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How To Dispose Of Used And Leftover Sand

Sand comes in handy for many things. Its uses include construction, gardening, pool filters, and even play. Sometimes, though, you’re left with excess,  or you may have used sand that you need to dispose of. In this article, we’re going to highlight your options for getting rid of it when it’s no longer useful.

If your sand is clean, it works well for any of these purposes. If it’s dirty, you may still be able to put it to good use, but not every option will be appropriate. So let’s have a look at how you can dispose of used or extra sand!

Use It For Traction

If you live in an area with cold, icy winters, you know how hard it is to deal with slippery sidewalks and driveways. 

Icemelt is the best option for getting rid of ice. But if you’re out, you can get some traction with sand. Spread it across the area to help prevent slips and falls.

If you want to save sand for this, we recommend keeping it in an airtight plastic container until you need it. Slightly dirty sand is ok; however, if it’s contaminated with oil or animal droppings, you don’t want to use it this way.

Add It To Your Compost Pile

Even though sand doesn’t biodegrade, it can still be a great addition to compost. It does have some trace elements that can be helpful to plants. It also provides some “weight” to the pile to compress it and help the organic materials to heat up and break down more quickly.

Don’t use polluted sand this way, though. It could be harmful to your plants. Also, don’t overwhelm your compost heap with sand. Mix it in thoroughly but in reasonable amounts.

Use It To Fill Holes

Have you dug up any tree stumps lately? Uprooted any bushes or even a swing set? You might be left with a hole that needs filling.

Sand makes a great filler. You can mix sand with soil to fill the gap or even use sand alone as the base then top it off with topsoil or other dirt. Most plants won’t grow well in sandy soil, but grass only needs a couple of inches of earth. And the sand helps provide great drainage.

Spread It Across The Lawn

An easy way to get rid of sand – even a lot of it – is to sprinkle it around your lawn. You don’t want to pile it up, but scattering it thinly will not harm your grass or plants and it won’t pollute. This is a great option when you have a lot of sand and there are no other easy alternatives to get rid of it.

Mix With Paint For Porches And Steps

As we pointed out above, sand is great at providing friction. If you’re worried about slippery surfaces, you might want to mix some sand in the paint to give your shoes a better grip!

Wooden or smooth concrete porches, decks, and steps can be hazardous when wet, especially when painted with certain types of paint. 

To make them safer, mix some clean sand into the paint before applying it. Be sure to stir it thoroughly! Once it dries, the added grit will reduce the risks of slips and falls.

Add To Gravel In Flower Beds And Pot

Are you using decorative gravel to finish off a flower bed or a strip around the house? You can mix sand with it to provide stability for the rock. The sand won’t interfere with the drainage that the gravel offers.

Give It Away

Of course, the sand you don’t need could come in handy for someone else. If it’s play sand, you could offer it to friends or family members who have younger children and might want a sandbox of their own. Construction sand could come in handy for other people who have projects similar to what we’ve mentioned here.

Be kind, though – don’t try to pawn dirty sand off on someone else!

Put It In The Trash

Finally, sometimes sand is just not fit for use anymore. Or maybe you don’t have a good way to use it and can’t find anyone to take it off your hands.

In that case, you can dispose of it in the regular trash. If you have a large quantity (more than 45 lbs.) you will likely want to divide it up over several trash days. 

Alternatively, you could contact your local trash company to see where you could take it yourself for disposal.


No matter what type of sand you have, there are a lot of good ways to dispose of it. We encourage you to find a way to reuse it – there is so much it comes in handy for! If not, it’s like you can find someone else who would be glad to have it.

About Us

Tom and Sarah Greenwood are the dynamic duo behind “Yards Improved,” dedicated to the joys and challenges of gardening, pool maintenance, and lawn and patio care. With Tom’s passion for landscape design and Sarah’s enthusiastic approach to gardening, they share their journey of transforming their backyard into a thriving retreat. We strive to offer practical advice aimed at helping you enhance your outdoor space.