You’ve just completed a construction project or remodel. It feels good to have finished the project. However, when you look around, you see lumber, tile, PVC, metal, and other supplies that the homeowner didn’t want, didn’t like, or ultimately didn’t need. What can you do with the construction materials that have been left behind, especially if your company has no need or ability to keep them around?
When you donate good construction materials, you prevent them from becoming clutter in a landfill. Shoppers can purchase usable items at a price they can afford. Donating construction materials also gives you a tax deduction. Some organizations, such as Habitat for Humanity, can use these materials to build homes for those in need.
Items that can be donated include doors, new bathroom, and kitchen features, new carpet, tools and hardware, office furniture, appliances, and more. Before donating, determine the value of the items being donated. Ensure you get the appropriate documents for your tax deduction.
Recycling leftover building materials prevents them from getting put in landfills or being left to rot somewhere. As a result, construction recycling minimizes the damage caused by construction waste to the local environment. When construction waste is not appropriately disposed of, it can contaminate underground water and damage surrounding habitats. Many construction companies and developers are turning to recycle and see it as beneficial for the entire industry. Unrecycled construction waste accounts for around one-third of all refuse in the United States and by taking steps to recycle unused construction materials, this waste can be reduced significantly.
Everything starts with using reclaimed materials or materials that have been part of another building or project. Materials can be altered, resized, and refinished to better suit other ideas, so to let them go to waste would be incredibly pointless.
Types of materials that could be reclaimed include steel sections, timber, wood frames, tile, and door handles. Reusing construction materials means seeing cities where renovation is happening as potential material stores for the future.
Reusing construction materials has gained steam in Europe. Major construction projects are being done in places like Brussels and Copenhagen where repurposed materials serve as the basis for building new construction. There has never been so much discussion about the circular economy in the construction field. Major changes are being made to current practices in the construction sector that promise to make reusing, recycling, and donating construction materials a permanent part of how construction is done.
Material reclamation is taking off. The next time that you finish a construction project, ask yourself if you can do something to make better use of the leftover construction materials. The environment will thank you.
Kara Masterson is a freelance writer from Utah. She graduated from the University of Utah and enjoys writing and spending time with her dog, Max.