Bricks fall under the category of Construction & Demolition (C&D) waste. While there has been no reliable solution for the safe disposal of bricks other than sending them to landfills up until a few years ago, solid waste management companies have started to get more prudent about the solid waste stream generated due to bricks and other construction debris that more solutions for disposal and recycling of bricks have started to emerge. Many communities are now making it possible to handle the C&D waste they receive safely.
While you can throw away bricks, it’s better if you can find ways to recycle and repurpose them. Since they take up a lot of space in landfills and mining shale that is required to make bricks is expensive and bad for the environment, you should recycle and reuse them.
Depending on where you live, your solid waste agency’s rules on bricks, and the number of bricks you have, you can dispose of them without much hassle. You have good options for disposal available, considering the amount of time and bricks you have. From renting a roll-off dumpster to moving the bricks yourself, you can ensure proper disposal of your bricks.
Brick Disposal Options
You can throw away bricks, but it depends on the number of bricks you move and the time available to do it. If you have tried and did not find any repurposing needs around the house and did not find anyone willing to take the bricks you have, you may have to throw them away.
The amount of time and material you have determines your best disposal option. We will examine some of the best disposal options available and the benefits and downsides.
Are Bricks Hazardous To The Environment?
Bricks can leach heavy metals, like mercury, arsenic, and lead, into the soil around them, depending on how they’re manufactured.
1. Rent a Roll-off Dumpster
If you have large amounts of bricks to dispose of, renting a roll-off dumpster to load your bricks and move them to the disposal site would be ideal. Many haulers offer dumpsters of varying sizes for your brick disposal.
Look up your local construction & debris haulers to get an estimate on the dumpster size needed to load your bricks. With these haulers, you can move up to 10 tons of bricks with the largest dumpsters available.
In addition to loading bricks, if you have some construction debris, you can also load them in the dumpster. Most haulers will allow you to add construction debris and bricks for disposal. Ensure you ask the hauler if they will accept construction debris before loading them along with the bricks.
- A cost-effective option for loading and moving bricks for disposal
- Load bricks slowly in your own time by choosing a longer rental period
- You can add other construction debris along with bricks if they are allowed by the hauler
- Not suitable for moving small amounts of brick
- You will have to load the bricks into the dumpster yourself
What Are Bricks Made Of?
The standard red brick comprises 50% to 60% silica, 20% to 30% alumina, 2% to 5% lime, up to 7% iron oxide, and small magnesia.
2. Local Junk Removal Service
A local junk removal service or an online service available locally, like 1800-GOT-JUNK?, will be able to do the hard lifting by removing the bricks you have and transporting them away for disposal. However, the difference between these services and renting a dumpster is that these services usually only carry about 2 tons of brick in a single truck. You can check this with the junk removal service you’re using to know the amount of brick they can handle for disposal.
Your local junk removal service may also, at times, want you to have the bricks stacked beforehand so that the crew can collect them and load them without hassles into the pickup truck. This is a convenient service when you do not have large amounts of bricks to pick up and do not have a lot of time to load bricks into a dumpster.
- Ideally suited for disposing of a moderate load of bricks
- The pickup crew will load the materials for you
- Saves you time
- Junk removal service has a limited pickup window within which pickups should happen
- Some services might want you to stack bricks before they can be picked up
- You will not receive a quote until the pickup crew arrives at the destination
Why Are Bricks Such A Popular Building Material?
Bricks have been used throughout history as a building material because they’re cheap and easy to make. They remain popular today because of their durability and use in building energy-efficient buildings.
3. Haul Bricks Yourself
If you have a pickup truck that can be used to move your bricks, you can use it to dispose of the bricks yourself in the local landfill. However, you must consider this option only if small amounts of brick need to be transported.
If you have large amounts of brick to be disposed of, you will likely be wasting time and money by hauling it yourself. The time it takes to load and transport the bricks across multiple trips, and the gas and landfill charges will set you back.
You can resort to hauling the bricks yourself if you only have a small load to dispose of and if you can transport it to the landfill on a single trip.
- Suitable for disposing of small amounts of brick
- Work in your own time to load and transport the bricks
- Should own or rent a truck big enough to transport the bricks
- Not suitable for transporting large amounts of bricks across multiple trips
Where Can You Dispose of Bricks?
You can dispose of bricks in your local landfill. However, before you do this, you can check if the bricks you’re throwing away can be reused. If they are in good condition without chips and cracks, they can be taken in by your local materials exchange program, giving them a new life.
If your bricks are broken and not in good condition, you can throw them away. Check with the department of public works in your county to know the rules for removing bricks.
You might be asked about the condition of the bricks to know if they are suitable for being accepted for the local materials exchange program. You can send them away for the exchange program if they are in good condition. If not, you’re left with the option to dump them.
Understand where you can dump your old bricks that cannot be reused. Usually, you will be directed to head to the local landfill to dispose of the bricks. You can contact the landfill to know the fees for dumping your bricks in the landfill, along with a suitable time to drive over to the location.
Can Bricks be Recycled?
Bricks can be recycled. The time and effect on the environment it takes to mine shale to manufacture new bricks should push you to look for alternate disposal options for your old bricks.
Local organizations can take in your old bricks and use them. You can be satisfied that your disposal isn’t harmful to the environment and will serve a purpose.
You can use the Recycling Location Finder from Recycle Nation to find local recyclers for your Construction & Demotion (C&D) waste. Many places take in your bricks to recycle them for use in construction projects and other areas. We will look at some recycling options available for your old bricks.
1. Use in Construction Projects
If your bricks aren’t old and broken, local contractors and construction companies can purchase them from you and use them in construction projects. They will not be used as is in the construction but will be crushed and used instead of gravel.
Crushed, very fine bricks can also be used in place of sand in construction or turned into new bricks.
2. Local Materials Exchange Program
Exchange programs available across states will have a list of organizations and businesses that can take your old bricks and reuse them. Your bricks can also be chipped for use in landscape work. This will give a new life to your old bricks. You can check the details regarding the exchange program with your local public works department before sending them your bricks.
In addition to recycling bricks, you can reuse them for various purposes around your house. Building brick fire pits, walkways, driveways, and garden edgings is easy with the bricks you have lying around. Find ways to recycle and repurpose your bricks before you eventually throw them away.
While bricks are considered construction and demolition (C&D) waste and have historically been sent to landfills, solid waste management companies are now finding more ways to dispose of and recycle bricks safely. By renting a roll-off dumpster, hiring a local junk removal service, or moving the bricks yourself, individuals can ensure proper disposal of their bricks.
However, it is important to note that bricks can leach heavy metals into the soil and should be handled properly to avoid negative environmental impacts. Ultimately, recycling and repurposing bricks is a better option than throwing them away, as it conserves resources and reduces waste in landfills.