Fall cleaning time: It's giveaway weekend in Winnipeg

Need to clean out your closets, basements and garages? Take your unwanted stuff out to the curb as part of the City of Winnipeg's fall giveaway weekend, which runs Saturday and Sunday.

Giveaway weekends have become a seasonal tradition in Winnipeg since the inaugural event took place in September 2009.

The city organized the giveaway weekends twice a year — once in the spring, and once in the fall — so residents can give their unwanted (but still usable) items new homes, keeping them out of the landfill as a result.

Have some stuff you want to get rid of? Here's what to do:

- Round up items such as books, CDs, furniture, toys, clothes, tools, household materials, kitchenware, etc. Giveaway items should still be in good condition.

- Mark each giveaway item with a FREE sticker or sign.

- Place the items at the edge of your curb, lawn or yard. While you're at it, put away other items nearby that you want to keep, or else they may disappear!

- If anything is left over, take it back into your home by dusk on Sunday.

Here's what NOT to do:

- Don't dump your items on someone else's property.

- Don't let your items block or hinder traffic.

- Don't give away items infested with bed bugs, such as mattresses or bedding.

- Don't give away toilets, either.

For those seeking new-to-you treasures this weekend, the city has some etiquette tips:

- Take only the items at the curb marked FREE.

- Respect other people's property — don't walk or drive on people's lawns or gardens.

- 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.

- Check all your acquired items closely for bedbugs before putting them in your vehicle or bringing them into your home.

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Mandatory mattress recycling mulled by Nova Scotia

The streets of Halifax — and many other university cities — are lined with mattresses this week heading for the big sleep of the landfill. Some are stained, nasty and broken, while others still have a spring in their step.

Some people, like professional mover Greg Slaunwhite, rescue the good ones and take them to places like the Parker Street Furniture Bank. 

"We'll take them down and somebody else moving in that doesn't have one will get a chance for $25 to get a mattress,” he said.

Staff at the food bank inspect them closely to make sure they're in good condition. 

"We also have a look at it to see that there are no obvious signs of bugs or anything else. Then we accept it and we bring it in and take a closer look at it, and it will go out when somebody wants it,” said Roy Uffindell.

95% recyclable

Mattress Mart encourages recycling. When a customer buys a new bed, their old box spring and mattress are sent to a recycling plant in Montreal for a $10 fee. About 95 per cent of the mattress is recyclable.

Once there, the mattress is shredded. The upholstery is incinerated to create energy; the metal springs are melted down and reused.

"That doesn't in any way cover the actual cost of recycling because it's shipped back to Montreal, so there's the gas, and at the warehouse it's ripped apart, so it's the labour for that," explained Elaine Grantham of Mattress Mart.

"It's significantly higher than the $10 fee to actually recycle a mattress.” 

Nova Scotia’s Department of Environment is preparing a report looking into increasing the levels of recycling for mattresses. One of the ideas is to put a mandatory fee on mattresses, and many other items including carpets and roofing materials. 

A report will be ready at the end of this month.

Halifax Regional Municipality looked at the idea in 2012, but so far nothing has come of it. 

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Bite-Sized News: Nobody panic but here's where…

Nobody panic but here's where bed bugs are showing up in Boston: "According to John Meaney, Assistant Commissioner of Boston's Inspectional Services Department, bed bugs have spread to every neighborhood of the city as more and more students (who move the most often) move here and adopt used beds and other furniture off of the streets." [Boston.com]

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Linkage: Development Near Metro North Stations; Trash Museum

Photo Pool/Jeff Friedkin]

· Advertising bigwig buys $8.25M Soho apartment [NYO]
· Water Tank Project: hey, look there are water towers [WSJ]
· Dive bar Subway Inn lives to fight another day [Gothamist]
· How has Fairway stayed alive for so long? [NYO]
· This sanitation garage's Trash Museum is so cool [Untapped]
· City wants to develop waterfront near Metro North stations [DNA]
· Exploring the history of the Columbus Park Pavilion [Daytonian]
· Scaffolding finally comes off East 10th St. house [EVG]
· Politicians want MTA to be more transparent about bed bugs [NYDN]
· Ever notice there are no statues of women in Central Park? [Vocativ]

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Linkage: More Bed Bugs on N Train; Statue of Liberty Musical; More

Photo Pool/Axel Taferner]

· City to remove unnecessary scaffolding on public housing [WSJ]
· Top mathematicians try to solve CitiBike distribution [CityLab]
· New musical tells the story of the Statue of Liberty [DNAinfo]
· 'Three Sisters' production will have poor door for 'serfs' [BP]
· The history of East 75th Street's automobile stables [Daytonian]
· Amazingly, some Manhattan apartments getting less pricey [DNA]
· Oh great, bed bugs discovered on another N train [NY1]
· Straphangers call for permanent G-to-J/M transfer [NYDN]

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Opinion: Blisters, bruises, bumps, bites – life on the Camino is tough but worth every minute

I have just returned from a stint on the wonderful Camino de Santiago. Everyone I mention it to says how they “have always wanted to do it”… “one day”. They have a wonderful romantic idea of strolling through the Spanish countryside, ‘finding themselves’ on the way to Santiago. Martin Sheen has a lot to answer for in this regard.

I guess it’s cheaper and less intimidating than India.

I am not in any way suggesting that this romantic notion isn’t entirely true. There are, however, a few little tips you may want to take on board before you find yourself smothering in a room full of stuffy snorers. Wondering how you’re going to walk 30k as the morning fast approaches. With no sleep. Not to mention that newly-formed blister on your baby toe.


When packing for the Camino, less is definitely less. If at all possible bring nothing. Ok, maybe nothing is a stretch, but that comfy top that you think you can’t live without… can be lived without. You will resent any extra weight – even if it does bring out the colour in your eyes.

The Spanish Inquisition

Possibly the best thing about the Camino is the people. You will meet people from all walks of life. Pun intended. One of the more interesting ones came in the form of a 6’6” Basque man. He drank beer for breakfast and had a voice that echoed up from his tremendous belly. I’m not quite sure how, or indeed if, he walked at all.

You do have to be prepared, however, for the inquisitive pilgrim. The one who wants to know “why you’re doing this” (said in my best Ozzie accent). You feel a certain amount of pressure when someone asks this, but the honest answer is that I was doing it because I could. This answer tends to both disappoint and surprise at the same time. I also discovered that when someone asks this question what they really mean is: “Ask me why I’m doing this.” And so it’s best to just ask. Let them divulge their motivator for a month of blisters and bedbugs.


At some point on the Camino you will have your endurance and pain barrier tested. It usually comes in the form of blisters but it can adopt many guises. Blisters, bruises, bumps, bites, strains, overly-inquisitive travelling partners – anything really.

I found that the easiest way to push on through this is to equate it with negative equity in Ireland. Its affects pretty much everybody, it hurts, but the fact that everybody is going through it makes it slightly easier to bear. In fact, other people are usually worse off. They appear to have invested a lot more.

The saying “walk a day in my shoes” really rings true here – I was wincing at my swollen feet and freshly pounded toes when a fellow pilgrim hobbled by minus the epidermis on his heel.


Some folk think of the Camino as a fast fix weight loss programme. Unless you are actually prepared to go on a diet while on Camino then this is just simply not the case. No amount of walking could possibly counteract the amount of bread and red wine I consumed on my Way.

The Pilgrim’s Menu, although not a treat for the culinary adventurous, is as substantial as you can get for a whopping €8. Starter, main and dessert. Oh and a bottle of wine.


If you are doing the Camino you will have to contend with sleeping conditions you haven’t encountered since you were stuck on an overnight boat from Koh Pha Ngan to mainland Thailand. The problem is that the boat journey was a once off – your Camino is a nightly affair. You’ll be amazed by the variety of snores there are out there and people’s ability to bag-rustle from 4am on is quite astounding. Once you climb onto your top bunk, assess the likelihood of bed bugs, start thinking about the mileage and terrain in store, the most you can hope for is an hour or two a night… even with the help of vino tinto.


The routine is at once both the best and worst thing about the Camino. You may find yourself driven slowly insane by night five, as yet again you wash, pack, prep. Once you start putting one foot in front of the other the following day, however, all of the previous evening’s frustrations fade away with the rising sun. Spiritual or personal reflection may not be the purpose of your Way, but it’s hard to avoid. There is something about walking long distances in stunning surroundings that prompts reflection. If this doesn’t happen then perhaps your mirror is broken.

So now, as I snuggle up in my cosy bed with my feet returned back to their regular size 6, you may wonder if I enjoyed it.

In a heartbeat I’d trade this cosy bed for the bandy bunk on Camino. Why? I can’t quite explain. Maybe it’s the views, the freedom, and the lack of gadget-based distractions. Or maybe it’s just getting to hang out with handsome Italians on sunny evenings, sipping on vino tinto.

Michelle McBride tweets at @MichelleBride and blogs at MissUnderstood Teacher.

Mary Poppins is 50 today

10 undeniable signs that you’re obsessed with getting a dog

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Linkage: South Loop AMLI Apartments; Bed Bugs on CTA; More

amlinkage08182014.png [photo via the Curbed Chicago Flickr pool/HidalgoPhotography]

·South Loop AMLI apartments update [Chi Arch Blog]
·Why real estate investors just can't quit Chicago [Crain's]
·Five bad habits every agent should avoid [Chi Agent Mag]
·St. John church condo project moving forward [DNAinfo]
·Bed bugs spotted on the CTA [Chicagoist]
·Chicago Motor Club Building becoming a hotel [Chicago Tribune]
·A new Golden Age for Airstreams [NPR]

Read more [...]

The MTA Is Investigating A Report Of Bedbugs On A Third NYC Subway Line

Bed Bug Train

Mike Nudelman

An artist's rendering of human-sized bedbugs riding on a train.

According to a tipster who sent a horrifying account of his morning commute to Business Insider on Wednesday, bedbugs have been spotted on New York City's 7 train. The  Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs New York's subway system, told us it is investigating the report. 

This would be the third subway line to have a bedbug sighting in the past week.

"I am a regular 7 line rider in New York. I take the line every morning from Woodside to Bryant Park. This morning, I noticed them coming out from under the seat to feed on people's legs," Kedem Deletis wrote in an email to Business Insider. "I was on the 7 express train, which arrived at Bryant Park at 10 a.m. The cart I was in was one or two carts behind the center operator cart."

Early last week, subway cars on the N line were fumigated after bedbugs were found on board. Days later, more bedbugs were found on the N and a rider reported seeing the creatures on a 5 train.

Deletis told Business Insider he called the Metropolitan Transit Authority, which runs New York's subway system, and "was treated pretty bad with the person on the line asking me what kind of proof I have."

"What exactly should I have done? Raised a panic on the train and have people screaming and hurt?" Deletis asked. "Maybe captured one of these bedbugs and risk bringing one home?"

Deletis said he was certain the insect he saw was a bedbug because he had an infestation in his building "about four years ago" and "that nightmare experience made every resident an expert."

MTA spokesman Kevin Ortiz said the MTA would "follow up" on Deletis' report. Deletis received an email from Art Kelly, an  MTA email and customer correspondence manager, on Wednesday afternoon.

" This is in response to your call regarding bedbugs on subway trains," Kelly wrote. " Please be assured that pest-control personnel will continue to be dispatched to trains and employee crew rooms where bedbugs have been reported. They will inspect for bedbugs and fumigate as necessary." 

Another MTA spokesman, Adam Lisberg, told Business Insider officials follow up on all reported bedbug sightings in the subway.

"It is impossible to check all 5.5 million daily subway customers for bedbugs before they enter the system, but when we get a report we investigate immediately and fumigate if necessary," said Lisberg.

According to Ortiz, the last time the MTA had multiple bedbug problems in the subway was 2008, soon after infestations began a resurgence in New York.

"We previously had an issue with bed bugs right around the time in 2008 when the city first noticed there was an issue. Bedbugs were sighted on wood benches in a couple of stations," Ortiz said.

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Singapore: Eighty-Year-Old Lives with Bed Bugs for over 20 Years

An 80-year-old man in Singapore has been living with bed bugs for over 20 years, AsiaOne has reported.

Over 10 volunteers spent eight hours cleaning the man's house to rid him off the parasites using chemicals and tools, such as adhesive tape and a sand chisel, one of the volunteers told AsiaOne.

Upon entering the man's house, located in Redhill, Singapore, bed bugs rained down on the volunteers as they cleaned the ceiling.

Another volunteer named Chen said there were maggots on the octogenarian's dining table which she cleaned out with hot water.

Dr. Cho, a specialist family doctor, said bed bugs do not cause illnesses but people with sensitive skins can develop an itchy rash. If the wound is scratched, the person might need to be hospitalised and given a jab.

To prevent bed bugs, Dr. Liu, a family doctor, says pillows and mattresses need to be exposed to the sun regularly and the house needs to be sprayed with insecticides.

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