with rips and tears, broken zippers, or missing buttons? Or how about your old worn out washcloths and towels – blankets, shower curtains or window blinds?

Believe it or not, we can make good use of those too! The Calgary Drop-In Centre has an established partnership with local fabric recyclers who pay us a premium for old and worn out material.

Don’t worry about cleaning it, if there are stains, or if you think it’s damaged beyond repair. Just bring it to us and we promise it will be put to good use.

Not only will you save it from the landfill, but you’ll be helping to fundraise for meals, shelter, counselling, medical services and the myriad other programs for Calgary Drop-In Centre clients.

3. Computers

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With the rate that devices improve these days, it seems we go through one every couple of years. But that leaves us with the problem of what to do with the old ones when they’ve been replaced.

From an environmental standpoint, these items should NEVER be thrown in the garbage. Sensitive items such as batteries and heavy metals will leach into the ground and cause all sorts of nasty pollution. They need to be recycled.

Whether it’s an old cell phone, laptop, tower computer or monitor – we can help – in 2 ways!

Our Computers for Low Income Calgarians program refurbishes and re-purposes old computers for homeless and low income clients who would otherwise not be able to afford to buy one. If we can, we will make sure your old and unused device stops gathering dust. We make sure it gets a new lease on life in a deserving home.

We also have close partnerships with local electronics recyclers who pay us for any broken, significantly out of date or unusable electronics. It doesn’t matter how old it is, whether it is fully intact, whether it’s broken or operational. They re-purpose the parts for new devices and make sure those precious and hazardous materials stay out of the landfill.

(Not to mention providing for many of the Calgary Drop-In Centre’s programs and services.)

4. Scrap Metal

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Everyone knows that copper is a particularly hot commodity. But what about aluminum and other scrap metals such as steel, tin, wrought or cast iron?

If you chose to recycle your scrap metal yourself, you might expect to make a few dollars – perhaps enough for gas money to cover the trip to the depot and back. But if you brought it to the Calgary Drop-In Centre, it would go a long way to helping men and women in need.

Whatever you have in your garage or basement, if you don’t need it, bring it to us. We will go through the effort of separating it and sending it off to recyclers who pay us for it based on the type of metal. Of course copper provides the highest return, but everything is of value.

Added up, it can be a great fundraiser – not to mention a good way to free up some space in your home.

5. Bottles & Cans

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When you think of recycling, bottles and cans are probably the first thing that springs to mind.

Sure, you paid a small deposit on all your bottles and cans when you bought juice, milk or soda. But by the time you’re ready to recycle, you’ve pretty much forgotten about it. So even though it can provide some pocket change when you make a trip to the bottle depot, you can also use that money to make a real difference.

What might net you $20.00 can literally generate thousands of dollars per year for a non-profit such as the Calgary Drop-In Centre.

If you’ve noticed the empties stacking up in your garage or basement this winter, skip the lines at the bottle depot and leave them with us instead. We’ll make sure your donation makes a real difference for someone in need.

We accept donations: Mon – Wed: 8 am – 6 pm;  and, Thurs – Sun: 8 am – 4 pm at our Donations Centre located at 3640 11A Street NE, Calgary AB.