Can’t wait to try out the textured plastering technique you just saw on “This Old House”? Do you always put down the power drill when “Renovation Realities” is on? Could you hold your own in a conversation about basement plumbing with “Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you likely enjoy do-it-yourself projects around the house. That also means that, whether it’s remodeling a bathroom or replacing a roof, you know there’s always one not-so-welcome byproduct of a renovation: waste. It often ends up being more than you planned and, before you know it, old plaster, pipes, insulation, glass and other materials are spilling out from the garage into the yard …or even onto the sidewalk.
So how can you cost-effectively and responsibly dispose of renovation waste? Read on to find out what the pros do.
Donate Usable Materials
One person’s castoffs are another person’s prizes. That mirror you couldn’t wait to get rid of might be just what somebody else is looking for. The old fridge you replaced with a newer model might work perfectly for somebody else.
If some of your bigger materials are in good condition, you can donate them to various dropoff centers. One of the most well-known is ReStore, the national network of home improvement stores and donation centers that support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity. The donation centers take various items, such as working appliances, cabinets and counter tops, light fixtures, windows and other materials that can be reused in projects. Many other organizations will also take donations of appliances and other items; check with individual organizations in your area for donation rules.
If you have any old carpet you need to get rid of, try Carpet America Recovery Effort to identify local companies that reclaim and either recycle or reuse old carpeting (in some cases, you’re charged a fee). Many of these groups will give you a receipt for your tax returns.
One thing to keep in mind: If you want to donate as many materials from your renovated space as possible, you should be careful when removing them and keep them in good condition. (So, when you’re swinging that sledgehammer, make sure not to accidentally whack the cabinet doors you’re planning to donate!)
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DIY Your Drop-Off
For anything that can’t be donated for reuse, you’ll need to get renovation waste to a dump or landfill. You’re already doing your own renovation work, so why not make the hauling portion of the job DIY, too? The same principle of eliminating the middleman on project work to save cash can apply to waste disposal. Find out where your local landfill or waste transfer station is and simply take the waste there. In addition to recycling some waste, dumps typically dispose of non-recyclable materials in a safe manner.
Before you drive over, you need to know that different materials may need to be disposed of at different stations at a dump. That means you have to separate them ahead of time. For example, most places have designated spots for large appliances; copper; scrap metal and old computers. Contact your local dump for information on its rules. Additionally, you’ll need a flatbed truck or a trailer to haul the waste away.
Hire a Professional
There are a few options to consider when hiring a professional to remove your renovation waste. No matter which type of service you use, it’s important to discuss what items you’re having removed, as well as the amount and size of the waste.