You’ve planned a kitchen renovation for several years, and it’s finally here. You and your contractor have discussed the plans, and soon the actual renovation will begin.

As exciting as such a project may be, it’s also a noisy, dusty and messy one. Before new cabinets go up, old ones must come down. Plasterboard and timber are everywhere. Soon, you’ll notice old wires, nails and bits of insulation next to the renovation site.

What’s the best, safest and most ecologically responsible way to dispose of these old materials? Read on to find out.

1. Hire severalskip bins for multiple materials.

A major home renovation isn’t as simple as de-cluttering a room. You won’t be able to put most construction waste in a light waste bi n. Instead, plan to hire a mixed waste bin. Your contractor or bin company representative can recommend the right size to match your renovation project.

While you’re at it, ask your bin representative about recycling options. If the company doesn’t offer recycling bins, arrange an area i n your garage for recyclable items like old pipes and copper wiring.

2. Understand which materials can be reused.

Before renovation is underway, decide which materials you can either reuse in other areas or allow others to reuse. These might include timber beams, carpets or other flooring materials, windows, doors, appliances (dishwashers, refrigerators and others), tile or pipes.

Talk to your contractor so you understand the harvesting procedure for such materials. Also find out which materials should be recycled rather than reused.

3. Repurpose materials whenever possible.

Of course, your new design may not be compatible with total reuse. Still, if you’ve set your heart on new cupboards, that doesn’t mean you need to toss the old ones. Timber is a precious resource, and your timber cupboards may work well for another homeowner.

Contact a charitable organisation such as Habitat for Humanity  to donate your cupboards or old flooring.

Likewise, if you’re knocking down an old wall to create more space, repurpose the timber or bricks whenever possible. However, rem ember that damaged bricks or building rubble need to go in the mixed waste bin.

4. Separate materials into sorting areas.

Most contractors have methods for safely disposing of construction waste. However, if you’ve hired a green renovation or demolition company, the crew will take special care with any recyclable materials.

Check with your contractor to see which materials need to be sorted during the renovation. One example is sorting scrap metal into its own area and rebar or wiring into other areas. Your contractor will know what to do with potentially hazardous materials like plaster boards own area and rebar or wiring into other areas. Your contractor will know what to do with potentially hazardous materials like plaster boards (which shouldn’t go in landfills), lead or asbestos.

Asbestos, in particular, requires complete containment or abatement. Your bin company will provide specialised asbestos bins if you encounter this hazardous material during renovation.

5. Reduce waste as you go.

As your contractors progress through your renovation project, ask them if they can tile over an ugly linoleum floor rather than ripping it out entirely. Likewise, if you live in an old home and worry about lead paint, it may be safer to paint over it or install new materials on top.

6. Give away or sell some materials.

If you want to save time and expense, why not give away some materials to your neighbours? Perhaps the pile of old bricks can work well for paving stones in someone’s patio, or the old refrigerator may help a friend who’s moving house to save money on appliances.

For more expensive items, consider an online listing or auction. These methods are particularly helpful if you need to recoup some of your renovation expenses.

There’s no reason why your old construction materials should go entirely to waste. Even if you recycle or repurpose only a fourth of the old timber, metals or wires, you’ll feel much better once your new kitchen is finally finished. For everything else, rely on your bin provider!

Backyard Bins Team

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