Cleaning up after a major house renovation can be a challenge. The amount of debris, including wood, plaster and nails, can be enormous, making disposal a problem. However, with a little thought and minimal amount of work, homeowners can make a few hundred dollars from this debris and recycle material that would otherwise end up in a landfill.
One of the the most common renovations is replacing the old plaster walls with sheet rock. Many large cities are filled with old Victorian houses where the builders made plaster walls and ceilings. Most people don’t know this, but ripping out plaster walls creates a huge amount of debris.
The first recycling rule to remember is that transporting the material for recycling is usually the biggest expense in the recycling process. For that reason, material destined for recycling should be sorted in a way that makes moving this material easy.
Plaster Can be Recycled
Three categories of debris will be created when ripping out plaster walls and ceilings. The first is the plaster itself. Depending on where their live, a homeowner should call a New York, St. Louis, or San Francisco junk hauling company to determine if it will recycle this waste. The homeowner should ask if the company will provide recycling barrels or bins. The barrel might be made of a light, reinforced material suitable for holding debris. A bin, looking much like a dumpster, may be dropped off beside the house. Now the homeowner can fill these receptacles with plaster debris. This material will be recycled into new plasterboards.
Sell the Wooden Slats as Kindling
Behind the plaster are wooden slats. These wooden slats, about one-inch wide and four-feet long, can be piled in bunches, tied together with rope and sold to people for a few dollars as kindling. The wood is dry and perfect for starting an evening fire in the fireplace. A typical house may yield 100 or more slat bundles.
Old Nails are Worth Money
When pulling the nails on the slats, the homeowner should save the nails in coffee cans and sell them to the local metal scrap yard. Ten coffee cans filled with old nails will buy a large pizza and a decent bottle of wine. Those nails will be recycled and become part of a vehicle or a structure.
By sorting and recycling this debris, a homeowner can realize a few hundred dollars in pure profit. In addition, landfill space is saved, and this old material is reprocessed into new material for homes and other uses.