Kitchen Remodeling: Out with the Old, in with the New

Remodeling a kitchen is one of the most popular home improvement projects, and I’ve tackled more than my share over the years. But before your new dream kitchen can become a reality, you have to remove what’s already there and dispose of the waste that’s left behind.

Tearing out a kitchen requires a bit of reverse engineering. By that I mean you need to start by removing the items that were installed last and work your way backward.

The first step is cleaning out your old cabinets. Box up any pots, pans, and other kitchen utensils you plan to keep, then dispose of or give away what remains. Next to go are your old appliances. To cut down on waste and help the environment, donate anything you won’t be reusing to a local thrift store or the Goodwill.

With the preliminaries out of the way, disconnect the plumbing to the sink and remove the countertops. Most new countertops are attached to the cabinets with screws from underneath, making them easy to remove.

If your cabinets come out in good condition, consider reusing them in the garage, utility room, or workshop. Another option is to give old cabinets to a salvage company or a Habitat for Humanities reuse store.

Older countertops, however, were often built in place by nailing plywood directly to the top of the cabinets and covering over it with plastic laminate or tile. If that’s the case, you’ll need to break out the pry bar and hammer to take them off. Cabinets can pose a similar problem, since many were constructed in place with the wall studs used as support, making them hard to remove in one piece.

While it’s important to reuse and recycle as many of the materials in your kitchen as possible, you’re still going to be left with a lot of waste and debris.
An easy way to dispose of what’s left is to pick up Waste Management’s new Bagster® Dumpster in a Bag® at your local home improvement store.

Unfold the 4’x8’ Bagster bag, and position it in your yard near the curb or driveway as explained in the instructions. Fill the Bagster bag with up to three cubic yards (3,300 pounds) of debris, including building materials like plywood, drywall, and flooring.

When the bag is full, simply call or go online to schedule and pay for a pickup at your home from Waste Management. It’s as easy as buy, fill, gone!

Once you’ve disposed of the last remnants of your old kitchen, and repaired any damage to the walls, it’s time for the fun to begin with the installation of new cabinets, countertops, and appliances. When your new dream kitchen is finally complete, and you’ve cooked your first meal, all the time and trouble spent will have been worth it.


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