According to a 2006 report from The Recycling Council of Ontario, about 25% of landfill waste in Canada is contributed by the Construction, Renovation, and Demolition (CRD) sectors.
Even though homeowners who do their own renovation projects do not use as many building supplies as local contractors and construction companies, many of them still tend to fall short in terms of discarding their projects’ waste in an environment-friendly way.
Here is a rundown of some of the most common DIY materials and the ways on how to dispose of them in an environmentally friendly way as possible. You’ll also find additional tips on reducing your home improvement project waste at the end of this article.
Bricks are a popular commodity in construction and DIY projects.
This gives you plenty of options when it comes to reusing or recycling them. Here are some ways to do that:
1. Resold bricks that are in good condition
You can find local contractors or construction companies that might be interested in purchasing the bricks from you.
It is worth noting that you need to ask the contractor or the company regarding the minimum number of bricks that they require before you can sell it to them. A minimum of 50 bricks should be okay but it may vary depending on the contractor or company.
You also need to examine the condition of the bricks before selling them. This involves checking for cracks, crumbling edges, and discoloration.
Contractors and construction companies are unlikely to buy bricks off you that have these types of damage to them.
You can also sell bricks to individuals who are doing their own DIY projects. You can do this by advertising them on Gumtree or the Facebook Marketplace.
You can join a Facebook group about DIY projects and sell it there.
Make sure that the group administrators allow posts about selling stuff when doing the Facebook Group method. You’ll find it in the group rules laid out by the administrators themselves or ask them before posting.
2. Recycle broken bricks
Recycling bricks that are too damaged to be resold is done by crushing them into a fine powder that is then used to make new bricks or as a filtering medium.
This recycling process requires equipment that homeowners do not have. You, therefore, need to bring them to community recycling centres (CRCs).
Reaching out to a construction and demolition waste recycling centre is another option if your CRC does not have the facility to recycle bricks.
3. Reuse bricks
You can properly store excess bricks by keeping them in a cool and dry place and use them again on your future DIY projects.
Some DIY project ideas are edging landscapes, creating a fire pit, or paving walkways with bricks.
Scrapped gypsum is hazardous not just to the environment, but also to humans.
Its sulfate can seep into the ground when it gets wet and can contaminate water supplies. The sulfur dioxide that it produces when incinerated is also toxic.
Therefore, you need to make sure that used gypsum is properly disposed of in a safe way.
Follow the guidelines of your local CRC regarding the proper disposal of used gypsum. This may involve putting gypsum in a clear bag and tying the bag in a gooseneck.
New gypsum, on the other hand, can be brought to the CRC without being bagged. However, you’ll need to fill in and sign a form declaring that the gypsum that you brought is manufactured in the year 1990 and the years after.
This is because gypsum that was manufactured and installed before 1990 is more likely to be contaminated by asbestos and therefore, cannot be recycled.
If your CRC does not handle gypsum recycling, you can find companies that are dedicated to recycling gypsum. They either reuse it for making new gypsum boards or repurpose it as a composting additive.
Untreated woods are accepted for curbside collection.
A large amount of untreated wood though must be taken straight to the nearest waste centre instead.
Treated wood, in small or large amounts, must be brought straight to a recycling centre too. However, you’re better off selling them to someone who could use them in another way than sending them to a landfill.
Most types of metals that are used in home renovation projects are recyclable. However, there are still some metals that you need to be wary of when throwing away.
Metals such as steel, aluminum, copper, tin, lead, and iron are recyclable. Therefore, small pieces of these metals can be put in general garbage for curbside collection.
A huge quantity of recyclable metals though will require you to deliver them to the CRC.
You can also sell them to scrap metal dealers as a better alternative.
There are a few ways to get rid of excess paint, but it is still better to properly store them so you can use them again on your next project. It’s not only a good way of saving money but also a great way of reducing toxic waste disposal.
Here are some ways of getting rid of leftover paint:
1. Latex-Based Paint
Latex paints can be thrown away in the trash without any harm as long as they’ve been dried out.
You can dry out latex paint by:
- Mixing it with paint hardeners
- Leaving the container open and letting it sit for hours until it’s dry
- Mixing it with cat litter at a 50/50 ratio and wait until it forms into a solid mass
2. Oil- and Lead-Based Paints
Oil and lead paints are both categorized as hazardous waste and therefore require special handling when discarding them.
You should consult with your CRC on how they can help you dispose of your leftover oil and lead paints.
Disposing any leftover materials from your home improvement projects in an eco-friendly way is crucial to preserving the environment.
Be that as it may, it is still a great idea to reduce the waste you generate from your DIY projects. You can do so by:
- Donating excess materials to non-profit organizations
- Checking which materials are recyclable and choosing these materials for your project
- Planning your project so that you can avoid buying materials more than what you need
- Making plans for how you can properly store leftover materials such as in a climate-controlled storage unit so you can preserve and reuse them
This article was contributed by Volodymyr Barabakh from Fortress Home.