Construction site waste is always a concern – the amount of waste you’ll have relates to how big of a dumpster you’ll need, and then it’s easy: You load up your dumpster, make a call when it’s full and the dumpster company rolls it away. Did you know your dumpster company is probably selling your construction waste, and you’re paying them to do it? Here’s how you can turn your trash into cash: Recycling.

Many recycling plants in Michigan specialize in certain types of materials, so if you’re planning to recycle, always keep your materials separate. Recycling centers may not accept everything you’re throwing away, so the separation makes knowing which recycling center you’ll need to contact and scheduling their pick-up even easier.

Let’s say you’re going to tear down a wood structure. Non-treated wood can be recycled into wood chips that can be used for landscaping, OSB production and manufacturing. For a lower fee than a dumpster rental, you can have a wood recycling center pick up your wood waste and haul it away.

If you’re tearing down a barn, however, there’s a growing demand for using weathered barn wood as indoor paneling and decorative trim. Save as much of it as you can, since buyers from all over the country are willing to pay for it and pick it up from your jobsite. Having barn wood may even help you find your next job.

If you’re replacing old aluminum-cased windows or tearing down concrete walls, you can recycle the aluminum, rebar, glass and concrete, and get some cash back. A variety of centers in and around major cities offer competitive rates for scrap metal, and will drive out to the site to pick it up. Glass is a highly recyclable material and so most recycling centers accept it.

Concrete can be used and reused for a variety of projects, and because it’s a heavy and bulky material, it can take up a lot of room in a dumpster. Local concrete companies grind it up and use it as aggregate. Local nurseries and landscapers can use it in gardens. A couple of phone calls can save you a bundle.

Cutting your job site costs and might be as easy as selling or giving your construction waste away, and spending less on a smaller dumpster. You’ll also keep your scrap out of a landfill, a benefit that’s good for everyone.