Quick Tip: Recycle Building Materials

Donate or auction off your old building materials to help you recoup costs and reduce your contribution to landfills.

Recycle Building Materials

Photo: Flickr

Think Before You Toss
Deconstruction is the new demolition. Instead of gutting a project and sending the whole shebang to a landfill, more and more contractors and homeowners are getting savvy about recycling building materials. Deconstruction contractors can help homeowners auction off or donate the waste materials they don’t want. Those old kitchen cabinets can be a tax deduction instead of a dumpster filler. And, on the other end, they can really help cut purchasing costs for new materials.

Support a Good Cause
Charities like Habitat for Humanity benefit from a lot of building material donations this way, and deconstruction has prevented thousands of tons of materials from entering landfills nationwide. The EPA and the Green Building Council support this reuse effort. They also encourage using materials that were manufactured by recycling other products.

Use Recycled Materials
You can get composite decking made from plastic bags, insulation made of old blue jeans, and countertops made of recycled aluminum, glass, paper or hemp. There are cabinets made partly from wheat by-products, carpet from recycled nylon and mulch from recycled tires.

Make a Stylish Statement
Re-used and recycled materials are chic. Even broken tile can make a statement in a rubble tile counter or tabletop.

Investigate Salvage Options Before You Shop
So, check your local salvage yard or deconstruction contractor before you go shopping. With a little inspiration, materials that are secondhand can give you the upper hand on your next project!