What You Can Recycle In A Building Demolition

Demolished building structure behind a fence, with the text ‘What can you recycled in a house demolition?’

Need to demolish a building and repurpose, reuse, and recycle wherever possible? 

By recycling and repurposing, you can get more value from the materials, help grow the circular economy, reduce your landfill, and even minimise your dumping fees. 

But first, you’ll need to get familiar with the various materials you can extract from a home (and how they can be used) so that you can sort, handle, and redirect them appropriately. 

6 Materials for Demolition Recycling

Here are six materials commonly recycled (or reused) from building demolitions, along with some tips on how to handle them and what to look for.

1. ConcretePartly demolished apartment building showing concrete structures, and mindmap overlaid showing different sources of concrete waste in a building.

Concrete waste is one of the simplest demolition materials to recycle — and most buildings tend to have a lot of it. Many old homes will need their concrete foundations and driveway removed, and some will also have concrete footpaths, shed slabs, and patios that can be broken up and recycled into aggregates, roadbases, and dust

The most important thing to know about recycling concrete is that you need to keep it clean. If dirt, hazardous materials, and other rubbish is mixed in with your concrete, it may attract extra sorting fees — or may only be suited to landfill. We recommend organising a skip bin to keep your concrete separate and ready to recycle.

Learn more about the concrete recycling process, or if you need concrete recycling in the greater Brisbane region, contact our team at Moreton Bay Recycling and for skip bins, check out our sister company, Jumbo Bins.

2. Metal

Metal reinforcing sitting on top of concrete waste, and mindmap overlaid showing different sources of metal waste in a building demolition.

Common sources of metal in an older home or commercial building include copper pipes, steel beams/studs, aluminium cladding, aluminium fences, sheds, roofing, and more. Plus, any metal reinforcing that can be extracted from concrete slabs (we handle this at Moreton Bay Recycling). 

Some metal components from your demolition will be able to be resold and reused, but everything else can be sold to a metal recycler so that it can be manufactured into other metal goods.

3. Timber

Partly demolished building interior with piles of timber, and mindmap overlaid showing different sources of timber waste in a building.

If you have old timber flooring that’s in reasonably good condition, this can sometimes be sold and reused in other homes. Likewise, timber beams, benches, decking, and doors from your demolition can also be reused or repurposed to make furniture or other woodworking projects. Certain types of reclaimed timber are more desirable for this than others, and may even be sold at a premium compared to new timbers due to their unique colours, textures, durability, and often limited availability. Intricate grains, large bolt holes, and solid knots are all interesting features — and woods like Blackbutt, Tasmanian Oak, and Tallowwood tend to be particularly sought after.

Quality is key when it comes to recycling timber. Each piece must be inspected for potential issues like pests and decay, as well as old paint and surface damage. Timber should be kept out of the elements and away from any sources of moisture to avoid mould, rot, and warping.

4. Bricks & Tiles

Pile of clay tiles and pavers, and mindmap overlaid showing different sources of brick and tile waste in a building demolition.

If you have bricks and tiles that are in good condition, you may be able to clean them and reuse them in other construction projects, or repurpose them in a landscaping project. Recycled bricks can come in handy for homeowners that are looking to match existing brickwork, or anyone that’s looking for a brick with more character to create a feature. 

If you have any bricks that aren’t suitable for reuse, you can send them to a recycler like Moreton Bay Recycling. Alongside concrete waste, we also accept bricks, clay tiles, roof tiles, and outdoor pavers for crushing and recycling at MBR (but not ceramic tiles).

5. Doors & Windows

Contractor repainting salvaged windows, with mindmap overlaid showing different types of doors and windows to be recycled in a building.

New doors and windows can be pricey — and some homeowners prefer to purchase second hand, refurbished pieces where possible. It’s possible that your used door or window will be the perfect match for a nearby classic Queenslander that’s undergoing a renovation, or they could be a great finishing touch for a new shed, tiny home, or granny flat.

6. Fixtures & Appliances

Person adjusting a light fitting, with mindmap overlaid showing different types of fixtures and appliances in a building demolition for recycling or reuse.

It’s often worth saving the fixtures and appliances from your demolition, especially if they’re in good, workable condition or if they’ve got a unique character. For instance, taps, tubs, basins, cabinets, door handles, ceiling fans, light fixtures, extraction fans, and ovens can be cleaned and resold. If you have any fixtures that aren’t salvageable, their metals and components may be recyclable.

Find Sustainable Demolition Companies in Brisbane

Photos of trucks and companies in Brisbane that have reputations for managing demolition waste sustainably.

At Moreton Bay Recycling, we see concrete waste from a lot of different sources, including home and building demolitions throughout the greater Brisbane region. A number of our customers are sustainability-minded demolition companies that we’ve seen do the right thing, time and time again. 

Check out the following local companies for demolition services and recycled products:

And if you’re looking for a concrete recycling company in Brisbane to deposit your concrete waste, come and visit us in Narangba! We accept clean concrete waste and transform it into recycled concrete products that can be used in landscaping, plumbing, and construction projects. 

 

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