Making Construction Easier

Recycle, Re-Purpose And Declutter Your Home

When you do major cleaning and organizing in your home this year, you have many opportunities to recycle items around the home. Don't just throw items in the trash when you can donate or recycle them. Here are some ways to organize the house and get rid of the clutter without filling up the landfill.

Kitchen Cleanup

If you have any large appliances to get rid of, such as an old stove or refrigerator sitting in the garage, you can sell those to a company that refurbishes appliances for resale. Some businesses offer free pick up at your home. Small appliances such as toasters and microwaves can be sold to metal recycling facilities as scrap metal.

Give old or surplus cooking utensils, pots and pans, glassware and dishes to women's shelters, youth homes, or other such local charities.

If you've remodeled the kitchen and have scrap pieces of granite countertop or stone floor tiles lying around taking up space, you can take them to a recycling facility that grinds them up for use as construction fill.

Basement and Garage Cleanup

Get rid of old boxes at a cardboard recycling center like Sunwest Metals Inc. They will often take stacks of newspapers and magazines, too. If you have coils of old wiring or metal plumbing pipe, they can go to scrap metal facilities. Copper wire and pipe is especially in demand at these businesses. Get rid of old paint, oil or other chemicals by taking them to the toxic waste section of your local recycling company.

Living Room Cleanup

Donate old furniture to a thrift store, half-way house or other charity instead of throwing it into the landfill. Clean carpet from a living room renovation can also be given away, but throw away the carpet pad.

Yard Cleanup

Piles of building materials from a remodeling project often contain items you can recycle. Load up the truck and take the following to recycling centers.

  • Cedar roof shingles can be recycled by wood and paper facilities.
  • Asphalt shingles can be ground up by recycling companies for use in road paving material.
  • Stones, bricks and cinder blocks can be reused if in good shape or ground up for construction fill if broken.
  • Roof rafters, wall studs and ceiling joists from a remodeling project can be recycled.

Miscellaneous Items to Recycle

  • Books - Take old books to coffee shops that keep reading materials for its customers.
  • Clothing - Some charities collect coats for those who need them during cold weather. Others collect shoes which are sent overseas to needy children.
  • Blankets and bed linens - Shelters are often in need of these items.
  • Toys - Give these to hospital pediatric units for their play areas.

As you plan your home cleanup this year, walk through and identify all of the items you can recycle or give away. Make it a goal to keep as much out of the landfill as possible while giving others the opportunity to reuse your items.