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Bathroom Suite Disposal and Recycling
Today, all modern homes are fitted with bathroom suites including baths, showers, toilets, and sinks. If you’ve decided to replace your existing bathroom suite with a new one, understanding what your bathroom suite is made up of and how to dispose of it safely and responsibly before having your fresh one installed is vital.
Find out what happens to used bathroom suites removed from your home, hotel, or care home, how to properly dispose of them, and what parts can be recycled in this guide. Read our answers to commonly asked questions about disposing of bathroom suites to ensure your removal is efficient and successful
Who invented bathroom suites?
Bathrooms have existed for thousands of years in many forms. Bathroom suites as we know them today have only really existed for the last few hundred years though. In 1767, William Feetham invented the first modern shower. Then throughout the 19th and 20th centuries homes across the UK were fitted with bathrooms, as hygiene and the spread of germs became a key concern across the western world.
Bathtubs were originally made from wood, before being replaced by copper baths in the 19th century. By the 20th century, modern homes welcomed bathrooms with most facilities made from porcelain, which was favoured for its durability and easy maintenance.
Today, bathroom suites are made from a variety of materials including porcelain, ceramics, fireclay, stainless steel, and cast iron. Many sinks that appear to be ceramic might actually have a metal frame inside them.
How do you dispose of a bathroom suite?
When renovating your bathroom, you’ll have to consider how to get rid of your old bathroom suite. Bathroom suites – particularly toilets, sinks, baths, and showers – are large items that are hard to get rid of. They often require a skip, a van, and professional disposal experience.
They’re also huge items that will take up large amounts of space in a landfill site. It’s therefore always better to find alternatives to landfill when disposing of bathroom suites. Recycling centres and scrap sellers offer some alternatives for responsible disposal of bathroom suites.
What waste types are found in bathroom suites?
Bathroom suites are made up of many elements, including ceramic or porcelain sinks, acrylic bathtubs, glass shower screens, and copper pipework. When dismantling a bathroom suite, it’s important to separate each material individually when you plan on recycling the raw materials used in your bathroom suite.
You might have to investigate whether your bath, sink, and shower tray are made from individual elements – for example, some sinks may have cast iron frames inside a porcelain exterior. Copper pipes are composed of almost 100% copper, with just a small amount of phosphorous added at the end of the smelting process to deoxidize the metal.
If you choose to recycle your bathroom suite, you will have to take each individual element to a recycling centre.
What happens to old bathroom suites once they have been disposed?
After you’ve taken your old sinks, toilets, and bathtubs to a recycling centre, they don’t always get turned into new bathroom suites. Crushed up porcelain is sometimes used as an aggregate base for road construction, while copper pipes are usually stripped and turned into pipes to be used across all sectors.
How can you choose eco-friendly bathroom suites?
You can’t really buy a bathroom suite made from biodegradable materials, since the entire point of your bathroom is that it will endure years of being splashed, cleaned, and scrubbed. However, you can make choices to ensure your next bathroom suite is as eco-friendly as possible.
Why not head to salvage yards and source beautiful vintage bathroom facilities, including copper bathtubs and ceramic sinks? This saves on the energy and fresh materials required to create a new bathroom suite. Aluminium is also an eco-friendly choice, with most aluminium today coming from recycled sources and it’s one of the easiest metals to recycle.
How can you dispose of bathroom suite waste responsibly?
If you want to make sure your old bathroom suite goes to good use, the best way to dispose of it is to sell or give it away online. Using online marketplaces or message boards, you can advertise your bathroom suite to others, especially if it’s still in good condition.
You can also upcycle elements of your bathroom suite by painting them or using them in other parts of your home – such as your garden. Otherwise, you’ll likely have to take your bathroom suite to a recycling centre yourself or pay your builder to do this.
If you take a bathroom suite to a recycling centre, this often costs money depending on the weight of the items you’re recycling. Your council may also come and collect the items from you, also for a fee.
Another option is to separate the materials in your bathroom suite – copper pipes, ceramics, porcelain – and contact local scrap dealers or a metal waste collection company who may come and collect some of the materials you have gathered. At Business Waste we can also help arrange responsible disposal of your bathroom suite – call 0800 211 8390 or contact us online to find out more.
What are some facts about bathroom suites?
A few facts about bathroom suites are that:
- One in four homeowners aged over 60 who undertook renovations in 2014 renovated their bathroom.
- The average cost of a new bathroom renovation in the UK is £7,000.
- The value of the market for plastic bathroom suite items in the UK in 2020 is £128,984,000.
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