Remodeling used to mean that a roll off dumpster was dropped in your driveway, the project area was gutted, and everything went on its merry way to the landfill. These days, however, homeowners are much more conscious of what they can try to reuse, recycle, or even upcycle in their remodeling project. 

1. Kitchen Cabinets: In many remodeling projects, kitchen cabinets are still in good, working condition. They are just no longer stylish. Base cabinets can be reused in the garage for added storage or they can be donated to local, non-profit organizations, like Habitat for Humanity. The donated construction materials are often sold to the public at a discount and then the profit helps fund the charitable mission. Win-win-win.

2. Scrap Metal: Most construction and remodeling projects dig up some scrap metal. Instead of throwing it away, take the time to pull out the metal scraps for recycling. When tearing off a roof on an older home, for example, it is common to find used copper flashing, which can sell for $2.00/pound or more. While it won't pay for the new roof, it will earn you free pizza and beer when the work is done!

3. Wood Beams: Major remodeling might reveal old wood beams. You can upcycle them into a unique fireplace mantle with a story to tell. No fireplace? Sell them to an architectural salvage yard and let someone else tell the story.

4. Windows: Chances are you are replacing your windows because they are not energy efficient, but they could have new life outside of the landfill. Gardeners frequently use old windows to build cold frames to help seedlings survive the harsh spring weather. Leave them at the curb with a note or use sites like to let people know you have some treasures to share. 

5. Wood Floors: One of the latest trends in the design world is reusing wood flooring in a horizontal wall application, like shiplap. It can be left the original color, but it is often painted white or stained a beach-y, weathered gray. Taking a little extra care in its removal not only saves this material from heading to the dump, but it also saves you some serious cash on a cool, new design element.

With so many options that help both the environment and your bottom line, slow down. Think of ways you can reuse, recycle, or upcycle your construction debris. For more information, contact companies like Cozzi Recycling.