How To Dispose Of Old Granite Countertops? Recyclable?

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When you consider that famous landmarks such as Mount Rushmore and the Washington Monument are made out of granite, it’s clear that this tough material can last centuries, even when exposed to all kinds of harsh weather conditions. So, if you’re planning to remove a granite countertop from your home, it’s worth considering how you dispose of it as this material can last for many years.

The best way to dispose of a granite countertop is to recycle it, either into another piece of granite furniture such as a table, by offering it on a website like Freecycle, or donating it to a charity like Habitat for Humanity. Alternatively, you could sell it on a listings site, or see if a local granite supplier would sell it as a remnant.

Below, we take a closer look at what you can do with your granite countertop if you’re removing it due to damage, or if you’re upgrading your kitchen.

a pile of granite and quartz remnants sitting inside a warehouse

How to dispose of old granite countertops – 4 ways to recycle!

You can make sure your granite countertops stay out of the dumpster with these four recycling options. The methods below can be applied to any natural stone countertop, so whatever your counter is made of, it can find a new home or purpose and avoid being sent to landfill.

1. Sell it!

Granite is very valuable, so one way to dispose of your countertop is to sell it on so it can be reused and so you recoup some of your costs.

Remnants

Granite is a beautiful material and a highly desirable natural stone so selling your old granite countertop shouldn’t be too difficult. You could start by seeing if a local granite fabricator or installer would purchase it from you so they can sell it on as a remnant.

Remnants tend to be smaller pieces of granite which people use to make smaller pieces of furniture such as a vanity top or counter. Fabricators sell hundreds of remnants so they’re also a great place to look if you want a smaller piece of granite for a project you’re working on.

Local listings

Slabs of granite are extremely heavy. If you decide to sell yours it’s better to sell it locally, so it’s easier to transport. Services such as Facebook Marketplace and websites like Gumtree and Craigslist allow you to list materials for free. Before you post your granite countertop, do some research into how much money you should expect to sell it for. Check out similar listings on selling websites and ask a local granite supplier how much they think it’s worth.

 2. Give it away for free

Sometimes, it can be less stressful and quicker to give materials away, rather than selling them. The United States Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 600 million tonnes of construction and demolition waste was generated in 2018. Donating building materials means they won’t end up in landfill.

Below are a couple options you could try to make sure your granite waste finds a new home.

Donate it to charity

Provided your countertop is in good condition, some charities will take pre-loved construction materials so they can repurpose them into new pieces.

Habitat for Humanity accepts construction materials and some of their branches even offer a collection service.

Check locally for charities that take used building materials. Renovation Angels is a charity operating in the East, South, West and Midwest that sells on old kitchens, including granite countertops. The charity assesses the state of your kitchen and if it’s acceptable, they will remove it for you with no disposal costs. You’ll also get a tax deduction from your kitchen disposal. Disposing of your granite countertop with Renovation Angels means you’ll be contributing to their work supporting at risk youths and people going through addiction recovery.

Another local charity in the DC area is the Forklift Community. Since 2005, this charity has recovered around $45 million of building materials in the DC metro region. Wherever you are in the US, do some research when you’re looking to dispose of your granite countertop and see if you can pass it on to a good cause.

List it on Freecycle

Freecycle is a non-profit website that enables people to list items they no longer want anymore and are happy for other people to have for free. There’s a Freecycle site for most major cities in the USA so search for the town nearest to you and list your granite countertop for free!

3. Recycle your granite countertop into a new piece of furniture

There are lots of ways you can recycle your old granite countertop into a new, stylish piece of furniture or accessory. Depending on the size of granite you have, you may be able to repurpose it into a large piece of furniture, such as a tabletop or fire surround.

If your countertop is damaged or cracked, you should still be able to salvage pieces of it for smaller projects, such as a serving platter, coasters, a backsplash or even steppingstones or a bench for your yard.

There are DIY tutorials online for how to repurpose granite, but you will need specialist tools for many of the tutorials.

Granite is extremely heavy and requires special tools such as a reciprocating saw to cut and shape. It’s also susceptible to fracturing under pressure, such as from drilling or hammering. Unless you have specific expertise, it’s best to check with an expert, such as local fabricators or furniture crafters to see if they can help turn your piece of granite into a beautiful new object.

For more ideas on repurposing a granite or quartz countertop, read our article on Creative Ways To Repurpose Granite Or Quartz Countertops.

4. Reuse your granite countertop in your new kitchen

Provided you have a large piece of granite that’s undamaged, you might be able to incorporate it into your new kitchen. As an example, you could modify a large granite countertop to incorporate a new cooker top, by cutting a hole in the granite to accommodate the cooker.

This is a cost-saving and environmentally friendly choice, but it does have some drawbacks. You’ll need to have large pieces of granite to be able to utilize them in your new kitchen layout. Existing pieces of granite are likely to have cut-outs in them and filling these with other pieces of granite is going to leave obvious seams.

The same issue happens if you don’t have enough granite to fit your new kitchen layout. It can be difficult to find matching granite pieces to extend your existing countertops, which results in obvious seams.

If your new kitchen has the same layout and cooker top and sink positions as your existing kitchen, then you may be able to reuse your granite for your new kitchen.

As granite it so heavy and is susceptible to damage when being moved, most contractors will ask homeowners to sign a contract so that the contractors aren’t liable if the granite gets damaged during the project.

There are so many options for recycling granite countertops (or any natural stone countertops) that sending it to the dumpster should be the absolute last resort. Even damaged granite can be repurposed and made into something beautiful.

If you want to find out more about reusing or repurposing your granite remnants, or want to buy remnants to use in your next project, contact the natural stone countertop experts at Dulles Granite, operating in the VA, MD and DC areas.