If anything is a constant in home improvement, it’s the trash. Home improvement projects tend to leave behind plenty of sawdust, screws and scraps of wood.
Donating your renovation materials keeps functional — and often desirable — items out of the landfill. Other renovators get the materials they need for their projects. You get to help others while getting rid of your extras or leftovers. Many Habitat ReStores provide donation pickup services, and your donations may qualify for a tax deduction. Donating is a win-win situation!
What can be donated?
In general, donate items that can be reused and are in good condition. Make sure that any small parts in multi-piece items like doorknobs, plumbing fixtures and lighting are kept together. Check for rust, sharp nails or broken boards. Donations that are clean and in good condition are easy to reuse, and many local organizations will help you recycle these items.
Here are 8 types of construction waste that can be donated:
Sinks, toilets, and bathtubs
Donating is a great way to keep these bulky items out of the landfill. If you’re donating a bathtub or sink, make sure that they are not stained and do not have chips in the porcelain. If you are remodeling an older bathroom, your vintage fixtures will be surprisingly popular at the local architectural salvage store.
Remodeling a kitchen often means replacing kitchen cabinets. Luckily, someone else may want those kitchen cabinets you remove, and recycling them will cut down on construction waste. Kitchen cabinets should be in good working order: Check to make sure that the drawer pulls work, and keep the doors and drawers together when you donate them.
You also can donate working appliances like stoves, refrigerators, dishwashers* and washing machines. They need to be clean and in good working order. Many organizations will help these appliances find a new home, including Habitat for Humanity, home salvage shops, and secondhand stores like The Salvation Army and Goodwill.
* Check with your local ReStore to see if they accept dishwasher donations.
Doors and windows
Both internal and external doors can be used by someone else. The most useful doors are clean and undamaged, so look for holes or alterations before donating. Patio doors complete with framing also can be donated. If you are donating sliding glass doors or windows, checking for cracks or holes in the glass is particularly important; these cracks might make the glass unstable and likely to break.
Wood from framing or home improvement projects can be easily recycled. Most organizations that accept donated lumber request that it come without exposed nails and screws because these can pose a safety hazard. Other concerns include wood with ripped or sharp edges and some types of treated wood. Salvage shops usually accept larger pieces of wood, including two-by-fours and plywood. A local woodworking class might appreciate smaller pieces of wood.
Tiles and wood flooring
Many salvage yards will recycle wood flooring that is in good condition. Look for clean, undamaged wood flooring with no visible nails and screws. They also will recycle extra boxes of tiles from a home improvement project. Not all types of flooring are recyclable, so talk to your local salvage shop before donating.
Light fixtures can be recycled through salvage shops or through other community organizations. Salvage shops often have a high demand for working light fixtures, and many community organizations use donated light fixtures when rehabilitating low-income homes. You can also donate light switches, switch covers and wiring to cut your construction waste down even more.
Door handles and cabinet knobs
Many people replace door handles and cabinet knobs to update a room’s appearance. These fixtures are often still in good condition and can be donated to a local salvage shop. Door handles will be most useful when all the parts are kept together, so put all of the pieces in a bag before donating.