Producing waste is often inevitable during a home renovation, even with the most careful planning, measurements, and estimations. Nevertheless, you can minimize the amount of waste you produce by recycling leftover materials and prevent them from going to the landfill.
But what kind of materials can you recycle? And what other purposes can they serve? Here is a list of things that you can recycle after renovation, as well as the best ways to use them:
If you have demolished a few concrete walls in the house or removed some concrete flooring, you can donate the old concrete to a company that crushes them into small pieces for reuse. Old concrete can be used for new structures such as permeable walkways, trench foundations, and pavement. Moreover, crushed concrete can also be mixed with new concrete to replace virgin aggregate and used as landscaping mulch or ground cover. You can get pre-cast concrete walls as replacements for the ones you demolished.
To ensure that all old concrete pieces are donated to the recycling company, have your contractor gather up concrete into large metal dumpsters (you can rent some especially for this purpose).
2. Old appliances
Appliances, especially bulky ones, take up a lot of space in the landfill. So, if they are still working, donate them to non-profit organizations or give them away to a friend, neighbor, family member. If still have some market value, you can try selling them online to recoup some of the renovation costs.
But what if the appliance is no longer working? If this is the case, give the unit to a junk shop that may reuse some of its components or turn the metal into something useful.
Door knobs, light fixtures, drawer pulls, bathroom rods, and other types of hardware are still usable as long as they are not in more than one piece. Try reusing some of your old hardware for your next renovation project. But if you want to start afresh with new hardware, give the old pieces to someone else who might be interested.
4. Roofing materials
Replacing a roof can produce a lot of waste, from the sheathing down to each individual shingle. Unfortunately, not all roof waste can be used again for the same purpose, but you can take it to an appropriate recycling facility so that it can be used for something else.
On the other hand, certain types of roofing materials can be upcycled. For example, you can use asphalt shingles to create a shed roof or a dog house. Slate can also be upcycled into tiles and used as a flooring material for flooring in kitchens, bathrooms, and decks.
Natural wood is highly recyclable and fairly easy to reuse. You can save wood materials for future renovation projects or use them to create furniture and other small structures. For instance, if you took out a wooden beam during renovation, you can use the wood to construct a wooden bench or perhaps cut it into smaller pieces to use for a pergola.
Don’t throw away seemingly negligible pieces of wood either. If the wood pieces are too small to create something functional, you can use them for decorative pieces instead. Examples of decor that you can make from recycled wood include small shelves, candle holders, picture frames, and decorative wall panels, among many others.
6. Plumbing fixtures
Donate old plumbing fixtures like bathtubs, toilets, and sinks to charity so someone else may make good use of them. But if your plumbing fixtures are already considered antique, you may want to put them up for sale since a lot of homeowners seek authentic fixtures for their vintage-style homes.
Older toilets, however, are better off sent to the recycling center since they are not water-efficient, unlike modern toilets.
7. Stone countertops
Stone countertops can last for decades and are often fully recyclable. Ask your contractor to be extra careful when taking out the stone countertops so that you can donate or sell them as whole pieces. But if some pieces are broken, they can still be used as floor tiles, backsplash tiles, or tiles for outdoor walkways.
8. Flooring materials
Unfortunately, old carpets are not typically recycled, but they can be repurposed for other things like rugs, insulation, or doormats. Wood and stone tiles, on the other hand, can be reused for other floors or broken down for outdoor walkways and landscaping.
Every little bit of waste you prevent from going to the landfill is a significant help for the environment. So, the next time you renovate your home, keep an eye on these materials and store them in a safe place until they can be sent to recycling centers, donated, or sold.