Recycled wood products can find new life as a creative coffee table, artist's sculpture, hardwood floor board or bookshelf. Before you trash old wood products, spend time researching their resale value. You might be sitting on a profit. Sources of recycled wood include old farm crates, condemned buildings, old fences, wood pallets and scrap lumber. If your recycled wood is in poor quality, you can still sell it to a mill that will use it to create new wood-based products like compressed firewood.
Sort and categorize your wood. Create a list of what you've got and the condition it's in. If you have five rustic apple crates in good condition and two in poor condition, write this information down.
Photograph the wood in natural light so that you can show sellers what you've got without physically driving the wood to their business.
Look for timber or flooring companies selling recycled wood products in your area using specialized websites like Woodfinder or Recycle.net. Find out what types of wood these companies sell. If you have something they sell, call them to see what they are currently offering for that type of wood. Follow up with an email with photographs or by stopping by with a sample of your wood.
Research art schools, woodworking classes, furniture makers and artists' collectives in your area. People associated with these organizations are often looking for reclaimed wood. If you have recycled wood scraps left over from a home repair project or if you have smaller pieces of wood, artists may be your best match. Contact the programs or individuals you find to notify them what types of wood you have and let them know you can provide wood samples or photographs.
Find recycled wood mills that buy wood. Contact them to see if they need your wood. With faraway companies, you'll probably get less money since the wood needs to be transported. Look for distant wood mills only if you're unable to find a buyer in your community.
Tips & Warnings
- You may be able to donate your wood to a nonprofit organization for a tax write-off.
- If you are a craftsman, offer to build bookshelves or tables for a nonprofit out of your recycled wood for a larger tax write-off.
- Photo Credit NA/AbleStock.com/Getty Images
- How to Start a Pallet Recycling Business
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