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cabinet recycling

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Apr 21, 2013, 03:49 PM
cabinet recycling
Every time I watch someone take a sledge hammer to the cabinets in a kitchen makeover it drives me crazy! Why don't they take them down properly and let people like me put them up in my house? My cabinets are from the 1950s and I would love to use some of the ones that are being totally trashed. How do we sign up to get those being destroyed??
Apr 21, 2013, 05:19 PM
Realistically, it's an economic thing. It would make sense if you lived three houses away from the construction - then it would be a win/win for everyone. You would get some "new" cabinets and nobody would have to pay for disposal.

But - Assuming that you don't live down the street, you'll have to pay hundreds or even thousands of dollars to ship the cabinets to your location. Not a smart idea.

Beyond that there are a host of other reasons:

1. Those old cabinets may look OK on TV but they are probably in pretty bad shape. Water and rodent damage is very common.
2. It costs the contractor or the TV crew contractors a lot more time to carefully remove cabinets vs just getting them out of there. If you saw this on a TV show, they are working on a very tight schedule - trying to do a kitchen remodel in just two or three days. Another time = money situation but in this case the extra time to remove the cabinets without damage will easily cost thousands of dollars in production time.
3. Just because you see a scene on TV where they hit a cabinet or two with sledgehammers doesn't mean that most of them didn't wind up being recycled. Sure, TV likes to show the dramatic demolition shots but a lot of the undamaged stuff goes to somebody local (like you) who can use it.
4. Again, just being realistic. Many people write in on this topic to say that instead of destroying the cabinets that they should be donated to Habitat or other such organizations. I can tell you that I've been there - they don't want them. Habitat may come by and MAYBE will take one or two of the best looking cabinets but they will leave the rest.

Apr 21, 2013, 05:48 PM
This is a common complaint here and at HGTV. The worst show was "moving up" on TLC where they would follow three families that moved up, usually an empty nester couple selling their home and two families moving up with one of them buying the empty nester's home the the other couple moving into the other couple's house.

I've seen them trash perfectly good cabinets, that were just installed in the last couple of years because they didn't like the style. Little did they know that many Habitat for Humanity reuse stores would have sent a team over to remove the cabinets at no cost, haul them away and give you a nice tax deduction. Jay makes a good point, but many times they are trashing cabinets that could easily be reused if not for a kitchen for someone's garage.

That said, HFH is mighty proud of those used cabinets. I've seen prices that were really high for 40 year old painted cabinets. I assume somebody buys them at some point but their prices haven't inspired me to buy from them.

General Disclaimer

Any advice given here is general in nature and is not necessarily valid for your given area. If in doubt check with your local codes enforcement department for what is required when doing electrical, plumbing or structural work on your house. Permits may or may not be required in your area and home owners may not be able to DIY some tasks. I have no way of knowing if you have the skills needed to complete the tasks you are asking about, when in doubt seek professional assistance.

My advice may be worth exactly what you pay me for it. :-) For the record I did not stay in a Holiday Inn Express last night.
Apr 21, 2013, 06:51 PM
Little did they know that many Habitat for Humanity reuse stores would have sent a team over to remove the cabinets at no cost, haul them away and give you a nice tax deduction

Actually, no. Maybe Habitat and the other places are different in your part of the country, but around here they have all the cabinets that they need. We've tried all the different places many times and it always the same - either they don't want them at all or they will pick up just a couple of the very best ones and leave everything else. When they do show up they are a couple of guys who can carry things, but not necessarily skilled at anything else.

Beyond that, there is no way in the world that I'll let a Habitat crew (or anyone else for that matter) onto my active jobsite. Liability issues are bad enough as it is, having a member of an outside crew get hurt or possibly do some damage to our clients house is not an option. Just think about it - the guys from Habitat come in, carry out some cabinets and drop one on the hardwood floors on the way out. Or clip the door casing. My jobsite, my fault, I'd get stuck not only paying for it but having to look like an unprofessional jerk to my client. Not going to happen.

Apr 30, 2013, 01:08 PM
Thanks for all of the ideas and good points. I appreciate the feedback. But I still want some of those cabinets I see disposed of on these shows! Anything is better than what I have. And I did not know about Habitat stores. I will have to check them out. Thanks again.
Apr 30, 2013, 04:43 PM
Habitat's used materials stores in this area are branded Re-Use Centers. there are other salvage materials companies and antiques shops that take old cabinets and sell them for three times over Wink

did you catch Kitchen Crashers last night, in which show they took out the recent but "not my desigh" cabinets, her crew carried them outside, and a Habitat truck at the bottom of the driveway had its crew load 'em? granted, it's The Magic Of TV (tm) that everybody was there like that right when the camera crew had loaded up a fresh new tape, but set 'em in the side yard, tarp 'em, and put a sign "for Habitat, Bill Stickers pickup", and it can work.

and yes, two or three of the biggest dumpsters I have ever seen are usually at the back of the New Brighton Re-Use Center for the stuff they don't want. the acceptance crew is quick to point at items... "tile, there... sink, back behind that pile... that one outside... that outside... paint, under here" and so on. "outside" means it may be too sad for your dumpster, but it isn't too sad for ours.

note that like Jaybee, there were few used cabinets at the Re-Use in my area. they sell instead mill-fresh MDF cabinets with very minor dings for what they would sell whatever that was brought to the back door. is a good alternative for shopping. while this is not something small and easily stolen, the better in which to whack a "buyer" over the head and cob their wallet as well, these days it's probably best to bring a friend with you at pick up.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: swschrad,

sig: if this is a new economy, how come they still want my old-fashioned money?
Apr 30, 2013, 08:06 PM
Janemad - Here's a suggestion: Contact as many contractors as you can in your area, and /or kitchen cabinet suppliers. Give them your contact information and tell them that you are willing to come and pick up the old cabinets whenever they are next doing a kitchen project.

As a contractor, I would love to have a list of numbers to call where we could "unload" old but good cabinets to someone who could really use them. Double bonus for us - we get the feelgood to help someone out and we don't have to fill up our dumpster and pay dumping fees.

Just make a few phone calls. Most contractors will be glad to keep your number for whenever the next kitchen project comes around. If you call the cabinet shops, just ask them to pass your contact info along to whoever is buying new cabinets.

May 02, 2013, 02:16 AM
or, run an add in the paper.
WTS. $100.00 for a set of kitchen cabinets,
suitable for storage/work bench in the garage
you take 1, you take them all
remove this saturday

opr something along those lines, if i saw that add
i would be at your door, with tools in my hand
guys dream of cabinets in the garage!!!*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E
May 03, 2013, 05:12 AM
I've not even had any luck giving cabinets away.
Here's how my ad was written on Craigs List.
Custom built in place light Oak arched panel cabinets, these are not cheap box store partical board cabinets.
There all one long section, not boxes.
Would be perfect for a garage.
"No delivery, must take all of them, do a make quest on my address before calling".
I then showed a picture and all the sizes, my location and a phone #.
About 1/2 the calls and emails asked
where are you located, what size are they, can you take more pictures of the insides of them, what are they made of?
All of which was posted and pictured right in the ad.
The ones that showed up to look at them were even stranger.
"Oh I thought they were maple, can they be painted, can you deliver them, can I cut them up and use them in my mobil home?
I got tired of of the B/S and took them to the dump.

May 03, 2013, 10:35 AM
Joe, if you were in my area I would have been over to get them in a heartbeat. They'd be perfect for my dining room. Even if they were beaten up and grungy, I'd put them up in my garage.

Your experience doesn't surprise me though. One of my father's friends fixes up and sells instruments. His wife posted on E-Bay. The types of questions he fielded were similar. (How many strings does the guitar have? Is the B flat trumpet a B flat or C trumpet? How long is the clarinet?)

He too tired quickly of all the nonsense.

But it isn't just kitchen furniture. I tried to give away some things of my sister's and the questions were similar. No one wanted to do any work; they wanted brand new things for free, delivery compliments of me. And they were picky about what they would take.

The washer, dryer and dishwasher were available for free, as were several pieces of workout eqiupment. One friend wanted to take pictures to send to a college student who was interested, but he wanted to research the brand first and wanted photos for appliances which he couldn't afford to buy.

I gave most of the stuff to a veterans' organization and knew that it would be put to good use.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: GardenSprite,
May 07, 2013, 09:31 PM
More great ideas. Thanks to all who contributed and keep up the good work! Are any of you guys located in St. Louis? I am moving back to my 80 year old home with my 60 year old cabinets soon.
May 09, 2013, 11:53 AM
your right joe, there are idiots around here like that
i would have showed up at your door with a tool bag and a helper. with a piano dolly
"where they at?' excuse me sir, could you stand over there? we will be about an hour. and yes we will sweep up after we are finished. to my helper.
"throw all the trash in the truck" lol*****?v=vn7bkncf1_E