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Construction and Demolition Material Waste Guide

Recycling guide for your home renovation

Home exterior projects can be wasteful and not all companies take the extra step to recycle your old items. Typically a big dumpster is rented and everything goes in it. There are other options for many items but not all. Donating, re-purposing and recycling are 3 ways to reduce the waste from your home renovation project.

Why it's important-

30 or more percent of the waste in a landfill comes from home renovation projects because people simply just rent the dumpsters without thinking twice, throwing anything and everything into them. Making sustainability a priority could save 50% of that waste amount or more. Building projects make up about 40 percent of the materials used around the world. If everyone in the world put forth an effort, think how much could be saved? In 2017, 569,436 tons of waste was generated from demolition debris. This number is said to double by 2025. In 2015, a pile of construction debris caused a landslide in Shenzhen China killed 70 people and 900 people had to evacuate the area as 33 factories were destroyed along with all the housing nearby. Each year we contribute over 3 billion square yards of landfill from construction and demolition materials. The national asphalt pavement association estimates that recycling asphalt saves the American taxpayer more than 2.5 billion per year. Not to mention, everything you donate and recycle can be used as a tax-write off and some companies will even pay you for the materials. If you do need to get rid of old items, here are your best options to be environmentally friendly.


Re-Stores like Habitat for Humanity will take almost anything that you have that’s in working condition. Sinks, toilets, tubs, cabinets, appliances, doors, windows, lumber, tiles and flooring, lighting, knobs, handles, and furniture can all go to habitat for humanity. Find your local store here and see what they’ll pick up, or what you’ll have to pay your GC to drop off. Other places you can donate are thrift stores, auction houses, shelters, nonprofit businesses, schools, and online marketplaces such as craigslist.


Try to repurpose as much as possible! Put items aside that you can turn into gifts, use in another project or do a craft out of. Items that have a lot of DIY reuse projects on sites like pinterest include light fixtures, bricks, cabinets, tiles, lumber, doors, plywood, stone, windows, and wood beams and furniture. You can check those out here.


For materials that you don’t feel should be donated or reused include, check with your local recycling company and see what they accept. Not all sites recycle all these materials, but these are materials that are able to be recycled if you can find a place to accept them. Ceiling tiles, asphalt shingles and other asphalt, cardboard, carpet and carpet pads, concrete, drywall, fluorescent lights, vegetation, metal, paint, plastic, some window glass, and wood. To see what can be recycled in your area, visit the website. Scrapping metal is also an option.

What it comes down to-

Being environmentally friendly isn't always convenient and sometimes comes with extra fees. Safety is also overlooked during home renovations when it comes to dumping chemicals and materials.Do you really need new cabinets or can you sand them down and repaint them? If so, follow these three ideas for the most environmentally friendly renovation.

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