6 Ways to Recycle Construction Waste

Published on: Dec 23 2013 by Austin Dopp

recycle symbolBuilding a home creates a surprising amount of trash. In fact, building a 2,000 square foot home also creates approximately 8,000 lbs. of debris. Most of this construction waste winds up in local landfills, but it doesn’t need to. Many of these construction materials can be reused or recycled instead.

 

Want to do something with your construction waste instead of sending it to the landfill? Check out these six types of construction waste that can be recycled.

1. Lumber
If you have lumber left over from a construction project, you can donate it to salvage shops or volunteer organizations. Wood pieces over 6′ long are particularly useful to volunteer homebuilders like Habitat for Humanity

drywall-sheets-a1-250x2382. Drywall
Large pieces of drywall can also be donated. Volunteer organizations use donated drywall when they build new homes. Half or whole sheets of drywall are ideal for these donations. Some recyclers also have the technology to recycle drywall into wall sprays or stucco.

3. Asphalt Roofing
Contact your local architectural salvage shop or a volunteer building organization to donate bundles of shingles. Some recycling companies can also recycle asphalt roofing into pavement for roads. For more information, check out Roofs to Roads.

4. Paints
In many places, only latex paints are considered recyclable – oil based paints are considered hazardous waste. Latex based paints can be recycled at some stores and through your city recycler. Both latex and oil based paints can also be donated to volunteer organizations for use on other projects.

fridge5. Appliances
If your construction plans include a re-model, old appliances like refrigerators and washing machines do not need to be thrown away, even if they no longer work. They can be recycled through your local recycling organization, or a scrap metal recycling program. Some cities and towns now also provide rebates toward new appliances if you recycle your old appliances.

6. Light fixtures and plumbing fittings
You may no longer want old light fixtures following a remodel, but they can be popular items at architectural salvage shops. Shoppers who are remodeling historic homes often look for light fixtures, windows, and fittings from a particular period. Volunteer home builders and remodeling organizations will also appreciate these items. And don’t throw away all that Styrofoam that comes in the boxes of new light fixtures; look for the recycling symbol- most of it can be recycled.

 

There are many other types of construction waste that can be recycled or reused instead of thrown away. Contact a local recycling organization to find out what other types of construction waste you can recycle. You can also contact a local volunteer builder to find out whether they can use leftover materials or salvaged pieces.

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