monyssa asked: I love your blog, you have a good eye and good judgement!
My questions is, where do you think the line should be crossed in reusing things for other purposes, especially storage? Are there any things that can't be cleaned for reuse or that can be toxic or dangerous?
Thank you, thank you and thank you!
That is a great question! I tried to google it for tips but ended just asking my carpenter partner (WHo lives to restore and renovate with found materials) and he had some great answers.
First, any lead painted wood. Lead paint is a neurotoxin and should never be sanded and released into the air. He says if you must re-use it just paint directly over the lead paint with a quality primer and paint sealing in the lead paint, but even that is temporary. Here is a link to a PDF from Alberta Health about different removal methods and levels of safety for each method.Really, you just take the affected wood to your local household hazardous waste depot.
The second is any wood that has come in contact with waste (Food, human or other). Wood is as porous a substance as you can get and even though it may look and smell clean when dry, when it comes in contact with moisture you could rehydrate any toxins that are dormant in the dry wood. This should just be disposed of properly at your local landfill where it can chipped and recycled.
Third, galvanized piping from inside your house. Galvanized metals are extremely porous and just collect waste matter the entire time they are in use until they cannot possible hold anymore and thereby clogging the pipes/drains. This is why it is not used anymore. Nasty stuff apparently. You can properly dispose of galvanized plumbing at your local metal recycling depot.
That is about it, according to the Hubster (Or Captain Awesome as he likes to be called) just about everything else has the ability to be sanitized. I would just like to add here that Captain Awesome has taken courses and done serious research into restoration, flood and bio waste damage.
The only thing I have to add to his list is plastics with Bisphenol A, or BPA in them (A Number seven on the bottom of the product generally denotes a product which has BPA in it.) are absolutely not recommended for any sort food storage. Wet or dry. Here in Canada BPA has been declared a toxic substance and I look forward to it’s disappearance from our store shelves, until such time I use only glass (much of which is recycled) in my pantry and refrigerator as both Tupperware and store bought food containers.
So go forth and reduce, reuse, remake, recycle, repurpose and re-love those cast off items and create beautiful storage! And thanks for a super fabulous question! Cheers,M.