Did you know that 75% of construction waste ends up on landfills? Yes, renovation projects increase your property’s value and upgrade your lifestyle, but they also have a negative environmental impact by amassing big volumes of waste.
Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce renovation waste while still giving your home the makeover it deserves. It all comes down to reusing, recycling and repurposing but let’s take a closer look.
1. Plan Ahead
The first step to reducing waste when renovating your home is to plan ahead. It’ll save you time, resources, and ultimately waste. Start by estimating the scope of the DIY project. Take accurate measurements and decide what can be refurbished and reused. For example, maybe the kitchen cabinets need to go for good, but the vintage knobs are in good shape so you can keep them.
Once you understand the project’s intricacies, you can estimate the materials and tools you’ll need to reach the desired result. Then, you’ll have a better idea of how much waste will be left behind and how to collect and sort it. Ultimately, the plan will prepare you for any potential roadblocks that could impact the volume of new materials and waste.
Implement Proper Waste Disposal
It’s important to separate and group similar waste materials during a renovation project. This allows for safe, easy handling while also preventing hazardous materials from being thrown out improperly.
We don’t recommend using a mixed waste garbage bin or dumpster simply because they usually end up in landfills. Remember, your goal is to reduce waste. So use separate bins to prevent mixing recyclable with nonrecyclable or hazardous materials.
2. Upcycle Before Buying New
While recycling needs to destroy an item to create something new of it, upcycling simply revamps and repurposes it. Hence, upcycling is a great way to reduce waste and save money.
Don’t like your old bathroom cabinets? Sand them, prime them, repaint them, get new hardware—and voila, you have a fresh new look at a fraction of the price, and little to no waste to dispose of.
3. Sell Old Appliances, Fixtures, and Scrap Metal
If you’re not donating them, any appliances, fixtures, furniture, or building materials that you don’t intend to keep can be sold. By selling your old stuff not only will you be reducing waste, but also earning some money, which can feel right back into your renovation budget. You can do it the old way and host a garage sale, or advertise online on Facebook Marketplace, Craigslist, Nextdoor, etc.
4. Donate Before Disposing
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure.
To reduce renovation waste, donate the items that are still in good shape and usable. You may no longer like your old sofa, but someone may find it of great use for many more years to come. Reach out to your community and find a new home for your old stuff.
And don’t stop at furniture and appliances. Items like doors, windows, molding, unused wallpaper, and tiles can also be donated to architectural salvage companies and antique stores and dealers.
5. Recycle Unsalvageable Materials
Fortunately, a lot of renovation waste can be recycled and reused. Recycling is one of the easiest and most eco-friendly ways to reduce waste. So instead of dumping it in a landfill, bring it to a Jacksonville recycling center like Coastal Recycling Services. We will sort it out properly and then recycle it for you.
Common Recyclable Materials Found in Home Renovation Projects
When renovating, keep an eye on these materials and don’t just throw them away. They can be recycled and given a second life:
- Clean cardboard
- Asphalt roofing material
- Wallboard and drywall
- Wood (unpainted and nontreated)
- Metal scraps
- Scrap shingles
- Siding concrete
- Landscaping materials, such as rocks, soils, and trees
6. Use Low-VOC Paint
There hardly is a home renovating project that doesn’t involve painting. Unfortunately, paint is the main culprit for chemical waste.
Most paints contain high amounts of VOCs, which are released into the air during the manufacturing process. Some paints also contain hazardous chemicals such as lead, cadmium, and chromium. These chemicals can pollute the environment and cause serious health problems.
To avoid these issues, select a paint that contains no VOCs or very little. Furthermore, in case of leftover paint, don’t pour it down the drains. Reach out to waste management companies to help you with the proper disposal.
7. Properly Dispose of Hazardous Waste Products
Home improvement projects more often than not come with hazardous waste that can’t be just dumped in a back-alley bin. You need to follow the local, state and federal rules for handling and disposing of hazardous construction waste. Otherwise, you’ll be endangering yourself and your neighbors, as well as the environment.
And if you think there can be nothing hazardous in a simple renovation project, take a look at the list below. You’d be surprised to see how long it is!
Common Hazardous Waste from Home Renovation Projects
The following items are considered to be hazardous and need to be disposed of in accordance with local, state, and federal rules and regulations:
- Treated wood
- Chemical cleaners
- Materials containing asbestos
- Materials containing lead
- Sanding dust
- Fluorescent bulbs
- Mercury-containing light bulbs, switches and relays
- Oil-based paints
- Paint thinners
- Anything contaminated with hazardous products, etc.
Check with Jacksonville local and Florica state authorities for the full list.
Leave Your Home Renovation Waste to Us!
Home renovation projects, no matter how big or small, produce huge amounts of waste. To reduce the carbon footprint consider implementing some or all of the practices suggested above.
Conclusion paragraph: If you’re renovating a home in the Jacksonville area and have recyclable materials, hazardous waste products, or unsalvagable materials, be sure to take advantage of our local resources. Planning ahead and properly disposing of these items will help reduce the amount of waste produced by your renovation project. Have questions about what can and cannot be recycled? Just reach out to us –we’d be happy to help!