3 Ways to Dispose of Renovation Waste
Can’t wait to try out the textured plastering technique you just saw on “This Old House”? Do you always put down the power drill when “Renovation Realities” is on? Could you hold your own in a conversation about basement plumbing with “Property Brothers” star Jonathan Scott?
If you’ve answered yes to any of these questions, then you likely enjoy do-it-yourself projects around the house. That also means that, whether it’s remodeling a bathroom or replacing a roof, you know there’s always one not-so-welcome byproduct of a renovation: waste. It often ends up being more than you planned and, before you know it, old plaster, pipes, insulation, glass and other materials are spilling out from the garage into the yard …or even onto the sidewalk.
So how can you cost-effectively and responsibly dispose of renovation waste? Read on to find out what the pros do.
Donate Usable Materials
One person’s castoffs are another person’s prizes. That mirror you couldn’t wait to get rid of might be just what somebody else is looking for. The old fridge you replaced with a newer model might work perfectly for somebody else.
If some of your bigger materials are in good condition, you can donate them to various dropoff centers. One of the most well-known is ReStore, the national network of home improvement stores and donation centers that support the efforts of Habitat for Humanity. The donation centers take various items, such as working appliances, cabinets and counter tops, light fixtures, windows and other materials that can be reused in projects. Many other organizations will also take donations of appliances and other items; check with individual organizations in your area for donation rules.
If you have any old carpet you need to get rid of, try Carpet America Recovery Effort to identify local companies that reclaim and either recycle or reuse old carpeting (in some cases, you’re charged a fee). Many of these groups will give you a receipt for your tax returns.
One thing to keep in mind: If you want to donate as many materials from your renovated space as possible, you should be careful when removing them and keep them in good condition. (So, when you’re swinging that sledgehammer, make sure not to accidentally whack the cabinet doors you’re planning to donate!)
DIY Your Drop-Off
For anything that can’t be donated for reuse, you’ll need to get renovation waste to a dump or landfill. You’re already doing your own renovation work, so why not make the hauling portion of the job DIY, too? The same principle of eliminating the middleman on project work to save cash can apply to waste disposal. Find out where your local landfill or waste transfer station is and simply take the waste there. In addition to recycling some waste, dumps typically dispose of non-recyclable materials in a safe manner.
Before you drive over, you need to know that different materials may need to be disposed of at different stations at a dump. That means you have to separate them ahead of time. For example, most places have designated spots for large appliances; copper; scrap metal and old computers. Contact your local dump for information on its rules. Additionally, you’ll need a flatbed truck or a trailer to haul the waste away.
Hire a Professional
There are a few options to consider when hiring a professional to remove your renovation waste. No matter which type of service you use, it’s important to discuss what items you’re having removed, as well as the amount and size of the waste.
- Use your usual garbage collection service. This is often an inexpensive option. If you want to go this route, contact your local garbage collection service and ask about pickup options for bulk waste. Let them know what there is to pick up, including the sizes of larger items and the types of items. The garbage collector will typically charge a fee for this service, often based on the size and/or weight of the waste.
- Call a company specializing in renovation waste removal. This option is similar to using your local garbage collector to remove the items. You may want to call around and get a few quotes to maximize your savings.
- Consider a collapsible trash bin. This solution is relatively new and works well for small to mid-sized waste disposal. Perhaps the most widely known collapsible trash bin is The Bagster, which holds up to 3,300 pounds of renovation waste. Here’s how it works: First, make sure that collapsible trash bin collection is available in your area. If you’re using The Bagster, you can do this on its website. Then, you go purchase your bin; many hardware stores and waste management companies carry them. You take the bin home, fill it with your renovation waste, then call the pickup service to schedule the collection. Because you’re paying to buy the bin in addition to paying for the pickup, this option likely costs more than a simple waste pickup.
- Rent a roll-off trash bin. These hefty metal containers are the hardware you need for the big jobs, in sizes ranging from 10 to 40 cubic yards. The larger containers can be opened at one end so you can actually walk inside to dump items! Always make sure you have enough space for this type of behemoth; if you don’t have enough space on your property, apply for a permit to place the trash bin on the road. Note that these large bins are usually rented out by the week or month, so the longer you keep it, the more you pay. Make sure to check with the trash bin rental company about whether there are restrictions on what types of materials you can put in the bin.
Don’t make waste disposal a waste of money. Do your research and determine the most efficient and cost-effective method for you.