Remodeling your home is one of the many joys of being a homeowner. It doesn’t matter if you’re replacing your kitchen or adding a bathroom to your master suite. There are a wide variety of materials used—and materials thrown away. One of the most common materials used in home remodeling is scrap metal. From modern shower walls to office furnishings, scrap metal is in many different parts of the home as sturdy, durable material and can provide a modern touch. More importantly, when throwing out old materials and replacing them, you can recycle several types of scrap metal.
So, before you dump all your excess scrap metal into the trash, consider recycling your metal for some peace of mind. You’ll also help the environment while you enjoy your new and improved home.
Perhaps the most “common” type of scrap metal in remodeling homes, sheet metal has been used in homes around the country quite regularly. Due to sheet metal’s durability, home builders use it for many things. They may use it to create shower walls, waterproof and provide wind resistance for rooftops, and create reliable gutter systems. Sheet metal is resistant to moisture and corrosion, so builders often use this material in both indoor and outdoor capacities.
Recycling sheet metal is simple. The general rule is that sheet metal has to be at least 50 percent metal, and if you can easily remove it from other materials, there’s a higher chance it’s recyclable.
Mixed metal treatments are becoming increasingly popular in homes, and are common throughout upgraded apartments and houses for decorative and practical purposes. Several remodeling series on television showcase kitchens using a mix of metal backsplashes, copper basins, metallic cabinet knobs and handles, and stainless steel appliances.
The mixed metal trend continues into bathrooms as well. Unique metal light fixtures, as well as the sink and bathtub handles, are commonly used to add definition and character.
Recycling certain pieces of decorative metal can be tricky at times. Be sure to contact your local recycling center or scrap metal dealer for specifics on what kind of metals, and in what kind of forms, work well in the recycling process.
Both indoor and outdoor metal furnishings have been in circulation for a long time. Much like mixed metal used for accents, manufacturers make metal furniture with similar materials. These are materials like stainless steel, aluminum, and cast iron. Cast iron is mainly for outdoor furnishings (think patio tables and chairs) due to its sturdy structure that can withstand the elements, while other metal-themed furniture we often see in an office setting. Desks, chairs, and bookshelves are all made with mixed metals for a modern and trendy look.
Interestingly, if you want to recycle your old metal furniture, you can contact a scrap metal dealer. As long as the majority of the piece is metal, you can break it down. Then, manufacturers reuse for other purposes, just like sheet metal.
If you haven’t used a high-quality waffle maker, you haven’t lived! Appliances contain metal so that they last for years while continuous use and withstanding wear and tear. You can also recycle pots and pans, though you must do some research first.
Recycling isn’t just for handheld appliances either. You can recycle large metal-made appliances following proper protocol. Here’s a short list of recyclable metal appliances: refrigerators/freezers, ovens, air conditioners, microwaves, garbage disposals, washing machines, dryers, dishwashers, water coolers and more. Frequently, appliance manufacturers recycle your old unit for you once you purchase one of their newer models as part of a package deal.
The Importance of Recycling Household Metal
Focusing on where we put our debris while we fix up our homes should be part of the remodeling process. Recycling all types of metal is beneficial to the environment in multiple ways. As a result, this is something we should consider contributing to regularly.
This isn’t just about reusing old materials either. When we discard certain metals carelessly, there are chemicals (like mercury and lead) that can leak into nearby soil and water systems. This can lead to the contamination of drinking water and harm to wildlife.
Recycling metals can also conserve energy. It takes much more energy to create metal from raw materials. Instead, using recycled materials to build a wide variety of things requires much less. Between reducing greenhouse emissions, conserving energy, and contributing to a healthier environment, recycling metals in your home remodel should be a no-brainer.