Leftover Building Material: Use Them or Lose Them?

If you’ve ever remodeled your kitchen, painted a room, or tiled a surface, odds are you’ve had extra material hanging around for years. If you feel uncomfortable throwing it in the trash, what do you do with it? Instead of letting it go to waste, give it new life! Here are several ways to re-purpose unused building material in an environmentally-friendly way.

Use Them

There are countless uses for scraps of wood, partial cans of paint and stacks of tile. Get in the creative spirit and build or give new life to something.


  • Raised garden bed
  • Storage unit
  • Bookshelf
  • Birdhouse
  • Picture frame
  • Comfortable fire (untreated wood)


  • Home touch-up
  • Chair, dresser or table
  • Undercoat primer (mix same paint types together)
  • Arts & crafts project


  • Beverage coaster
  • Kitchen backsplash
  • Outdoor planter box
  • Home address sign
  • Mosaic (tabletop, counter, garden path stepping stones, etc.)

Lose Them

Lose Them

One person’s trash is another’s treasure. One of the simplest ways to get rid of unwanted material is to let someone else put it to use. You’ll be amazed at how many people are willing to take it off your hands.

  • Put a ‘FREE’ sign on it and set it at the curb.
  • List it on an e-commerce website like Craigslist.
  • Donate it to a church or school, non-profit group like Habitat for Humanity, or an arts & crafts organization.
  • Take it to a scrap or salvage yard (search Salvoweb‘s directory or Earth911 to find one near you).

There are many options and uses for leftover building materials other than sending them to a landfill. Transform your surroundings or donate them to a keen recipient. Your conscience and your community will thank you!

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