If you have leftover building materials after you finish your home improvement project, consider donating them to an organization or business that will recycle them instead of hauling them to the landfill. Chances are, someone, somewhere can use what you are discarding and there are many worthwhile organizations that can see that your old materials are put to good use.
Habitat for Humanity
Habitat for Humanity operates retail outlets called ReStores, which sell surplus, donated building materials at a fraction of the cost to residents in local communities throughout the United States. Contractors, stores, and individuals donate quality new and used building materials to the organization, which uses the funds generated through the sales of the building materials to build more homes. You can check the Habitat for Humanity website to see if there is a store in your area, if not you can contact one of their affiliates.
For Profit Retailers
There are also for profit retailers that specialize in recycling building materials to resell at a profit to the public. Some of these retailers will pay you for your leftovers or scraps; others will come and haul it away for you. That way, not only does it not end up in the landfill but you won’t have to pay to have it hauled away. In addition, you can feel good about being part of someone else getting your materials at a bargain.
Give to Your Neighbors
If anyone else in the neighborhood is working on home renovation or home improvement projects, you might want to check with them to see if they can use any of your surplus or leftover materials. Often, the piece of glass you are getting rid of is just right for someone else’s project and they would be glad to take it off of your hands.
If you’re willing to give away your surplus or leftover materials and just want someone to pick them up, advertise in community papers and on boards. In addition, many communities support bartering and someone may be willing to trade something of value for what you are getting rid of. In addition, check online to see if there is a local freecycle community near you as there is almost always someone who can use items left over from home improvement projects.
With minimal effort on your part, you can see that your left over items from your home improvement project stay out of the landfills and with a little luck, they will actually go to someone that can use them. If you’re parting with wood, do try to keep it dry so moisture and mold doesn’t destroy it. Also, if you’re donating wood that has nails sticking out of it, either remove the nails or at least warn the recipient so that no one gets injured.