Montreal

Just in time for spring cleaning, Renaissance wants your unneeded belongings

The Quebec non-profit will take your belongings at their stores and depots, from clothes to books to furniture, and they will also recycle old electronics.

Not-for-profit holding its annual spring drive for donations

Have some clothing you haven't worn in years? Renaissance can help find it a new home. (Submitted by Evelyn Casey )

As you're doing your spring cleaning this season, think about how to give your excess clothing and household items a new life — or at least keep them out of the trash bin.

Quebec non-profit-organization Renaissance will take your belongings at their stores and depots, from clothes to books to furniture, and they will also recycle old electronics.

Renaissance is in the middle of their annual spring drive and general manager Éric St-Arnaud spoke with Sonali Karnick on CBC Montreal's All in a Weekend about what types of items they're looking for.

They receive goods from more than one million people in a year, but spring is the busiest season.

The non-profit accept electronics, but not everything can be sold. When they receive electronic items that aren't fit for the shelves, they go to EPRA-Québec, who take apart and recycle the individual parts.

"With every single thing that the people are giving us, if we're unable to sell it, we will do something with it," St-Arnaud said of their environmental mission.

They encourage people to buy used goods to keep them out of landfills and to donate items that you would normally give to family and friends. They are able to sell about half the goods they receive, and recycle 80 per cent of the inventory that doesn't make it to the shops.

Some of the items Renaissance accepts:

  • Clothing and shoes
  • Jewellery and other accessories
  • Kitchen utensils and dishes
  • Small electronics such as cameras, alarm clocks and air conditioners
  • Books
  • Vinyl records
  • Sports equipment

They cannot accept:

  • Mattresses
  • Box springs
  • Big electronics such as vacuums, stoves and fridges
  • Opened cans of paint, varnish or solvents

The organisation is not only a network of shops selling used goods. They also have a work-reintegration program for people ages 18 to 65.

"Anyone can go through the program if they haven't worked, have a problem to keep a job or have been out of the workforce for years," he said.

Renaissance now offers employment centers at some of their locations as well, offering help with resumés and job interviews.

The majority of the funding for the program comes from the sales at their stores.

There are 50 Renaissance locations across the island of Montreal, South Shore and Laval. Consult their website for more information and to find the location closest to you.

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