Even if you get an efficient garbage removal service, the best thing you can do for the environment is to reduce how much trash ends up in the landfills. Renovation jobs are usually messy, and there's a lot of trash to be expected upon completion. There are ways to reduce what ends up being disposed of as trash, which isn't only good for the environment, but it can also help you make a little extra cash off your waste. Read on to learn more.
1. "Clean fill wanted"
Have you ever seen signs like that as you move around, particularly around large construction sites? Clean fill refers to construction materials which can be reused for other construction projects. To qualify as clean fill, it's important to ensure the materials are not contaminated, which means careful sorting and handling from the demolition phase and throughout the project. Those who ask for clean fill use it for levelling, correcting soil erosion, creating sub-foundations or improving drainage in a site among others.
Clean fill includes uncontaminated top soil, sand, gravel, cement, concrete, bricks, rubble and dirt. Asphalt is also accepted, but only if it hasn't been mixed with any other kind of waste. Contaminants that may make your material unacceptable includes organic or biological waste, chemicals (anything radioactive, corrosive, reactive, combustible or noxious), metals, glass and fibreglass, contaminated soil (e.g. by asbestos) and plastics among others.
2. Recycle your fixtures
You may need to pay a little extra in labour to ensure that fixtures are dismantled properly rather than just torn down. However, you can expect to recover your money when selling off some of them. These include:
Ceramics – toilets, sinks, and bath-tubs that have not cracked or chipped can be sold off cheaply at architectural salvage yards or thrift shops. If there's a tile-maker near you, ask if they'll be interested in the material, which can be ground and used to make new ceramic/porcelain pieces.
Wood – cabinets, frames, furniture and other inbuilt wooden elements should be carefully dismantled, and they wood can be sold off to a lumber yard. If the fixtures are still sturdy, you can leave them without dismantling and donate or sell them. Doors and windows can also be accepted in second-hand shops if they're sturdy; broken glass can be easily replaced. Remove any screws, nails or metallic parts for safe handling. Smaller wood pieces may be valuable to a local carpenter, as larger lumber facilities usually want larger blocks of wood.
Flooring – tiles and wood in good condition can be accepted at a salvage yard, but find out in advance which types they accept
Light fixtures – these can be donated to humanitarian organisations or sold at salvage shops and include switch covers, light switches, lamp stands.