Two types of materials you should recycle after a renovation project

Renovation projects produce a considerable amount of waste materials. In many cases, people simply throw all of these materials into a skip, which is then transported to a landfill, where its contents are thrown onto an ever-growing pile of rubbish. However, there are certain forms of refuse produced by renovation work that can, and should, be recycled. Here are two examples of these types of materials.

Scrap metal

Provided they have not come into contact with extremely hazardous substances, the vast majority of metals can be re-melted and transformed into new products.

At the end of your renovation project, you will most likely be left with quite a bit of scrap metal, in the form of copper electrical cables, plumbing pipes, old radiators and roof sheeting. Allowing this leftover metal to be thrown away is a mistake which can have a serious impact on the environment. Scrap metal that is tossed into a landfill will not only increase the volume of greenhouse gas emissions produced by that refuse site but could also contaminate the soil in the area surrounding the landfill, if it contains heavy metals such as lead and mercury.

As such, by choosing to sell or donate the scrap metal left behind by your renovation efforts to a local recycling centre, you can divert waste from your local landfill and avoid contributing to the production of greater quantities of greenhouse gas emissions and the pollution of nearby soil.

Timber scraps

Many renovation projects involve the use of some type of timber, for the construction of fencing, shelving, floorboards, doors, window frames and ceiling beams. In most cases, there will be quite a bit of timber leftover.

If you choose to dispose of this wood by throwing it into a landfill, a number of problems can arise. Firstly, as with the above-mentioned scrap metal, this disposal method will add to the quantity greenhouse gases emitted by the refuse site. Secondly, a lot of construction timber is treated with solvents (such as waterproofing chemicals) that, if left to fester in a landfill, could result in air, water and soil pollution.

Fortunately, it is quite easy to avoid making this potentially harmful decision. Wood can be recycled and used in a number of different ways, including for chipboard manufacturing, landscaping and reclaimed furniture production. It can also be used as a form of biomass fuel. If your renovation project has produced a lot of sawdust, as well as timber scraps, it's worth noting that, provided the wood that the sawdust came from was untreated, it can also be reused as bedding for farm animals.