Expert Awards


Recycle, Upcycle, Remove: Home Expert Awards

For the vast majority of homeowners, clutter is a huge problem. Sometimes it feels like your home is being invaded by junk, and the junk is multiplying. You know you should throw it away, but sometimes that’s easier said than done. What are you supposed to do with that old, out-of-date TV? Do you throw it away? Recycle it? Donate it to a secondhand store?

Too often, homeowners hang on to old junk simply because they aren’t sure how to get rid of it. Luckily, our experts are intimately familiar with these problems, and they had a lot of great suggestions for getting rid of all that junk!

Below, we’ve compiled a few of the helpful answers our experts provided. Check back later in the week for a follow-up article!

How do you know when to recycle, upcycle, or remove old junk?

Are there any items that people might be surprised to learn are recyclable?

How can homeowners find the proper place to dispose of old junk?

Do you have any favorite upcycling projects?

What items do homeowners seem most confused about when it comes to disposal?

Most Inspiring

"With the many “no questions asked” roundups in most cities you have resources, and most are free. Just about any appliance that had better days, have recycle value. The number of trucks I see that have “we pick up metal” are growing everywhere. So, contact your local recycling center and load up all your stuff and you may even make a few extra bucks!" read more

As Mark reminds us, we're lucky to live in an age where most things can be recycled. We don't have to just trash things we no longer need--we can put them back into circulation via recycling or scrapping. Just about anything can be recycled, and it's easier than ever to find the companies that do it. Just a couple phone calls could get your junk removed, without hurting the environment.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Creative

“When you’re left with your “junk,” we also suggest getting your neighbors involved. Renting a dumpster or trash hauler may be expensive for one house and you will most likely not fill it up; involving your neighbors will lower the cost of these options and can strengthen your relationship with your neighbors!” read more

Grand View Builders offer up a great suggestion for making recycling less expensive. Renting a trash hauler by yourself might be too expensive, but coordinating with your neighbors can save you both money. This is also true for second hand store collections and yard sales. Collaborating with your neighbors can make getting rid of junk easier.

eLocal Expert Network

Most Insightful

“Its a simple answer…when you spend more than an hour a month re-arranging the junk, or trying to find a new home for it in your attic or garage, then its time to just recycle or give it away. ... My favorite form of freecycling is just leaving it on the sidewalk…it will find a home all by itself.” read more

Richard makes the question of when to throw junk out simple. If you're constantly struggling to re-organize all your unused items, chances are they're no longer useful to you and it's time to pass them along. Throwing them out can be as simple as putting them on the curb for passing takers!

eLocal Expert Network

Most Articulate

“There is the saying one man’s junk is another man’s treasure…which I think is absolutely true. Anything that is usable I don’t think should be placed in the garbage. Salvation Army and Goodwill will take many items like furniture, clothing and shoes and resell them. There are also organizations that use re-purposed materials for art which are then distributed to schools for art supplies and theater programs such as Materials for the Arts (MFTA) and Friends of Material for the Arts (FOMA).” read more

Kahshanna outlines a number of different methods for getting rid of old junk without contributing to landfills. Recycling doesn't have to mean recycling centers. There are tons of second hand stores as well as programs like the two she named that would be more than happy to take your old junk. To them, it's not even junk--it's hidden treasure!

eLocal Expert Network

Most Informative

“It seems every time we attend a volunteer event, a school play or a celebration at work, it comes with a T-shirt. I’m not sure why all these groups have not caught on that these T-shirts inevitably end up in the basement. Sometimes we have sentimental value attached to these shirts: because we were in the school play, or planned that big event at work. But you know what, keep the memories and the pictures, not the t-shirt. THROW OUT!” read more

Katie is intimately familiar with the kind of hesitation that can result in junk build-up over the years, which is why she's made a helpful list of items that should always be thrown out, especially if you're on the fence about them. Remember: if you're questioning it, chances are you don't feel that strongly about keeping it and it's better tossed.

eLocal Expert Network