[This article was originally published in April 2022 and has been expanded and revised.]
We're not referring to relationships here. Sometimes your old backyard fence simply has to go. And that means you will be dealing with old fencing removal.
Depending on how long your fence is and what it's made of, this can add up to some big piles of old fence material, bits and pieces, and other debris. So, what do you do with it all?
Good Fences Make for Good Neighbors - As Do New Fences
Of course, not every residential with a yard has a fence, as well. In many rural areas and in places on the East Coast, it's not uncommon for developers to build subdivisions that feature common areas behind homes. But, for most Americans, a single family dwelling almost always means at least a backyard fence.
And these fences get old.
Which, for most Americans, means an often labor-intensive DIY fence replacement project that includes large piles of old fencing material that will have to be gotten rid of.
In fact, replacing an old fence requires a great deal of planning, deconstruction - in other words, tearing down the old fence, and then building or installing the new fence. Of course, if the owner has the means to hire a professional fencing company, then all that is done for them.
Including the old fencing removal in many cases.
But a surprising number of homeowners either choose not to spend the money required to hire fence builders, or they simply prefer to take on a job like this as a DIY project. Which then means having to figure out the best way to deal with the old fencing removal chore.
Most every fence that is replaces will have far more waste material and debris left behind than can ever hope to see the inside of a residential trash bin.
So, what DO you do with it?
Old Fencing Removal: Dump Run or Recycle and Reuse?
Back in the not-always-so-good-old-days the standard operating procedure for disposing of old fencing materials and other yard debris was a trip to the local landfill. For some, the trip was actually to a nearby waste transfer station, but the final destination was often still the landfills.
Today, many landfills do not accept mixed lumber debris and some require that this type of waste be diverted from the landfill itself.
Depending on where you live, it is possible to find numerous agencies and organizations that can make use of your old lumber and fencing material. In fact, depending on the condition of the wood, some if not all of it can actually be reused. Organizations such as Habitat for Humanity have outlets for contractors, homeowners, and others to acquire previously-used building materials.
And a handy, DIY-type of homeowner might even find some great uses for much of the scrap and wood debris that was once their backyard fence.
For example, one website offers up some great ways to reuse old fence pickets:
- Sawhorses: You can use old fence pickets to make sawhorses for your next construction project.
- Raised Garden Beds: You can use old fence pickets to make raised garden beds for your plants.
- Wall Shelves: You can use old fence pickets to make wall shelves for your outdoor shed.
- Tool Racks: You can use old fence pickets to make tool racks for your garage.
- Birdhouse: You can use old fence pickets to make birdhouses for your garden.
- Wood Boxes: You can use old fence pickets to make wood boxes for storage.
- Bottle Opener: You can use old fence pickets to make bottle openers for your outdoor bar.
- Barnwood Picture Frames: You can use old fence pickets to make barnwood picture frames.
And these ideas can not only help you find a new purpose for your old fence boards and pickets!, but hopefully give you some inspiration to come up with projects of your own making.
When Your Fence Wood Debris is More Scrap than Boards
But sometimes the wood is just not really reusable.
No worries - it is still recyclable if it is not a treated wood product. Untreated wood is a great material for recycling. Scrap lumber of all kinds, including wood scraps from home improvement projects and old fence wood are always best kept out of the landfill.
Just keep in mind that this may not include any pressure-treated wood you might have left over.
When you bring in junk wood that’s classified as “untreated,” the facility you drop it off at for recycling can use it in much the same way they would most other yard waste. Almost all types of lumber can be recycled.
And what happens to this recycled wood?
According to one source,
"Recycled wood has so many varied purposes and is turned into so many different, useful products. In some cases, recycled wood is used as soil conditioner, others are made into paper pulp and some are turned into sewage sludge. It’s even processed to be used as bedding options as well. Wood biomass is often used as fuel to create energy and steam. At times, it’s even turned into engineered wood, plywood and particleboard. It’s also made into mulch and landscaping materials at times."
Oh, and don't forget the metal hardware debris from the gates and the fence posts and panels, as well as the waste concrete rubble from the fence post footings. All of these materials are easily recyclable, as well.
If you've got an old fence that has seen far better days and is beyond simply being repaired, you may have to replace it instead. And before that can happen it will need to be dismantled and removed.
While a fencing contractor will usually do this task for you, it will be a substantial addition to your overall fence replacement bill. In many cases, however, it's often quite possible to dismantle your old wood fence yourself.
Here are some general steps on how to dismantle a common wood picket fence:
- Start by identifying the end of the fence where you want to begin removing the wood pickets.
- Use a pry bar or a hammer to remove any nails or screws that are securing the pickets to horizontal rails.
- Once the picket is detached from the rail, gently pull it out of the ground. If the picket is held in place with concrete, you may need to use a shovel to loosen the dirt around the post.
- Repeat the process for each picket until the entire fence is dismantled.
- Once all the pickets are removed, use a pry bar or hammer to remove the horizontal rails from the posts.
- Finally, remove the posts from the ground. Depending on how the posts were installed, you may need to use a shovel to dig around the post and loosen it before pulling it out.
Remember to wear appropriate safety gear, such as gloves and eye protection, when dismantling a fence. Additionally, be sure to properly dispose of the old fence materials according to your local regulations.
Which leads to the next big step of this project: scrap fence board removal and disposal.
Do You Have to That Part Yourself, Too?
The good news? No, you don't.
However, you could if you wanted to provided you have the means for hauling all that junk wood and other debris. This usually means a pickup truck and someplace conveniently close enough to make it worth driving to for disposal.
On the other hand, you could call a junk removal firm like Junk King. We specialize in old fence removal and the removal of just about any other type of junk or yard waste you need to get rid of.
The beauty of that alternative is that not only do we come and haul away all your old fence boards and debris, but we do all the heavy lifting and loading. You simply need to point to where it all is! In addition, we're affordable, as well. We never charge by weight or with flat fee. You only pay for the amount of space your junk takes up in our truck.
And we'll take any kind of fence material including chain link fencing and even brick or masonry.
On the other hand, you might still want to load your own fencing waste material yourself and do so over the course of two or three days. And you might want to have a convenient and safe place to load it all into, as well.
Junk King's got you covered!
Instead of stacking it all up on the side of the yard or your driveway until someone hauls it away for you, you can rent one of Junk King's perfectly-sized MINI Dumpsters. We call it the MINI since it only has a footprint about that of a full-size pickup truck. But it's load capacity is anything but miniature!
With room for up to 12-cubic yards of debris, our MINI Dumpster rental is more than sufficient for your fence replacement project. And, like our truck pickup, you only pay for the space your debris takes up in the bin.
And did we mention that we a totally "green" junk removal company? What that means is that we will ensure that as much of your old fencing material as possible is either reused or recycled. It's part of our mission to keep as much junk and debris as we can out of our nation's landfills.
So, convenient, reliable, affordable, and environmentally conscious - what more can you want in a junk removal company?
Junk King is Your Source for Reliable and Green Old Fencing Removal
Whether replacing your old fence is a DIY project or you're having a contractor do it for you, all that old fencing material and debris will have to be removed.
And if that job falls on you, the good news is that you can rely on Junk King to provide efficient, safe, and eco-friendly wood debris removal service so you don’t need to hassle with the pick up and disposal of the debris from your new fence project.
In addition, Junk King is a 100 percent "green" junk removal and disposal company.
That means that we always make it a priority to reuse or recycle as much of all the junk, waste, and debris that we collect as possible. In fact, we regularly recycle up to 60 percent or more of all the material we pick up from every job. And that includes old wood fencing materials.
All of which means that, with Junk King, you not only get our great service, low pricing, and expert junk removal - but you also help the planet and the environment by working with us for your junk removal project.
Regardless of whether you need our services several times during your fence replacement project or just once after it is complete, our debris hauling professionals will ensure that all of the old fence boards, posts, and other debris is out of your way so that you can get on with building your new fence.
Our professional and insured hauling and removal team will also call 15 to 30 minutes before they arrive at your home, and they’ll give you a free estimate based on how much room your debris takes up in our truck. You just point and we haul the old fencing debris into our junk removal trucks - and all without any hidden fees.
So, ready to have us take care of your old fencing removal? It’s as simple as 1, 2, 3.
Just make an appointment by booking online above or by calling 1.888.888.JUNK (5865).