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Toss That Junk: How to Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

Toss That Junk: How to Get Rid of Unwanted Stuff

You have just completed your home renovation project, your first or latest stab at updating your home. You are proud of your accomplishment, but you are also left with the residue of your hard work: scraps of lumber, old kitchen appliances, electrical wiring, plumbing pieces, old ballasts, and other odds and ends that can leave your home cluttered. Here are five options on what to do with that junk.

1. Simply bag it. Waste Management has innovated junk removal to benefit do-it-yourself people just like you. Its Bagster bag program enables you to fill up a debris bag with as much as 3,300 pounds of waste and have it carted away. Bags are available at home improvement stores and once your bag is filled and ready for hauling, you can schedule a collection and your junk will soon be gone. Fees vary, but you will pay 50 to 70 percent less than a dumpster according to Waste Management.

2. Donate, recycle or otherwise give it away. You may be surprised who would be interested in your stuff. And it doesn’t have to be in good condition either. For better quality used goods, your local Habitat for Humanity ReStore is a good place to donate. Goodwill, some local churches and men’s shelters are other places to contact. You might also consider posting what you have on Craigslist or on Freecycle.

3. Crunch and reuse. If your junk includes wood scrap, borrow or rent a wood chipper and send these pieces through. On the other end you will have wood chips, suitable for mulching. Make sure that you remove nails and other debris that does not belong. Cedar is ideal, but other soft woods can also be used.

4. Contact your town. Your municipality may have a trash removal program for certain bulky items such as an old couch, kitchen appliances, cabinetry, bathroom fixtures, you name it. If you have a pickup truck or a van, you may be able to drop these items off yourself. Otherwise, arrange for a special collection and expect to pay a fee for services rendered. Or, wait for your junk day and break up what you have for scheduled carting.

5. Repurpose your stuff. Can you reuse what you want to discard? No, not just moving an old refrigerator to a garage or man cave, but taking these materials and using them for new purposes. A Better Homes and Gardens article, Repurposed Wood Scraps as Home Accents provides examples of what you can do with wood including making coasters, a pencil holder, coat hangars, picture frames and shelving. Think about the gift-giving possibilities!

Toss That Junk

Of course, one way to get rid of your stuff is to simply put it large boxes, set it by the curb and place a “free” sign nearby to allow people to pick through your stuff. Before you know it, your unwanted cast offs may be taken off your hands for reuse elsewhere.

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