Giveaway Weekend and other options that make a difference

If you are planning on moving, or just feel the need to do some purging of all the unwanted items cluttering up your home — not to judge, I’ve been there — then fall is an excellent time to do it.

More specifically, this weekend is the best time to purge because the second and last Giveaway Weekend of the year in Winnipeg — the next one isn’t until spring next year — is being held from Saturday to Sunday, October 16 and 17. This is your chance to reduce waste that ends up in the landfill and be an environmentally conscious person by giving reusable, unwanted items a new home.

Remember, one person’s trash is another person’s treasure! I’m not ashamed to admit that I’ve grabbed an item or two that someone has put out with the trash. By far my favourite is a 1950s solid wood stepping stool with fold-away steps that I picked up 25 years ago and still use today. Happy homes are waiting for your unwanted items!

Upcyling during Giveaway Weekend is super simple. Place your unwanted items at the curb and mark as “free”. Be absolutely certain you remove any other nearby items that you don’t want to have accidentally taken away. For example, remind your children not to drop their bicycles or scooters near the “free” items to avoid nasty surprises later. Then, remember to remove any remaining items by dusk on Sunday evening.

Following are a few giveaway rules and tips:

• Take only the items at the curb marked “FREE”.

• Check all items that you pick up closely for bed bugs before you put them in your vehicle or bring them into your home.

• Respect other people’s property – don’t walk or drive on people’s lawns or gardens.

• Giveaway items should still be usable and in good condition.

• Don’t discard any items on another person’s lawn.

• Obey the traffic laws at all times (e.g., don’t block traffic, park illegally or block people’s driveways with your vehicle) and watch out for children.

Here’s what you can do with any items that aren’t picked up by Sunday:

• Use the Recyclepedia to learn where items should go — a 4R Winnipeg Depot or a local charity — by visiting

• Consider donating unwanted items to Goodwill Industries (visit for locations around the city); or Salvation Army thrift stores (during business hours), donation centres or the warehouse located at 25 Furniture Park Road (off Gateway) or arrange pick-up of large items (i.e. furniture) by calling 1-800-PLS-GIVE (1-800-757-4483).

• The Canadian Diabetes Association.

• Local community gifting groups, many of which are found on Facebook by searching for ‘Buy Nothing’ and choosing your local area’s group.

• Bulky items (e.g., furniture, mattresses) left at the curb won’t be picked up with regular garbage collection. Contact 311 or arrange for a large item pickup online, for a fee.

• Leftover construction and renovation material won’t be picked up with regular garbage collection. Please take it to a landfill.

If you do have mattresses to get rid of, before dumping them out in the rain, consider calling Centre Flavie. The Centre Flavie strives to be an effective ally in the battle against poverty and you can easily help make a difference. They are also one of the few and possibly only places that take used mattresses to recondition and pass on to very grateful clients. They also host Boutique Unique, a secondhand and vintage boutique created to help raise long-term sustainable funding for Centre Flavie with 100% of its profits redirected back into their essential services. They’re located at 301 Archibald Street. You can also call 204-231-9513 or visit for info.

Do you have bulky old electronics to get ride of as well? You’re in luck! Did you know that Saving Audio Recycling will pick up old audio items for free? Thanks to the volunteers at this grass roots environmental organization — who have the expertise, experience and diagnostic equipment to bring the old back into new usable condition — each piece of stereo equipment received is either fixed up, or has parts saved to help get something else up and running again in the future. Recycling occurs as a last resort. Repaired items are then donated to local not-for-profit organizations.

Saving Audio will accept amplifiers, loudspeakers, record players/turntables, receivers and tuners, reel to reel or cassette tape decks, CD or MP3 players and “Walkmans”, AM/FM/Shortwave radios, audio mixers, microphones, headphones, processors, boomboxes, cables, etc. You can find a home for it all by calling Saving Audio Recycling at 204-257-7575 and a volunteer will arrange a time with you to come pick things up. Free drop-off is also available. For more information on what electronics they accept, visit their website at