Old Garage Doors: What About Recycling?

These days, recycling is understood to be vital for the survival of the planet. 

Old garage doors pose a disposal problem in that they are large and heavy and are made of materials that do not decompose.  Even wooden garage doors are treated and sealed to maintain strength and beauty over many years of use.  Because they take up a significant amount of space in a landfill, individuals who attempt to dispose of old garage doors may face hefty disposal fees.  Many installation companies that offer garage door service now include complimentary removal and recycling of old doors, often free of charge with garage door replacement.  However, a creative homeowner may choose to keep the used doors and get creative with recycling options.

A great way to recycle used garage doors that are no longer wanted is to take them to builder supply re-use stores, such as the Habitat for Humanity Restores.  A donation to a Habitat Restore counts as a charitable donation for tax purposes, keeps the doors out of landfills, helps Habitat for Humanity raise funds with which to build homes, and offers the doors up for a minimal price to persons seeking inexpensive, used garage doors.

Used garage doors can easily be cleaned, painted, and even dressed up with decorative hardware and used on outbuildings like sheds and greenhouses.  The doors can be hung and used just like on a vehicle storage garage, complete with electronic door openers.  They can also be used as walls for building small tool sheds.  Keep in mind that the neighbors may not like the look of a shed made out of mismatched, used garage doors.  A clever paint job should help pretty things up.

Using paint to give an old door an all new look opens up a whole new list of uses for the recycled material.  The doors can also be used whole or in pieces as roofing for out buildings.  A couple sections of an old door can be decorated and used as a roof for a child’s playhouse.  Or, use prettily painted metal door sections to build creative planters for flowers and vegetables.  Using recycled metal garage doors as planters set around the garage entry and to beautify the driveway is a creative use that will impress friends and neighbors.

Many old wooden garage doors have carved sections and decorations.  An attractive old wooden door makes an original and lovely headboard for a bed.  Wooden doors can also be used in sections as unique wainscoting for interior decorating.  Treated and sealed wooden doors can also be cut or separated into sections and used as landscaping materials, or put hinges on them and use them as fence gates.

Before throwing a replaced garage door away or having it hauled off for recycling by the garage door service, consider the many uses around the home and yard that recycled metal and wood can come in handy for.  If nothing else, securing a used door to the back of a garden shed creates a wonderful outdoor canvas for children to paint murals on.  If nothing comes to mind, donating them to charitable resellers of building supplies benefits many people.

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