It is a good idea for people who do DIY home improvement projects to develop the habit of discarding their renovation debris in as eco-friendly a way as possible to help reduce waste production and decrease the negative effects of improper C&D waste disposal.
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And this is why: a study that was conducted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) states that a total of 600 million tons of Construction and Demolition (C&D) waste were generated in 2018.
We will go over a few ways how you can discard renovation debris in an eco-friendly way in this article.
You have different options when getting rid of bricks because of their high demand as a building material in both construction and DIY projects:
- Selling undamaged bricks
You can sell bricks that are still in good condition to contractors or construction companies in your area.
However, there are a couple of things that you need to consider before selling your excess bricks to these companies.
First is the condition of your bricks.
You need to make sure that each brick that you’re selling can be used again in construction projects.
Check for any signs of the following on the bricks:
Construction companies are less likely to purchase bricks with these kinds of defects. If they do buy damaged bricks though, it’ll be at a reduced price.
The second factor that you need to consider is the number of your bricks.
Some contractors and construction companies may require you to have a minimum number of bricks before they purchase it from you.
The best course of action when selling to these companies is to call first to ask for any conditions that they require before they purchase your bricks.
Another option for selling your bricks is putting them on sale on online platforms such as Craigslist, Facebook Marketplace, or a Facebook group dedicated to DIY projects.
- Recycling damaged bricks
Bring damaged bricks to recycling centers instead of throwing them away.
Recycled bricks are used to manufacture new bricks or repurposed as a filtering medium.
You can find the nearest recycling centers in your area by visiting Recycle Nation’s website.
- Reuse excess bricks
Keep leftover bricks in proper storage and reuse them in your future DIY projects such as garden edging or creating a fire pit for BBQs.
Although drywall is safe as a building material, it can be hazardous it decomposes.
The sulfate in drywall, for instance, dissolves when it gets wet and can pollute water supplies. It can also be poisonous because of the sulfur dioxide that it emits when burned.
The good thing is drywall can be recycled and used for:
- Making new drywall
- An ingredient in making cement
- An ingredient in making fertilizers
- An additive for composts
You are therefore better off recycling your used and leftover drywall than discarding them.
You can do this by contacting construction and demolition waste recycling centers near you and asking for any special instructions as some centers only accept unused drywalls while some will also take scrapped ones.
The best way to get rid of leftover wood is by selling them to tradespeople or individuals who are doing their own DIY projects.
This is especially the case for treated wood since it cannot be recycled and will just end up in landfills.
Untreated wood is different though as they can be recycled or repurposed. It is usually recycled as:
- Soil conditioner
- Paper pulp
- Sewage sludge
Both untreated and treated wood should be taken straight to recycling centers in most states. However, you may consult your local recycling center to check if they can offer a pick-up service for large quantities.
You can also donate them to non-profit organizations that can put them to good use.
Most metals that are used in DIY home renovation projects are recyclable. This includes aluminum, copper, iron, lead, steel, and tin.
Therefore, you can put small pieces of these metals in the recycle bin without any worry.
You can ask the recycling center in your area if you’re unsure about the size requirement for recyclable metals that can go into the trash bin.
Another option is to give them away for free by using a website like Freecycle where you can either post it as a giveaway or find advertisements from people who are after scrap metals.
However, selling your metal scrap to metal dealers is an option that is worth looking at if you have a lot of it leftover.
Although latex paint is recyclable, oil and lead paints are not. It is then better to keep excess paints for your future projects.
Old paints that have become unusable due to improper storage must be discarded.
Here are the most eco-friendly ways of doing that:
- Latex Paint
Latex paint that has been dried out can be put in the recycle bin along with the general trash.
There are different methods in drying out leftover latex paint:
- Use paint hardeners
- Mix it with cat litter pellets (50/50 ratio) until it solidifies
- Leave the can open until the paint dries out (you can leave it under the sun for a faster result). This only works if you have a small quantity of leftover paint.
- Oil and Lead Paints
Oil and lead paints are classified as hazardous waste and must not be mixed with general trash in any case.
You need to speak with your local recycling center’s team so they can assist you in discarding your excess oil and lead paints properly.
Reduce Your Waste
Although it is a great idea to discard waste from your home renovation projects as environmentally friendly as possible, nothing can beat planning ahead to reduce the junk and excess materials that you get from each work.
This is a contributed post.
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