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Eco-friendly remodeling projects

Eco-friendly remodeling and green living have become trendy tags tied to home remodeling projects lately. But we should be careful to not dismiss them as simply buzzwords because home projects are a multi-billion dollar industry – about $300 billion annually – and have the potential to needlessly fill our landfills with waste and damage the environment.

An eco-friendly remodeling project isn’t about buying high end products or expensive high efficiency appliances; it’s about wisely using and reusing the materials you already have on hand. With a little planning and just a bit of extra effort, you can turn your home remodeling project into an environmentally friendly one.

Regardless if you’re undertaking bathroom remodel or a basement makeover, here are some simple steps to keep your remodeling project eco-friendly.

Reuse

Re-using materials in a project is the easiest way to keep a project green. Not only that, it helps keep a project budget from spiraling out of control. For instance, depending on the scope of a kitchen project, cupboards can be cleaned and painted and work just as well as buying new at the local home center. Often in a project a little paint and elbow grease go a long way in creating the fresh look and style you’re after.

Salvage/Repurpose

Salvaging materials for use in other projects or areas of the home is a great way to keep a remodeling project eco-friendly. You may have seen home shows where an entire kitchen is demolished, broken into bits, and hauled into a dumpster to make way for the remodeling. While that’s good television, it’s a terrible use of material.

If you can’t reuse something in a construction project, think of other areas of the home or garage where items may come in handy. Kitchen cupboards make a great addition to a garage or laundry room, for instance.

Salvaging and repurposing materials from a home remodeling project can work but if you want “out with the old, in with the new” then think recycling.

Recycle

Project materials can be recycled in a few ways. A cast iron bathtub, copper pipes, etc. can be recycled at the local landfill.

Lumber, appliances and fixtures, windows and doors, cardboard and paper – all byproducts of a project, can and should be recycled.  A home project doesn’t need to add thousands of pounds of rubble to the landfill if you plan ahead and think green.

Donate/Giveaway

Donating or giving away items is by far the easiest way to have an eco-friendly home renovation project. You might be done with that old wood flooring but there are plenty of people out there looking for that product for their own home renovation project.

Often giving away items is as simple as setting them near the sidewalk with a “free” sign attached. Chances are, they’ll be gone by the end of the day. If having your construction rubble sit in the yard isn’t to your taste (or local ordinance doesn’t allow it) then donate it to a local charity like the Salvation Army or a salvage yard.

Charities accept reasonable construction materials – doors, windows, drawer pulls, etc. – and the profits they make go back into the community.

It does take some extra effort to keep a remodeling project eco-friendly – materials have to be removed carefully, you may have to haul items to the recycler, and you may have to put in some effort cleaning or repainting items to reuse. But the effort can pay off in savings to the bottom line of the project or keeping reusable materials out of the landfill.

If you have any questions about recycling items from your home renovation project, contact Papillion Sanitation at 402-346-7800.  If you find that you will have waste from your remodeling project, we have an assortment of roll-off containers that will save you trips to the landfill.

Our staff at Papillion Sanitation can help you to determine exactly which container you will need for your project and our professional CDL drivers will help to provide safe and timely delivery of those containers to your home. Contact us today for help on keeping your home remodel project eco-friendly.