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Home remodeling projects can be an exciting prospect, transforming your home into something new. They can also often be a lot more complex than you imagined, filled with small details that no one really thinks about until they’re faced with them. Construction debris is one such detail.

While some contractors will remove debris as part of the contract, others will only remove certain things such material from a tear out. Leftover lumber, tile, shingles, or wood flooring, along with the packaging and pallets they arrived in, are often left behind for the homeowner to deal with.

While it’s always a good idea to keep a few tiles, roofing shingles, or floor boards on hand for future repairs, you sometimes have so much debris that simply putting it in the garage or basement isn’t going to be an option.

Thankfully, you do have choices and options when it comes to disposing of this debris, no matter what it is or how much of it you have.

Return Excess Unused Material

It’s common to overestimate the amount of material needed for a job, especially if you’re worrying about running out midway through a project. This can lead to leftovers, however, that you now don’t need.

If you have full boxes of tile, floor boards, or other materials like this, you may be able to return them. In some cases, you may need to pay a small restocking fee, and in other cases you’ll get a full refund. Just make sure you hang onto a small amount of whatever the material is in case of future repairs, and you can often unload the excess fairly easily. Keep in mind that anything you special ordered, however, may be yours to keep. Always read the fine print on any bills of sale to find out.

Take a Trip to the Dump

Your local dump or transfer station will usually accept construction debris. This does not include things like leftover paint or other hazardous materials (torn out asbestos linoleum, for example). For those, you may need to wait until hazardous material collection day in your town.

For normal debris, however, simply load it up and drive it down. You will likely pay a fee by the pound for its disposal, and you will need to do the hauling of it yourself. Call your local dump or transfer station to ask about a fee schedule and what the hours are for bringing in construction debris, as well as when their next hazardous waste acceptance day is.

Rent a Dumpster

If you don’t want to make several trips to the dump, consider renting a dumpster. Dumpsters can be rented by the day or week, and come in a range of sizes starting at 4 yards, so they can handle any amount of debris. The dumpster sits in your driveway or on another level surface near your home, and all you need to do is toss your debris inside. Once the dumpster is full, the company will come and take it away and dispose of the material for you. This can be a great time saving method if you don’t have the vehicle size or the time to make several trips to the transfer station.

Call a Junk Disposal Service

If you only have a small amount of debris, with no mold, paint, or other hazardous material, and you don’t want to bring it to the dump yourself, you can call a junk removal service. This usually means two or three people in a small truck or van who will haul away your debris for a fee. This can get very expensive very quickly, however, and they won’t take things like lumber that has nails sticking out of it or old carpet tack strips, so you’ll need to divide it up carefully. However, if all you have is a small amount of something they readily take, this might be a good option for you.

Recycle Paint

If you have several half used gallons and cans of paint sitting around, you can usually recycle them at your local hardware store. They often have a collection program that will accept unused amounts of paint, so you don’t need to worry about disposing of them at the dump. This service is usually free, you just need to get the paint to them. Be sure to call around to find out who is accepting leftover paint in your area.

Don’t Wait

Having a lot of debris hanging around after a project can keep your from enjoying the final results. In some cases, the debris may also be dangerous or difficult to store. So don’t wait; start looking into methods of disposal for your construction debris before the project even ends, and start enjoying your remodel without the added stress.