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Recycling For Your Construction Project …

Did you know?

By Clare Innes 

Crushed glass, as mentioned in the article, used in place of crushed gravel to build a French drain at a residence.

When you’re making plans to button up your house, close down your cabin, and shore up the shed for winter, it’s easy to keep a good amount of construction materials out of the landfill – which can also keep that to-do list from putting such a dent in your wallet!

  • Recycle new drywall scraps: The Chittenden Solid Waste District’s Williston, VT Drop-Off Center accepts drywall scraps for recycling. It’s cheaper than landfilling it ($18/cubic yard for small loads, rather than $60/cubic yard if it’s mixed in with regular construction material), and it’s recycled as a soil amendment, good for improving water penetration, softening soil with a high clay content, neutralizing acidic soil, and adds plant nutrients calcium and sulfur. (NOTE: We don’t recommend that you crumble it into your own soil. It needs to be processed and mixed with attention to soil chemistry).
  • “Hardware” and “fixtures” take on a new name when they are no longer usable: They become known as “scrap metal.” That’s right, when you replace those hinges, plumbing fixtures, door knobs, lighting fixtures, etc., they may no longer be useful in their current form, but if you bring them to a Drop-Off Center or your local scrap metal dealer for recycling, they can be melted down and made into a new product. You can also keep a little sack handy for tossing in metal bottle caps, guitar strings, bent coat hangers, rusty nails, and the like, which can go into the scrap metal bin as well.
  • Clean wood and lumber: All clean wood and lumber we collect at CSWD is chipped up and used as fuel to generate electricity or to fire a wood-drying kiln at a lumber company. Clean wood is defined as never having been painted, stained, treated, or glued, and free of dirt and stones. Depending on where you take it, it will likely be free for most load sizes, though there are usually specifications and limits.
  • Reuse shops are springing up everywhere and they buy and sell reusable building materials and home-improvement products. If you’re replacing your cabinets, doors, knobs, fixtures, or other items, remove them carefully so they can be resold instead of landfilled. Give your local reuse shop a call and see if they are interested in it.
  • Got a pre-winter drainage project? Consider using crushed glass instead of gravel for French drains or foundation projects. Processed glass aggregate (“PGA”) is the jargony term we use for crushed, recycled glass. When you toss your glass bottles and jars into your recycling bin in Chittenden County, the glass is crushed when it reaches our recycling facility, then tumbled until sharp edges are worn smooth, and then offered free as a substitute for 3/8″ and under gravel for use in certain types of building and civil engineering projects.

You can also find lots of information on how to keep your home improvement projects out of the landfill on the CSWD website:

Clare Innes is the Marketing Coordinator, Chittenden Solid Waste District. E-mail:, Hotline: 872-8111.





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