7 Best Ways Waste Can Be Repurposed into Something Wonderful

  • 11 November 2016

As eco-awareness spreads, protecting the environment, diverting waste from landfill, and instead re-using and re-purposing what we can are not only trendy, it’s an absolute necessity for both businesses and individuals.

At Instant Waste Management we do our part as best we can – always striving to divert as much corporate, construction and residential waste away from landfill and into recycling as we can, by taking all the waste we collect to our materials recovery facility in Bayswater to sort it into recyclable and non-recyclable items.

But there are small ways you can repurpose waste from your own home or business into something wonderful too. As the saying goes, one person’s trash is another’s treasure! So, why not create your own treasures?

Here are some ideas to get your creative juices flowing!

1. Build a Gabion Wall

IWM Gabion walls

Another thing we have done here at Instant Waste Management HQ is to build gabion walls around our premises using colourful rubble from the construction waste we take in through our construction material recycling facility.

Gabion walls are a great way to create a sturdy barrier around your home, business or even to create a flower bed in your back yard. Basically, it’s a cage filled with hard material. The best part is that you can fill them however you want to, using old stones, concrete, sand, or something else. Use one to create a path in your yard, to divide a hilly yard from the driveway, or to divide landscaping from the yard.

2. Keep it Green

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Plants are a great way to green-up a space - literally! Not only do they help to purify the air, but they bring a little bit of the outdoors in, or a little bit of nature to a bustling city. Almost anything can be used as a pot, from an old milk jug or a bowl that you no longer eat from, to old lightbulbs or worn out shoes.

3. Have Fun with It!

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Children’s outdoor playthings are one of the easiest things to make from what was once waste. For example, a tire swing can be made from an old tire and some rope or chains hung from a tree. Instead of a tire, you could substitute any chair with the legs removed, or remove the legs and the back, or use just a piece of wood that isn’t being used.

4. DIY Candles

Wine bottle candle

Candles are great for ambient lighting and keeping the bugs away on summer nights, and it’s so simple to make a light or a candle from an old wine bottle!

  • You’ll need a glass drill bit or scoring tool, a candle, goggles to protect your eyes, and cold water.
  • First, score the glass. Decide where you want to cut it, and basically, you’ll cut into it with the drill bit or scoring tool.
  • Rotate the glass over the candle to heat up the glass where you just scored it.
  • Put the scored glass in cold water. You should hear cracking, and with a tug, it should come apart.

You can place the top of the bottle over a lit candle to protect it from the wind and use the bottom as a candle holder.

5. Get Creative!

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Just because waste looks like trash right now does not mean it has to stay that way. The tools in this fence could have been broken, rusted, or worn out, but they make a beautiful fence once they’ve been painted to match.

6. Indoor Toys

Sock Puppet

Children’s toys are also easy to upcycle for indoors! Try painting old cans to use as storage for craft supplies, from pencils and crayons to buttons and pipe cleaners. Or, use those markers and buttons to decorate an old sock into a sock puppet! A stage can be made from anything - even an old dresser that the kids can fit behind.

7. Furniture

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If you’re up for it, almost anything flat can be easily turned into a desk, dinner table, side table, or workbench. Try signs, doors, an old headboard, or another large, flat, object. This one requires some tools, but will allow for custom made tables that fit your taste.