Completing a Home Remodel Project? 4 Materials You Can Recycle



Old and scrap construction materials quickly clutter rooms and outdoor spaces during a home remodeling project. Homeowners, renters, and landlords often dispose of this waste by renting a dump trunk or dumpster to haul it away, but these methods result in the dumping of recyclable materials in landfills. Yet, factors like raw material search and processing costs, climate change, inflation, and pollution have prompted companies and individuals in recent years to try to find more efficient and inexpensive ways to gather certain construction-related materials. As a result, you can help extend the cycle of those materials and potentially save or make some money in the process:

1. Wood and Wood-Based Composites

You can reuse wood and wood-based composite materials from old furniture, walls, floors, cabinets, and other pre-existing sources, new lumber, and landscape debris in future remodeling, hobbies, and outdoor projects. For example, you might save wood scraps to make shims, doorstops, beverage coasters, or cutting boards. You might grind untreated wood from landscaping leftovers into nutrient-rich compost for your garden or mulch for weed reduction around trees. With wood-based composite pieces, you might build a table and bench for your garage or outdoor space. If you have no use for these materials, you should have no difficulty finding someone willing to take them off your hands given the current high retail cost of wood for construction.

2. Stone and Related Materials

Granite, quartz, marble, resin engineered stone, tiles, sandstone, shale, gravel, brick, concrete, asphalt, and other similar materials are great for upcycling projects: You might use crushed old concrete to create drainage under soil for potted plants. You might glue together old tiles to create a decorative oven backsplash, vibrant hanging wall mosaic, or waterproof breakfast tray top. If you want to build a greenhouse, you might find that you have enough leftover stone-related materials to at least use in a mortar or to create interior tables or a sunbathing bench. Otherwise, schools, churches, landscapers, and even construction companies often take stone-related construction waste.

3. Copper and Non-Ferrous Metals

Copper is one of the most recycled metals in the world today. It and other non-ferrous metals, such as aluminum, brass, and lead, are highly sought by companies because they don’t contain any iron and resist corrosion. Some are also excellent conductors of electricity, which means that they’re used to make pipes and fixtures and wires and electrical components for appliances and electronics. Copper recycling can make you money as well. Since the process to procure raw copper from the ground can be costly and time-consuming, companies that focus on metal recycling, electronics, and utilities usually pay consumers top dollar for copper scrap.

4. All Types of Glass

Many people just throw away glass items during a home remodel even though glass is entirely recyclable. You can reuse both broken glass and whole sheets from tabletops and windows in a variety of ways. For example, you might sand down the sharp edges on broken pieces and then use them along with concrete to make patterned stepping stones for your lawn. You might use unbroken glass beverage bottles along with mortar from recycled stone to construct a garden or patio wall. Old windows are great for creating hanging stained glass artwork, adding light to a shed and greenhouse construction. Since some geographic locations don’t offer glass recycling, check with local schools and artists who use glass in their projects.

Keep in mind that you can also salvage these materials from any old appliances, fixtures, or doors that you’ve decided to throw away. Many recycling companies offer total disposal services in which they accept or pick up items, disassemble everything to procure recyclable materials, and then responsibly dispose of the rest. If you can’t find a local recycling option, some companies also pay shipping costs. That said, you might find that you can dispose of these items effortlessly at local hardware or product-specific repair shop.


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