From Trash to Treasure – Construction Waste Upcycled & Recycled

From Trash to Treasure – Construction Waste Upcycled & Recycled

The old saying, one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, couldn’t be more true when it comes to the unique upcycled projects we’ve seen with construction waste.

In a world where we are becoming ever more conscious of our environmental impact, reducing waste that enters landfill has become a conscious concern for many of us. 

According to Wrap, the construction industry in the UK uses 400 million tonnes of material every year, which results in 100 million tonnes of waste being produced. From research, 90% of this waste could be recycled or re-used to reduce the amount of waste entering landfill. 

In some instances, even excess materials are often sent to landfill as construction companies are unsure of how to recycle or resell it. 

As an industry, there is certainly more that can be done to reduce waste, but also as consumers we should also be making a conscious effort to not see waste as a byproduct, but instead a raw material that can be used time and time again.

There are many items that can be reused and recycled in the construction industry. Sometimes what we really need is a little inspiration.

To help us all reduce waste, and cut down on costs during the post-COVID era, we’ve revealed the best upcycled and recycled construction projects. 

When you put your mind to it, the possibilities are endless.

There’s a Pallet For That

In the construction industry, most materials are delivered on a pallet which is often left behind once the materials have been used.

As these palettes are wood, they can be easily recycled; however, you can also get crafty and use this extra wood for a number of household projects. From creating a pallet herb container for the garden, a shoe rack, or a rustic pallet wall in the house; these basic objects have been transformed into an array of useful items.

Bricks and more

Leftover bricks often end up being broken down for aggregate or recycled for other materials, but with a little motivation, they can also quite literally be the building blocks for your next home DIY project. 

You only need to look on Pinterest to see how popular brick DIY projects have become to realise this material can be the foundation of anything for your home or garden. 

If you have enough to hand, the biggest trend of the moment is building an outdoor pizza oven. Dining alfresco has never come at such a small price. Alternatively, use your bricks to build a fire pit. Smores and autumn outdoors will become your weekend adventure. 

Don’t waste it, paint it

From small sample pots to big commercial pots; leftover paint does have an expiry date and can feel like a huge waste of money. 

Paint is also difficult to dispose of due to its chemical makeup, meaning it must be disposed of in a particular way to ensure it does not contaminate local water supplies. 

The best thing to do if you have leftover paint is to use it! 

Some of our favourite paint projects include updating old furniture with a lick of paint, painting your front door or your garage door, or adding a pop of colour to kitchen cabinets. 

You can’t beat concrete 

Concrete may not sound like the most luxury construction material to be in demand. But there’s been a surge of use for concrete in minimal modern homes who want that utilitarian feel. 

If you watch Channel 4’s Grand Designs, you’ll be well aware of the rising trend in concrete, as there’s been bathrooms and whole houses made of the stuff. 

But what about when you have those few bags left?  

Fear not, concrete is having a moment, and there are so many concrete crafts you can create for your home and garden. 

By far the most popular use for leftover concrete is to build your own plant pots and planters. Across Pinterest, there is a raft of cool creations with plants taking home in a concrete pot or two. 

However, if you’re feeling up for a real project, we recommend trying your hand at building a concrete piece of furniture. From coffee tables, bedroom side tables to entire sink basins. 

Light it up with your electricals 

Electrical appliances and wire may not feel like the easiest DIY project to take on, but these materials can help you create truly unique lighting features in your home. 

If you don’t have skills or expertise in this area, there are now many bespoke artisan creators on sites such as Etsy who can help you transform old electrical wires into home lighting features, or better still build them into home furniture. 

When it comes to construction waste, all most everything and anything can be recycled and upcycled into something useful. 

We hope these ideas have helped you realise there’s much more to waste than first meets the eye. So maybe this year you’ll look to upcycle before you buy. 

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493

Who Can Use Grab Hire Services?

Who Can Use Grab Hire Services?

At AJ Grab Hire, we work with all projects big and small across the Cambridgeshire and surrounding areas. 

When people often think of grab hire, they think of our huge grab lorries which you can often be seen hard at work on public-facing projects such as road engineering or housing developments. But in reality, our grab lorries help many sized projects in shifting waste quickly and efficiently, as grab lorries are more convenient and cost-effective than a traditional skip. 

If you’re wondering if we can help you with your project, we’ve revealed the most common jobs we work on to support ethical waste removal. 


From garden landscaping, putting down foundations, to even supporting charities with considerable landscape improvements; at AJ Grab Hire our grab lorries have helped many organisations and individuals keep their fingers green and their land clean. 

A recent project we took part in was to help The Wild Trout Trust by adding gravel into the River Mel. Trout eggs need loose clean gravel with a good flow of water and oxygen. Gravel reinstatement in rivers is supported by the Environment Agency to support life in our local rivers. 

For landscapers, we can provide a small 4-wheel grab hire lorry that can manoeuvre in smaller spaces. We can also supply and deliver a variety of aggregate to help you reduce project down-time. 

Whether you’re a small independent landscaper or part of a bigger company or organisation, we have the equipment and knowledge to support you in getting the job done. 

Construction Companies 

From large well-known construction companies to small and medium-size construction companies; at AJ Grab Hire we’ve worked alongside these businesses to ensure their waste is removed efficiently off-site.  From Grab hire in Cambridge to muck away in Stevenage we have all of the local areas covered.

Waste from construction projects can quickly begin to build up, which is why at AJ Grab Hire, we pride ourselves on being able to remove all types of waste in the most efficient way possible. 

Unlike a skip, grab hire is chosen because a permit is not required. Our average fill time is a maximum of 20 minutes, so we can be off your site and moving your waste in no time at all, enabling you to crack on with the project. 

With two different sizes of grab lorry, we can shift anything from 16 tonnes to 32 tonnes. That’s a lot of waste capacity! 

A key reason why we are also used regularly by construction companies is because we are licensed waste removers. 

Unfortunately, rogue traders are rife in the waste removal industry, leading to fly-tipping and huge fines for construction companies. 

As we are certified by the Environment Agency, construction companies know that we not only dispose of waste ethically, but we do everything we can to reduce the amount of waste entering landfill. 

Domestic Renovations 

Many people believe that a grab hire lorry is only for large projects, but in fact, our smaller 4-wheel grab lorry is ideal for domestic renovations such as extensions or home renovations. 

We are often used by local builders and those self-building, as it provides ample room for the building work to continue, rather than trying to navigate around a skip. 

At AJ Grab Hire, our smaller lorry navigates small spaces meaning it’s easy for us to collect piles of waste from the back of the house. 

To cut down on project delays, our 4-wheel grab lorry also delivers aggregate. Meaning domestic renovations can continue without pausing for deliveries. 

Large Housing Projects 

Across the Cambridgeshire and Bedfordshire area, we have been part of many large housing projects and redevelopments. This has offered our team an exciting opportunity to play their part in supporting the local area.  

With large housing projects on tight deadlines, a fast turn around for waste removal is required, which is why our 8-wheel grab hire lorries have been key in shifting high volumes of waste quickly and efficiently. 

As many of these large housing projects are also public-facing and near heavily congested roads, it has been vital to use a grab lorry to keep the site and all access points clean, clear and above all safe. 


At AJ Grab Hire we’ve worked on many agriculture projects to support farmers who are enhancing their land, or shifting large amounts of waste. 

When a farm is going through a big change in produce, or making improvements to their land, much waste can easily be created, meaning it piles up quickly. 

A large amount of waste on a farm isn’t practical. Not only can it get in the way of operations which have to run seamlessly, but it can also interfere with the produce or animals that are on the farm. This is why at AJ Grab Hire we’ve been chosen by farmers to support them in shifting tonnes of waste quickly. 

We’ve also supported local farmers with laying down new foundations with our aggregate delivery. 

Office Refurbishment 

It may not sound like your typical grab hire job, but office refurbishment is a big job. With large amounts of furniture and interiors being removed, and decorating and building taking place, we’ve seen a huge increase in projects that are commercial offices. 

At AJ Grab Hire, we know how to move all types of waste so that it can be recycled and disposed of in an environmentally friendly manner.

So no matter the size of your project, give our team at AJ Grab Hire a call to see how we can keep you running smoothly.  

AJ Grab Hire

Head Office:
Langdale Farm
Cambridge Road

Opening times

Mon – Fri 9am – 5.30pm
Sat 9am – 12pm

T: 01763 233493


AJ Grab HireWhatsApp Chat

× How can we help you?