Summer Projects: Waste or Opportunity?

I don’t know about you, but for me, summer means at least one major household project. Last year I gutted the bathroom. This year it’s time to re-roof. While these projects can be an opportunity to add personal touches to your home, it is also an important time to deepen a commitment to reducing, reusing and recycling.

Did you know that 22 percent of Oregon’s waste is from construction and demolition? It’s one of our fastest growing waste streams. Master Recyclers can help stop this growth by integrating information about construction waste reduction into your presentations, tabling events and conversations with neighbors.

Here are some tips and resources to get you started:


  • Think simple. A room does not need to be ornate to be beautiful
  • Think small. More square feet requires more materials
  • Design using standard sizes so that less material has to be cut away
  • Consider sustainable materials that are durable and recyclable and will be easy to deconstruct Use classic designs that will be popular for years
  • Take care of structures so they last longer
  • Buy materials (wood, fasteners, screws, etc.) in bulk



  • Set aside an area to sort recyclable materials
  • Haul recyclables (in cluding wood and scrap metal) to a Metro transfer station
  • Take appliances, ceramics, dirt, and concrete to a recycler


Metro Paint

Metro Construction and Salvage Guide

Metro Find-a-Recycler Database