When renovating, always remember the golden rule: one man’s trash is another man’s gold.

Many renovators often overlook the value of their scraps and debris. While some parts and pieces of your old home are likely to be recycled, like cabinets or wooden timbers, many simply end up in rubbish bins and landfills.

But when it comes to renovating, in with the new doesn’t necessarily mean out with the old. Many items and materials can still be recycled, repurposed, or rehomed. So before you toss the wood scraps from your dismantled old staircase, consider these three ways to better dispose of your renovation rubbish.

Hit the shops

Companies specialising in reclaiming unwanted construction materials or furniture, like junk shops or recycling facilities, will have a much better use for the heaps of broken and otherwise unusable items you accumulate during your renovation project.

The old, broken tub you’re replacing in the bathroom might still have functional knobs or claws that can be reused on a new tub, or a reasonably sturdy ceramic body that can be upcycled into a new sink or a one-of-a-kind chair.

Keep in mind that while some items might fetch a fair price, others will have to be a donation. The more work that needs to be done to breathe life into a new item, the less you’ll be getting for it. But considering that other people would have simply tossed these away into a landfill, hitting the shops is definitely the better alternative.

An added bonus of going this route is that some companies offer waste skip hire services, taking your rubbish directly from your doorstep and saving you the hassle of having to cart it around yourself.

Sell it online

The internet is a wonderful place to meet all kinds of people – including ones that would take keen interest in your old, battered decking and railing system. As this article on the Washington Post shows, the internet is one solid way to get unwanted renovation rubbish off your hands.

If you have leftover items from your project that are still in a relatively good condition, consider selling them online. Even the most mundane or unusual item in your home will have a good chance of finding a new home when you put it out in the vast, colorful corners of the internet.

The most important thing to remember about this approach is to know the item’s worth. Do some research about the object you are selling, especially if you suspect it may be worth more than it looks.

And even if the old cabinet you’re hawking doesn’t turn out to be Henry VIII’s wardrobe, it’s still prudent to know the going price of such items, both in terms of brand new products and their secondhand counterparts, so you can sell it for the right amount.

In the case of Tim Carter from the Washington Post, his old decking and railing system sold for $600 (approximately £470), which was roughly just 45 percent of the price of getting it brand new. Considering that Carter originally did not expect anyone to be interested in said decking, the $600 is definitely a good bonus.

Check out online selling platforms like eBay or Craigslist, or sign up to Facebook online markets to have a ready audience for your items.

Repurpose it

Of course, your trash doesn’t necessarily have to be another person’s treasure – with the right plans and tools, it can be your very own diamond in the rough. When it comes to repurposing, your imagination is the limit.

An old lightbulb, for instance, can find new life as a terrarium. The cork bottles you’ve unwittingly accumulated over the years can make your bathroom a safer place as a non-slip bath mat (and if you find you have just a tad too many corks lying around, you can even start selling these online). Even entire, actual dumpsters – what they call skips across the pond – have found a second chance as public swimming pools.

Renovation projects can be exciting, but they can also be a great source of waste. Even so, there are many ways to dispose of these unwanted items without simply chucking them in the bin. Contact your local junk shops, recycling centers, or architectural salvages to see which items they can get off your hands. Check online to see if anyone would be interested in buying them instead. Or DIY the process and repurpose these old rubbish to new, functional items you can use again in the house.

And if you find yourself overwhelmed or uncertain what to do about your growing pile of renovation rubbish, LKM Recycling has got you covered with our topnotch waste skip hire services. Call us at 01795 439393.

Simon McCoy
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