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Repurposed Metal: 4 Perfect Items to Get Creative With

July 1, 2015

4 Items That Are Perfect for Repurposed Metal Projects

The next time you have metals to dispose of, think twice about simply recycling them and, of course, don’t even think about throwing them in the trash. You might be surprised at how you can repurpose them.

Recently, repurposing items—metal in particular—has become a major trend. From home improvement shows to internet websites, you can find plenty of places devoted to reusing materials for things they weren’t originally intended for.

In addition to being a fun way of tapping into your creativity and saving—or even making—money, it’s a great way to practice sustainability.

Here are five ways you can reuse certain metal products that you may currently be contemplating getting rid of.

repurposed metal

Steel Rods

Rebar, most commonly used to reinforce concrete, is a form of scrap metal that can be reused instead of just being recycled. In fact, there are many potential uses for rebar aside from its original intention.

Subsequently, it has become a popular choice when it comes to building furniture with a bit of a rustic flare to it.

From legs for tables and chairs, to railings and coat racks, the ways you can repurpose rebar appear to almost be unlimited if you can think outside of the box and get a little creative.

Not only that but, with a little quality craftsmanship, you can earn yourself quite a bit of money. Here, you’ll find a bench made out of repurposed rebar and oak being sold for $3,400.

Tin Cans

Most people don’t try to determine the value of a tin can beyond the food that’s inside of it. However, many find that food and coffee cans have quite a few other uses.

For example, people big into arts and crafts will find them useful if they’re trying to create a homemade candle, a holder for desk supplies (like pens and pencils), or even for potting small plants in.

And, depending on how much of a right-brain thinker you are, there may be even more uses.

One simple option that doesn’t require you to think back to your struggles in art class, is to store used cooking oil and grease in tin cans until you can dispose of them properly.

Shipping Containers

Would you be surprised to know that shipping containers—yes, the big ones often seen on cargo ships—have a ton of uses beyond transporting goods?

And considering that these containers are rather massive, they can be repurposed on a much larger scale, making their value far greater than smaller metal waste.

From being used in commercial construction projects—like museums and office complexes—to residential buildings, these objects have plenty of uses from a large-scale perspective.

One popular example of shipping containers being put to amazing use is Puma City. The clothing manufacturer constructed a transportable store using 24 refurbished containers. The store equals three stories and 11,000 square feet and has been moving from location to location, around the world, for several years now.

Obviously, as you can see, the ideas are endless and these containers can always be put to better use.

File Cabinets

If you have a home office that you no longer use or just want to go paperless, there’s a good chance you have a file cabinet or two that’s collecting dust.

Prior to tossing it, though, think about alternative uses.

From a way to organize and store yard tools, to coffee tables, to a rolling mini-bar, the uses of old file cabinets are practically limitless if you give the idea some thought. Many of these types of projects can be sold or used in your own home, with neither of those two options being a poor one.

And, hey, if you can put them to some kind of alternative use, why get rid of them?

Photo Credit: brockamer via Compfight cc

Disposal of hazardous waste doesn’t have to be painful.