Do you go out of your way to recycle as many things and materials in your home? We are all aware that our planet is suffering because of our reckless pollution over the years, and recycling is one of the ways we can rectify that mistake. While recycling paper, plastic, and glass has already become a regular thing, not many people are aware that home building materials can also be recycled. This is particularly important if you’re considering a renovation project in the future because you will be able to save some money and help the environment.
Windows and other glass
Even though it might seem like old windows have no purpose once you remove them from your home, it’s not exactly so. There are ways to repurpose and reuse them even when they are antique and seemingly useless. Sadly, people don’t even think about these options because new glass is rather cheap and builders prefer working with new materials. On the other hand, sometimes recycled glass doesn’t fit well with the very precise measurements and specifications required of glass makers. This is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t rely on contractors in order to repurpose old windows, but try to do something on your own instead. Antique windows are incredible decorative pieces and with just a bit of TLC, you can have a wonderful conversation starter in your home for almost no cost.
Believe it or not, copper happens to be one of the most sought-after metals out there. It might come as a surprise to find out that an average home can contain up to 400 pounds of copper wiring as well as piping. Seeing as copper can cost up to $3 a pound in some areas, it makes a rather hefty sum, and it’s one of the reasons why the copper recycling market happens to be as lucrative. So lucrative, in fact, that burglars will even break into construction sites in order to steal copper piping and wires. Even when it’s recycled, copper remains as strong and durable as it was, which makes it similar to steel, which is why you can recycle it and get some money for new home renovation projects.
The sad reality is that tens of million tons of roofing shingle waste is generated annually just in the States. The majority of said waste comes from old roofs that are covered with shingles. This happens because people are reluctant to repair old roofs as they fear the end result won’t be as good as a new roof. The good news is that you can hire people who specialize in heritage roofing and who will be able to restore the said old roof so that it looks brand new. This can be done because old roofing shingles are incredibly durable, unlike a number of other construction and roofing materials, and they can last for decades before it’s time to replace them.
Lumber and wood
Most of the money people spend on new homes goes towards wood because it’s wood that’s used for everything: windows, doors, and floors, but also framing and sheathing. Years ago, the US Department of Agriculture estimated that every year people could have salvaged almost a billion board feet in lumber. Those were the numbers from long ago, and we’re positive that the present-day situation is even better and offers more chances of recycling. Some easy ways to reuse wood in the home building include re-milling old lumber and timber, grinding waste wood so that it can be turned into particleboards later, and reusing old wood in the construction of new barns and fences around the property.
The good thing about having leftover bricks from a renovation project is that they can be used for a number of new projects around your house. Even if you keep some bricks after a demolition, you can use them to build something new because they are durable and sturdy. Raised garden beds can be built even with old bricks that have seen much better days because no matter how old they are, lining bricks will help keep weeds and grass out of the beds. If gardening isn’t your cup of tea, though, you can always try something more ambitious like building your own backyard fire or barbeque pit. Because bricks have such high heat tolerance, they will be the perfect material for the job. If all else fails and your bricks look like they couldn’t be used to construct anything else, make a walkway or a patio area for your home instead.
While you might be tempted to just throw away everything you’re not currently using, by recycling building materials you will achieve several things. Not only will you be able to save a significant amount of money by not buying more material, but you will also help reduce the amount of waste that such projects cause. By reusing and recycling you will help the environment, and in the end, your home will look unique and stand out among similar houses in the neighborhood.
Written by Ron Wolf
About the Author
Ronald Wolf is a freelance writer and hobby designer with a passion for DIY projects.
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