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Going Green: How to Give Your Home Repair Leftovers a Second Life

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Warmer temperatures are creeping into the weather forecasts and before you know it, it will be time to take care of those pesky home repairs you meant to do last year.

Whether you are replacing your roof or remodeling a room in your home, there is one constant rule—when something new goes in, something old must be tossed out.  Take a look at these unknown recyclables hidden among your home repair rubble to help ensure that they serve a second life rather than waste away.

  • Roof shingles—Each year, ten million tons of asphalt shingles are torn off of American homes.  These shingles can easily be recycled into hot asphalt mix to pave your local roads.  In fact, shingles from one average-sized home can pave up to 200 feet of a two-lane highway, so check out the Owens Corning Roofing’s Shingle Recycling Program for more information.  To date, they have already recycled nearly 600,000 tons of used shingles!
  • Paint—If painting is on your to-do list, don’t toss its hazardous ingredients straight into the landfill once you have finished your project.   Drop off your used paint cans at your local Household Hazardous Waste facility, or consider donating to a local home repair cause like Habitat for Humanity.
  • Brick—Believe it or not, brick is a very environmentally friendly option for homes due to its sustainable production and resourcefulness.  Consider using old or leftover brick to offer a unique look and feel to your garden projects.  You can also donate to organizations like Habitat for Humanity, or donate your bricks to local masonry companies for resale.  The lowest qualities of bricks can be ground up to make concrete, so there is a use for bricks in almost any condition you have!
  • Carpet—Unfortunately, the U.S. tossed seven billion pounds of unwanted carpet into our nation’s landfills in 2012.  The good news is that carpet recycling is gaining steam in many communities across our country.  Visit the Carpet America Recovery Effort (CARE) to see how you can recycle your old shags.

Taking care of our Planet and your home is very important!  Have other suggestions on how we can remodel while also being Green?  Let us know by commenting below or by e-mailing us at green@wnco.comDING!  You are now free to be Green!