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8 ways to dispose of home remodeling debris

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May 13, 2011

That home remodel you have been saving up for might have a hidden cost you didn't expect. The disposal fees of old materials, including carpet, drywall, and flooring, can drive up the cost by a substantial amount. Add in a few buckets of paint and an old appliance or two and suddenly you are looking at a serious removal job that you might not have figured into your budget.

Ways to cut cost of removing remodeling debris

If you are hit with the sticker shock of that construction dumpster or removal fee, spring into action to cut down on the cost.

  1. If that old carpet is still in good shape, donate it to your local Goodwill or charitable organization to help other homeowners. Do you have a shed or playhouse on your property that could use the carpeting? Give it a second home by installing it elsewhere.
  2. If you have leftover paint, don't toss it. Offer it to coworkers, friends, and family instead. No takers? Your local community theater would probably be able to use the paint for their stage sets.
  3. Appliances that still work can be sold on Craigslist or in your local newspaper. A resale store or charitable group might pick them up from you for little or no fee.
  4. Your utility company might offer a rebate for proper disposal of your appliances. Give them a call and ask about programs that can take care of that old refrigerator or air conditioner.
  5. Is there a way you can repurpose any wood that has been taken out of your home during the remodeling process? Look for creative options, such as building a tree bench. If you must dispose of the wood, ensure that it doesn't have lead paint on it. If it does, special disposal procedures must be followed.
  6. Asphalt shingles can often be recycled. ShingleRecycling.org is a good place to begin.
  7. Most drywall ends up being destroyed during the removal process. For those pieces of debris that simply cannot be donated or recycled, make sure their disposal follows all proper guidelines for your city and state. Speak with your contractor about what steps must be taken.
  8. Finally, separate hazardous waste, such as paint thinners, from the rest of the debris. Your sanitation department can tell you how to dispose of the hazardous waste.

Before beginning a home remodeling project, make sure disposal fees are included in the contractor's estimate. Keep in mind that the cost of renting a dumpster might be the same regardless of how much debris you are able to recycle or reuse.

About the Author:

Shannon Dauphin is a journalist and occasional novelist with a serious weakness for real estate. Her current home was built in 1901, so home repair and renovation have become her necessary hobbies.

 


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