Spare Materials

Hi all,

I don't know if this has been discussed previously here and there's an easy answer. However, a few of us designers/landscapers in Scotland are looking for an industry-wide sustainable solution for what to do with small to medium quantities of materials that are left over from a project or are already in a client's garden but don't fit into the new design.

This is especially a problem with paving project packs where there's often a few perfectly good leftovers. But also includes things like spare plants.

What's best to do? Skip (trying to avoid!), return to suppliers, recommend clients sell or give away on something like Freecycle, or are there other solutions like a landscaping spare materials store (online or physical yard)? Ideas welcome!


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  • PRO

    Hi Tracy

    We have for this (currently nothing on it). You can add your materials to the site and I can make sure this goes in the newsletter and on to our social media.

    I need to add some new categories but that's soon done.

    Landscape Kit | Where to sell landscaping and gardening kit
    • PRO

      I was wondering if there was already something on Landscape Juice that would be useful! Thanks for this Phil. I'll let folk up here know and see if anyone would like to use this for materials as well as kit.

      Landscape Kit | Where to sell landscaping and gardening kit
  • We used to take the building materials back to the builders merchants and plants back to the supplier if they came locally.  Otherwise I would just store at my yard and use on another project - mind you I've got stuff here from 20 years ago! I know what you mean tho about the 'project packs' - they were just coming in when we stopped our hard landscaping.  Maintenance is so easy in comparison.........but not so much fun!

  • PRO
    I read an American business book some years ago that advocating giving odd spare materials to apprentices to sell with the instruction they were to use the money raised to buy their personal hand tools or even just putting them on the roadside with a sign saying free to collect.

    The reasoning being that it is madness to rent or buy a yard to store materials that you are unlikely to use, just throwing good money after bad.

    • Makes good sense as well Andrew, all surplus materials should have been charged out on the job in the original price and leave the site 'free'. However, if you have space for temporary storage(which I have) it's rather satisfying re-using them for free!! 

  • PRO

    is another place you could try as well as LJN

    Enviromate | Free Leftover Building Materials Marketplace
    Find free, cheap & leftover building materials. Sell or donate construction surplus. Create an account for free and start selling in the marketplace…
    • PRO

      Aha! Thanks, I wasn't aware of this. I'd be interested to know if anyone has had a good or bad experience with such a site? And if they would prefer a 'landscape industry professionals' type of site rather than a general public site or if it doesn't matter?

      Enviromate | Free Leftover Building Materials Marketplace
      Find free, cheap & leftover building materials. Sell or donate construction surplus. Create an account for free and start selling in the marketplace…
  • PRO

    Thanks for raising this publicly Tracy. This could be a good forum. One thing that has come up in the comments so far is the using surplus from newly purchased material. It would be good also to post if designers, landscapers, clients have materials that would otherwise go in the skip - you never know what someone else can use in their projects.

    On that note, perhaps we could also post 'Materials' wanted? 

    • PRO

      We keep large stocks of all sorts but are just as likely to return surplus materials to suppliers.

      I cultivate good relationships with all my suppliers (cheap cakes at Christmas from cash and carry go a long way!) and none of them charge me restocking fees.

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