Farm cleanups are a big job, particularly because there are so many different categories of rubbish and waste that can be found on them. It can be very tempting to just heap everything in a big pile and send it all off to landfill, but in reality, this is terrible for the environment. Never fear! In this blog, we’re running through some different recycling tips you can use to clean up your farm or barn, from reusing barn wood to opting to sell scrap metal.
Know what cannot be recycled
Before you begin your recycling journey, you need to know exactly what items on the farm you cannot recycle. Not only does this protect you from breaking local council rules, but knowing which items are unrecyclable can protect the environment and the health of anyone on or near the farm.
Take care not to recycle these items:
- Asbestos or materials containing asbestos
- Empty chemical drums or used containers that do not have the drumMUSTER program sticker
- Excess or unwanted chemicals
- Household waste that cannot be composted
- Treated timber that cannot be reused
Many of these items must either be disposed through landfill, or disposed of through organised collection. For example, Chemclear is a chemical collection organisation that you can contact to remove excess or unwanted chemicals from your farm or site. If you are unsure how to dispose of an item that is non-recyclable, contact your local council for advice.
Use barn wood to create furniture
Bring the farm to your home! Barn wood is a fantastic reusable resource that can be used to create some stunning rustic pieces of furniture. You can make lots of things out of barn wood, from tables, to mirror frames, to wine bottle displays, to towel racks. There are thousands of ideas on the Internet; the sky is the limit!
There are a few things you need to check before you begin your exciting barn wood DIY:
- Inspect for any metal (such as nails) that might still be in the wood. These should be removed immediately or they can dull down your saw blade.
- Check for bugs. Depending on the kind of wood you have, it may be prone to infestation, and you definitely don’t want that in your home. You can treat the wood with insecticide or another recommended solution.
- Make sure the wood is clean. Loose dirt can be scrubbed off using a stiff bristle brush, but finer dirt needs to be sprayed out using water.
Either reuse or recycle masonry waste
Masonry waste includes items like bricks, tiles and concrete. Before you decide what to do with the masonry waste, always double check that it is free of dangerous chemicals (such as asbestos).
Once you have confirmed that your masonry waste is safe for reuse, consider the number of ways you can repurpose it, including:
- Using it to rebuild or repair areas of the farm
- Crushing and using it to create tracks, bases or paths
It is very important to note that illegally dumping or disposing of masonry waste in an unapproved area can cause you to face huge liabilities. Not only that, but the waste can break down and contaminate nearby groundwater sources. This is extremely bad for the local environment and surrounding eco-system.
If it is not possible for you to reuse your farm’s masonry waste, you need to contact a collection service that will help to recycle it for you instead of dumping it yourself. Your local council will be able to provide collection information to you.
Sell scrap metal
There’s often piles and piles of scrap metal heaped up around farms. From old machinery to horseshoes in the barn, you don’t have to go far to find metal that is not in use anymore. But the good news is that there is an easy way to get rid of it: you can sell scrap metal.
Before you go ahead and sell scrap metal, make sure you know what kind of metal you’re selling, the right buyer who’ll purchase that metal, and what kind of price you can get for it. For example, some buyers will not pay for ferrous metals, so it is pertinent to know the difference between ferrous and non-ferrous metals before you sell your metals.
Metal Men Recycling buy both ferrous and non-ferrous metals. We offer free bins that you can use to collect the scrap metal you plan to sell, and we even do farm cleanups. Call us today on 03 5941 6677 to find out how to sell scrap metal you find on your farm.