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
Bury St Edmunds