Renovating a Kitchen? What’s Your Plan for the Waste?

By Manny Neves & Anderson Hines | Posted: 03/04/2014 6:02PM


Demolishing a kitchen to install something entirely new can be an exciting experience. It is strangely empowering to grab a sledgehammer and bring down a wall or to watch a demolition crew totally gut a kitchen space.

click image to zoomhardcore renos contractors blog But there is actually a lot of prep to be done before the walls hit the ground or the old cabinets are removed. Among the most important considerations: what are you going to do with your construction garbage?

When I was a kid, my dad used to just go to the local dump and throw bags on top of the pile. Today, that dump is a golf course, and there is no way they would welcome bags of garbage dotting the back nine. In fact, dumps have been slowly disappearing, and the ones that are open are particular about what they will take. That means when you knock out a kitchen, basement or other room, you may not have a dump nearby, and even if one is available it may not want your mixed refuse.

The need to plan for waste disposal is far greater in the case of a total home rebuild. For example, our latest project at 7 Rondale Blvd. in Toronto is a complete tear-down of an existing house, and we had to dig out a new basement. It is an exciting project, but our excavator had a tough time one morning: with no stations in the immediate area there was nowhere to leave the discarded soil.

And even once you find a soil station, the operators are often very particular about the material they will accept. And then there’s rain: if it rained the day before, the station may be closed, as any dirt being dumped is really just a mud bath. And those mud baths are very heavy, and have been known to trap trucks in the muck. Tow truck drivers are great, but you don’t want to call one to get you out of the mud at a dump.

All of this means disposal is a key element on any project. It can impact the schedule; one rain storm and the soil station shuts its gates. Remember, Mother Nature is the ultimate general contractor.

So how should you and handle your demolition? First, we can no longer just take a heap of rubbish and dump it at a designated site. We have a responsibility as conscientious citizens to do our part in helping the environment, and that starts with separating materials during the demolition stage. Every little bit helps.

For the project on Rondale, our demolition contractor separated everything into various piles. All metals, concrete, brick, copper, asbestos, wood and soil were sorted before the actual demolition took place. These items were then hauled off to different places to be recycled. And our excavator partner also separated items during the dig. It was like watching a surgeon in the operating room as he delicately moved things out of the way to be recycled later.

We also had a responsibility to be environmentally conscious. We brought in green and blue bins, not only for ourselves but for all the other trades that will be working on the job site.

Too often, we’ve worked on sites that are a havoc of litter, with lunch paper bags and pop cans strewn about with no one taking responsibility for the clean up. Manny and I always tell all the trades we work with that they are responsible for keeping their area and the site clean.

Doing this means we get compliments from our clients about how clean our sites are. Watching your house being torn down can also be stressful, so the least we can do is make sure the place is garbage-free. And this also means the neighbors are usually happier, because no garbage is blowing into their yards.

So if you are a contractor of a major renovation that involves a lot of waste, make sure you consider in advance how you intend to dispose of the materials and how often it will be collected. Garbage disposal will not be the most exciting element of the renovation, but it is a major component to consider. Recycling bins can be purchased for minimal cost at your local recycling station or big-box store, and being a good environmental citizen is only a small cost in the project’s total budget. And being responsible for recycling garbage has long-lasting effects.

Friends from high school, brothers from another mother, and now the duo behind the Toronto, Canada-based Hardcore Renos, Manny and Anderson combine precision craftsmanship, creative flair and comedic antics to a variety of stunning reno projects. Each with a keen eye for detail and a perfectionist’s approach to everything they do, Manny and Anderson apply their years of experience in building and design to create custom spaces – transforming simple powder rooms into sensory experiences, starting with a small bungalow and emerging with a home that is big, beautiful and timeless – in every single thing they do, with every product they use, Manny and Anderson take the ordinary and make it extraordinary. In short, they make it as only they can… HARDCORE. Renovations That Last Generations


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