Renovation debris, can pile up quickly. But what do you do with it?
You are trying to be environmentally friendly, and yet you wish to renovate your house. You are creating a great pile of renovation debris and garbage, and don't want to take up an entire corner of your local dump with all of your stuff right?
We are presently renovating a house, and were faced with the same problem. So, before we got started, I did a bit of research, and was able to significantly lower my renovation debris pile!
Some waste you can't do much about, and most of this depends on your city or town recycling capabilities etc. In our town of approximately 35,000 people, they have a "re-use store" that collects construction leftovers, such as wood, tiles etc.. anything from building sites that can be used somewhere else. The contractors drop their excess materials off at this warehouse, and they resell it to raise money for local charities, and in many cases habitat for humanity.
Many of these re-use stores will also take "used" items that are removed from houses etc, that could possibly be used by someone else. We found out they would take kitchen cabinets, as many people who have cottages will quite often take these.
If you don't have a re-use store in your area, then you can take the time to take old cabinets down and any useful items from your renovation project, carefully, so that they can be reused. Put an ad in your local free paper, or online, and tell anyone that you have these items, if they want to come and pick them up for free. Usually FREE works quite well!.
Another great way, is to pick a few nice days, when it is not likely to rain and set these items out at your curbside with a big FREE or TAKE ME HOME sticker on them. We got rid of many items this way. It tend to happen overnight. Not many people are comfortable taking free items during daylight hours!
So, next time you are replacing your kitchen or bathroom vanities and cabinets, instead of going crazy with the sledge hammer like they do in those TV, DIY renovation shows, get your screwdriver out and take them off the wall in one piece. They are no good to anyone smashed, and will just end up as landfill instead of possibly being reused somewhere else.
We got rid of many things this way, and for renovation debris, that was truly done, we rented a "skip container" from our local waste collector, and filled it. But had we taken a sledge hammer to everything and bashed it all up, we would have needed three of these containers, since we are doing a major renovation on this house.
If everyone just took the little bit of extra time needed to replace their new kitchen or bathroom or whatever you are working on, it is likely to be reused by someone else, and you have taken one more step in the "green" direction.
We just have to think these projects through a bit more. Also, I found out that our local dump actually recycles old appliances, and that there are also many organizations that will come and pick up your old fridge etc for free.
So, before you start your renovations, go through your house and think of the renovation debris, that you are going to have, and start thinking now, of how to deal with it. Once you have done a bit of research, it is not hard to find homes for many of these items.
We had some old bookshelves, that we put at the end of the driveway. We figured, if they didn't go, then they were already at the end of the driveway, and we could just collect them and take them to the dump, but we saw them being scanned during the day, and by morning they were gone.
Just make sure you only put your "free items" at the roadside, and keep everything else locked up. This is a great recycling system... you know that saying
"one man's junk is another man's treasure" this works for renovations.