I have had quite a few questions after my last blog such as “how exactly do you recycle parts of your house”? Where do you go? What can really be recycled?
It really is easier than it sounds and certainly doesn’t have to be a daunting task…….as long as you’re willing to put in the time and effort.
To start – list all of the items on classified websites like craigslist.com and kijiji.com. You would not BELIEVE what people are willing to purchase used.
I never in a million years thought someone would want the old carpet in our house, but I put it up on Kijiji.ca and with a few different purchasers was able to make about $125 for all of the carpet. I don’t know if you have ever rolled up wall to wall carpet before and then tried to lift it…….it is heavy!!!! When you have to pay to dump things by the ton – it adds up quickly. The more you can keep out of the landfill the better it is for the environment AND your wallet.
You can pretty much list everything you can salvage from your house on the classifieds – I guarantee you will very likely have a 90% chance of selling it.
Everything from windows, to doors, light fixtures, appliances, cabinetry, flooring, scrap wood etc etc etc.!
If you can’t sell it – give it away for free! It is better than paying to send it to the dump and is much easier on the environment.
We have listed ALL of the scrap wood that we would not be able to sell for FREE on kijiji.com. Little by little it is being hauled away by DIY craftsman and builders who will incorporate the bits into their projects.
The recycling option can take a bit more research. But there are markets for the following:
Stone Rubble from foundations – contact local landscaping companies
Shingles – contact local asphalt recyclers
Metal parts – local scrap metal collectors
If you can’t find an asphalt recycler in your area try listing the shingles on a classified site. They may not be new anymore but they could definitely be used for a garage, shed, boat house or second sleeper cabin in cottage country. You just have to get your creative thinking cap on.
The metal parts can take some work to remove (electrical fittings, all the wiring in the walls, all plumbing pipes, metal eaves etc) but it’s another great way to keep a ton of garbage out of the landfill and you can also make some decent cash from the sale of it.
The reuse option is in my opinion the best option. You can keep something of historical value from the old building for your new house and it saves you from purchasing new finishes for the new build.
We salvaged 150 year old barn board floors from the old house. There should be enough for our whole new first level so we will just have them refinished (with a toxic free wood finish of course!) and then lay them down.
We also found a huge closet lined with beautiful cedar planks. We will be saving those to line our new wine cellar.
Both of these items will significantly reduce costs when purchasing finishing materials for the new house.
It is easy to say selling all of these items will lessen the financial burden of building a new house and will help protect the environment, but it does take work.
You need to be ready for the hard labour it will take as well as the time and weekends eaten up by this kind of project.
For me though, it was well worth the sacrifice. I am so happy that our new home won’t be at the expense of the environment. We need to protect it at all costs. If that means not taking the easy road – then I am ALL for it.