Everyone wins with donated materials
If you’ve gone through a remodel, makeover, renovation or even a simple DIY project around the home chances are you’ve had to dispose of old materials that no longer fit or that you just don’t have a use for. Things like old cabinets, countertop slabs, outdated appliances and plenty of flooring material gets tossed in a giant dumpster and taken to a landfill. Even if you use recycled or restored materials in your remodel, what happens to all of the old stuff you can’t use anymore? Often, this material isn’t completely unusable and could take on a second life in another home. Donating reusable materials can be a wonderful way to keep materials out of the landfill while helping out another family in need. You can donate used building materials to a local facility or charity for a number of benefits. Of course, if your used products are only being replaced because they’re so worn they can’t be reused then donating them may not be appropriate, whereas recycling can still be an option.
How to donate used building materials
Donating your used building materials might seem like a great idea but not all homeowners or project managers know who to contact or how to donate. Fortunately, it’s a surprisingly easy process and many charities or organizations will coordinate a pick up time so you don’t have to worry about loading up your materials and driving them across town, which can be a lifesaver for families without access to a large vehicle. Organizations like the Reuse Network have a list of charities and other facilities that accept used building materials. Local organizations as well as local stores of national organizations are often very easy to find once you start looking around, and a quick internet search can present you with plenty of options for donations. Most cities have a Salvation Army or Habitat for Humanity Restore that will gladly accept donations of used materials, furniture and appliances. You can also contact your favorite organization directly to ask if they can use any of the used materials you have. Don’t forget that leftover new materials are just as appreciated too!
Benefits of donating building materials
It’s no secret that donating in general has plenty of benefits, but donating used building materials can be even more beneficial for everyone involved. First and most obvious, those benefiting the most from a donation are the ones that receive building materials for their own home for free or at a steep discount. Families and organizations can create better homes for far less because of generous material donations that would otherwise just sit in a landfill. Second, the environment wins because usable materials are recycled back into the industry and landfills are less full. Third, and most important to you, is you win because you reduce or eliminate your landfill disposal fees and, because many organizations offer to pick up the used building materials, you reduce or eliminate the costs associated with storing and transporting the used materials to the landfill. You may also possibly receive a tax deduction for the donation, depending on where your used materials go, further saving you money. With all these benefits, it pays to demolish carefully to preserve materials for donation.
Demolishing to donate
The one downside to donating used building materials would be it requires a bit more care during the demolition stage to preserve as much usable materials as possible. While this is a minor inconvenience for most, it does mean that taking a sledgehammer to your ugly kitchen cabinets isn’t going to be any help to anyone, cathartic as it might feel. Instead, disassemble anything that might be reusable with care and try to maintain the structural integrity as much as possible. Donating your outdated and ugly cabinets, counters or other materials can be just as cathartic as destroying them when you remember how they’re helping everyone. Contact the organization that will be accepting your materials donation and schedule a pick up time before hand so you can plan how long you will need to store your old materials. Store them on thick drop cloths out of the way or rent a bin to get them out of the house. It may be difficult during a demolition, especially one that takes on much of the room or home, but try to protect your donations as much as you can so the next person will find them in as usable a condition as possible.