Landfill Diversion Part 1 – Where to Donate Construction Materials

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When you visit a landfill you will witness first hand the amount of needless waste that is thrown away and if you haven’t ever been, go. Yes, it’s smelly (and probably not a great social outing) but we promise it will make you think twice about what you throw away on your construction site.

We are passionate about landfill diversion as it’s the process that will keep the most amount of materials from ending up in our landfills. The success of this diversion can be measured by comparing the size of the landfill from one year to the next. Most municipalities and cities are dealing with the issue of where to expand their landfills to, or altogether start new landfills as the old ones are full.

We dedicate Part 1 of this blog post to where you can donate extra construction materials lying around your site. We also work with these organizations on a project by project basis.

With all the construction waste we haul from sites throughout the Lower Mainland and the Sea to Sky Corridor, it would be easy just to dump everything straight into the landfill and just head on to the next job. But that way of thinking doesn’t align with our values! Our mission is to try and keep as much construction waste out of our local landfills as we can by donating building materials that can be repurposed such as:

·       Appliances

·       Tools and Hardware

·       Windows and Solid Core Doors

·       Lumber, Trim, Plywood (nails removed and min. 4ft length)

·       Light Fixtures, Lamps and Ceiling Fans

·       Sinks and Toilets

·       Drywall (full sheets) & Insulation (full bag)

·       Kitchen and Bathroom Cabinets

·       Paint min. ¾ full, less than year old with labels

There are two awesome places in which we donate used building materials in the Sea to Sky Corridor, which are Squamish ReBuild and Whistler Re-Build-It Centre.

Squamish Rebuild is a not-for-profit social enterprise that diverts reusable construction 'waste' from the landfill and provides community members with good quality, affordable building supplies.

The other place we like to donate building materials to is Whistler Re-Use-It Centre. Their mission is to provide programs and services that support social sustainability in Whistler and their vision is “To be the leading social service resource in Whistler by responding to the changing needs of a diverse Whistler community.”

In the Lower Mainland we like to work with Restore, which has locations in Vancouver, North Vancouver, Burnaby and Maple Ridge as well as Repurpose which is based in North Vancouver.

Did you know that Habitat for Humanity works with families in need (or as we call them, Partner Families) to build safe, decent and affordable housing? Houses are sold to Partner Families with no down-payment and are financed with affordable, no interest mortgages. Families invest 500 hours of their own labour, what we refer to as sweat equity, into building their own houses and those of other families.

A ReStore is a home decor and building supply store that sells new and gently-used items for your home and garden. The best part is that they are mainly volunteer-run; ReStore is a social enterprise and funds 100% of Habitat's operations. And it's from this money that we build homes for our deserving partner families. A win-win situation all-around!

Another place we like to work within the lower mainland is RE/PURPOSE, which is dedicated to reducing the levels of construction, deconstruction, and other wastes entering our landfills and incinerators through their redirection back into the community as useable items or as raw manufacturing materials.

And there you have it, these are great places to donate used building materials to and they align with our values by keeping as much construction waste out of our local landfills as well as building community and being environmentally focused. Stay tuned for our next Landfill Diversion blog post on where we recycle construction waste.