Clera Windows + Doors Blog

Where to Recycle or Dispose of Old Windows & Doors

Many homeowners get new replacement windows and exterior doors for a lot of reasons. Mostly it’s because they are damaged with broken glass, or the wooden parts have warped after being exposed to various weather conditions over the years. Retiring your old windows and doors after decades of service is also a smart move towards making your home energy efficient and cutting down on your utility bills.
But what do you do with rickety, old doors and windows afterwards? In this article, we explore several options that homeowners should consider when it comes to getting rid, recycling, or repurposing old windows and doors.

Let’s get started!

Local Solid Waste Facility & Drop-Off Depots

First of all, not everything can be recycled.

According to the Energy STAR website, if you own a period home that was built before 1978, there’s a huge possibility that a part of it contains lead-based paint, which is the primary cause of lead poisoning in children.

Your old windows and doors should be classified as hazardous waste and should be turned over directly to your local solid waste facility for proper handling and disposal. Ideally, the provider of your door, skylight, or window replacement should provide you with adequate information.

Old window

Building Materials Reuse Centers

On the other hand, if you have preloved windows and old doors made of timber and other sought-after materials, guaranteed free of lead paint, and still in decent working condition, consider donating them to Building Materials Reuse Centers. Doing so sustainability and saves them from ending up in landfills, which are already brimming with construction and development waste.

Do your research if there’s a Building Materials Reuse Center or a similar organization in your area that accepts recycled materials from residential properties.

Close up of an old front door

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

Another excellent way to give your old double-hung windows and entry doors a second chance at life is by donating them to Habitat for Humanity ReStores, which are home and building supply establishments that resell high-quality used building materials.

Interestingly, the concept started in Canada when five volunteers from Winnipeg, Manitoba, launched the Habitat for Humanity’s first-ever ReStore in 1991. It gave birth to more than 100 ReStores across the country and 1,000 all over the globe.

Donating to or shopping at a Habitat ReStore is a socially and environmentally conscious decision. You help the environment by breaking the vicious cycle of accumulating things and throwing them away. But more importantly, you become instrumental in generating funding for your local Habitat for Humanity that builds decent homes for the less fortunate families.

Besides old doors and windows, you can also donate lumber, lighting fixtures, hardware, tools, furniture, and appliances. Find a local ReStore near you and contact them in advance to check out other acceptable items for donation. Don’t forget to request for a receipt to write your donation off your taxes by the end of the year.

Can Glass Be Donated?

The glass portion of your windows and doors is most probably tempered and manufactured with special tints, laminates, and coatings to make it energy efficient. As a result, they have a complex chemical composition, making them difficult to recycle, unlike glass bottles.

However, some private companies work by melting recycled glass windows and turning them into fibreglass. You can also make a few calls and get in touch with local artists in your area if they work with glass.

Glass window with blue shutters

Get Creative and Upcycle Old Doors and Windows

Before tossing them and dismissing them as waste, take a look at your windows and doors at a fresh new perspective. Put on a creative hat and pull off amazing DIY window projects with them. You can decorate your walls, patio, or garden with a vintage window as an accent piece. We’ve also seen gorgeous ideas online using old doors as a rustic headboard for their bed and old windows as one-of-a-kind wall photo frames.

Repurpose old windows and doors made of wood into bookshelves, flowering plant racks, or a quirky but comfy bench to sit on out in the backyard when the weather is beautiful. Transform doors into a long table where you and your friends can have an al fresco dining experience. Have you always wanted a dreamy arbor to set the mood in your own garden? What’s stopping you? Now, you can create one using your wooden doors.

How to Know It’s Time to Get Replacement Windows or Doors

If you are uncertain about letting go of your old windows and doors, here are some indications that will tell you it’s time to swap them for a new one.

  • Rotten frames and sash of wooden windows and doors
  • Malfunctioning in the opening and closing mechanisms
  • Fogginess or moisture between the panes of the glass
  • Weathered, warped, cracked, and structurally damaged
  • Poor heat insulation during winter
  • Expensive energy bills for heating and air conditioning
  • Original windows and doors from classic 1970s homes
  • Previous incidents of water damage or insect infestation

Clera Windows + Doors offers stylish windows and doors made of premium-quality materials that will last for years. Our products are Energy STAR Certified to ensure energy efficiency and lower carbon footprint for environmentally savvy homeowners. We take care of everything for you, from custom designs, manufacturing, all the way to installation. We can also assist and connect clients with nonprofit institutions if they wish to recycle windows and old doors. We take care of everything for you, from custom designs, manufacturing, all the way to installation.

For more information on this or to request a free home estimate, please contact us today!

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