A Garbage Amnesty for Coquitlam

I’m only writing this post because my born and bred Coquitlam friend recently told me about their recent Spring Clean-Up day, and used the hilarious phrase ‘garbage amnesty’. From the City of Coquitlam’s website:

Spring Clean Up allows for a reasonable amount of additional garbage for pick up, and it must only go out to the curb on the assigned collection day to avoid clutter in neighbourhoods.

What is a reasonable amount?

The maximum amount that would fit in the back of a regular sized pickup truck. Items should be placed at curb and kept in a neat and tidy fashion for pick up to occur.

I gather a lot of suburbs do the same thing, though sadly few call them garbage amnesties. Here’s an effusive blog post about Everything-Goes-Garbage-Week in Delta:

The best part is the few days before the big day. Treasure Days. You see, it’s totally kosher to walk around checking to see if there’s anything on a lawn that you may want. Walking my dog this evening, I saw tons of people casually walking around the neighbourhood, people driving around picking up extra lawn chairs, leftover plywood. It’s the best recycling program ever.

I assume this helps prevent illegal dumping, and keeps everybody’s yard cleaner.


  1. What’s neat and/or funny is driving around Coquitlam this time of year and seeing people pick through other people’s spring cleaning junk, looking for stuff they want to take.

  2. A friend and client from Coquitlam was on the phone with me last week and mentioned his neighbours all crawling through each other’s front yards looking for good stuff.

    What a great idea!

  3. The official “Treasures exchange” day here is coming up in June. We’ve got another set for late Septemberish I believe.

    I find it all kind of silly as every Sunday night in my neighborhood is treasure night, and it’s especially fruitful when the end of the month falls on or close to a weekend. I’ve collected lots of great stuff (clothing, umbrellas, books, dishes, a sofa, a padded chair, bed frame, lots and lots and lots of very usable kids toys, bails of hay for the garden, pattern making magazines, multiple baby strollers …) I usually do a walk about with a wagon. It’s allowed me frills that I wouldn’t normally get.

    I am aware that technically it is an illegal act and that the garbage is really under the ownership of the City when it hits the curb. I can’t stand the idea of seeing so much go to the dump when we could upgrade what we’ve got.

  4. I’ve seen this happen in Surrey when staying at my dad’s. I thought suddenly Whalley had taken a seemingly-impossible nosedive and then I was told about the garbage pickup.

    I guess they don’t do this in Vancouver? There are a few waterlogged couches in the alley behind my building…

  5. Victoria could certainly use this. Since moving here, it seems like many people are putting large items on their curbs anyways with sign’s announcing “FREE”. It always looks a little junky. At least if it was city-sanctioned, we could limit this behaviour to a single day of the year.

  6. I love “garbage amnesty.”

    To me, these clean-up days are like the biggest, bestest garage sale ever. It won’t surprise anyone that I go for the bikes.

    This year, a friend picked out an early-80s Kuwahara that was among the first mass-produced mountain bikes made. He took the (highly eBay-able) pedals and gave me the rest of this pristine bicycle. Seriously, it looked like it had done nothing but accumulate dust since 1983.

Comments are closed.

%d bloggers like this: