All posts by Sara Badiali

Circular Economy Consultant in Building Deconstruction and Material Reuse.

The Drop Box Brigade Has Arrived!!

Drop Box in Portland, Oregon – thank you Max!!

The Reclamation Administration can inspire change by providing news on policy, waste management, design, and community awareness.

The Drop Box Brigade is a program to help citizen’s awareness in their own communities by snapping photos of construction dumpsters or drop boxes in their neighborhoods.  By posting pictures of drop boxes on The RA website people can see the materials that are being wasted or diverted from their own neighborhoods.  Photographing waste has been adopted world wide as a strategy to bring awareness to pollution, poverty, and crime.  It is an effective tool for change.  This is one of the many ways that the citizens of Portland can support the City of Portland’s jobsite recycling requirements.

To join the Drop Box Brigade:

  1. Snap a photo of the inside of a construction dumpster near you and send it to
  2. Put DBB in the subject line and your handle if you want (ex: DDB GutterCherry SE Pdx)
  3. You can add the neighborhood or cross streets, but for respect and privacy reasons – no actual addresses please.

Mixed debris drop box with salvageable wood, and recyclable paper. 


Be aware that climbing into, or on a dumpster is dangerous and against the law.  Please be respectful of property and property owners.  If you desire an item that is being thrown away, just ask for it.  In many cases people are happy to lighten the load of those drop boxes as the dump fees are based on weight, and lightening the load is in their best interest.


About 40% of the average landfill is made up of construction and demolition waste.  A waste composition study done by Metro (the regional government for the Portland metropolitan area), in 1994, determined that nearly 26% of the region’s disposed waste is generated by construction (including remodeling) and demolition debris (C&D) from structures such as residential and commercial buildings and roadways – approximately 256,000 tons out of a total of about 1,000,000 tons. Much of this waste is easily reused or recycled, so it makes sense to target it for waste reduction and recycling (ODEQ

The City of Portland, Metro Regional Government, the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality, nonprofit organizations and private businesses are trying to reduce the amount of C&D waste that is generated.  The City of Portland’s  Bureau of Planning and Sustainability has developed guidelines for all building projects within the City where the total job cost (including both demolition and construction phases) exceeds $50,000, the general contractor shall ensure that 75% of the solid waste produced on the job site is recycled.  In addition, the following materials must be recycled and diverted from the landfill: Rubble (concrete/asphalt), Land Clearing Debris, Corrugated Cardboard, Metal, and Wood.  The general contractor is responsible for ensuring recycling at the job site, including recycling by sub-contractors, and for completing a Pre-Construction Recycling Plan Form.  Where no general contractor has been named on the permit application, the property owner is considered the responsible party (

Unfortunately, due to the scope of the construction industry, oversight is difficult and compliance is somewhat honor based.  Education on the recycling mandates, followed by community interest in neighborhood construction projects can help steward the laws into practice.  Showing interest in local contractors Construction Recycling Plans, and even asking to see them demonstrates awareness and investment in the sustainability of our city.

Thank You

Thanks in advance for your interest in the RA.  Even if you don’t join the Drop Box Brigade we appreciate your interest.

Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

Photo courtesy of Humane Society for Greater Savannah

By KELLY NELSON ReFest is an extravaganza of reducing, reusing and re-homing, hosted by WellFED, Emergent Structures, Wooden Sheep and Southern Pine in part to benefit the Humane Society for Greater Savannah. The event features the Design & Build Competition: Dog Houses and Cat Structures built from reclaimed, sustainable materials. I’ve seen the structures and I’m here to tell you that they are amazing!One of the Cat Structures, designed and built by The Inclusion Counsel at CSX the railroad has multiple levels and is fashioned after a train’s caboose! It features scratching posts, hiding places, and lots of space for multiple cats.Butterhead Greens Cafe has created a “Green House” Dog House. You can actually use the roof as a greenhouse! And there are about a dozen more wonderfully thought out and creative structures to impress you.The event held at Southern Pine ties together two seemingly unrelated topics; RePurposing building materials in order to decrease the waste that bloats our landfills and ReHoming unwanted companion animals in an effort to decrease pet overpopulation and homelessness.Starting at 2 p.m., you can bid on the Dog Houses and Cat Structures through a silent auction. There will also be a live auction of winning structures around 6 p.m. All proceeds from the auctions go directly to the Humane Society for Greater Savannah.In addition, HSGS will be on site ReHoming pets from our shelter! ReFest is an awesome opportunity for you to bring your family, visit or even adopt our shelter pets, check out and bid on some great and eco friendly Dog Houses and Cat Structures and, as the night goes on, enjoy great music, great food, great drinks with great people!

via Reduce, reuse and rehome at ReFest on Oct. 1 |

Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Difficult and expensive do not mean better, as this eccentric do-it-yourself shelves can attest, requiring a random mix of recycled vintage table parts, some paint, screws, a saw and a plan.

Isabel Quiroga collected an eclectic set of desks, side tables and cabinet drawers, old and new, measured her target space and started sawing accordingly.

After painting the pieces purple – to give their mixed appearance a sense of uniformity beyond style – she piled and attached them to create an unusual site-specific solution to shelving with definite decorative flair.

via Tables Sawed: Old Furniture Sliced & Stacked into Shelving | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

Often when we hear “prefab houses,” we conjure up thoughts of structures pieced together on a site like a puzzle made from mass produced parts that were shipped as separate pieces. While these homes are often more sustainable, they can leave much to be desired in regards to character, aesthetic, and durability. But Reclaimed Space, founded by Tracen Gardner in Austin, Texas, is changing the way we think about prefabricated buildings. Instead of using anonymous materials from mega-factories, Gardner and his team salvage beautiful woods and metals from old homes, barns, and buildings across Texas and use these unique materials to build one of a kind, handmade spaces. We recently had the opportunity to speak with Gardner and learn how Reclaimed Space is carving an artisan niche in the prefab world and why Gardner believes that all designers have a responsibility to be sustainable.

Read the Interview Here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt – Chicago News Coopertive

Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt

John Konstantaras
State officials are set to begin hearings on rules about acceptable levels of construction site dirt and debris that can be deposited in quarries. The Reliable Sand and Gravel Co in McHenry, September 19, 2011.

by KARI LYDERSEN | Sep 23, 2011

Questions about the earthiest of matters — whether there is such a thing as clean dirt and, if so, does it exist in Chicago? — are at the heart of a bitter policy fight between two powerful, politically connected industries: landfill and quarry operators.

Next week in Springfield, the Illinois Pollution Control Board will begin what promises to be a highly charged set of hearings about rules proposed by the state Environmental Protection Agency to define whether dirt and debris from construction and demolition sites is clean enough to be deposited in quarries. Such dirt and debris has long been deposited there, and state statutes mandate that the deposits be clean. But “clean” has never been clearly defined.

The debate over the proposed regulations is expected to resonate in suburban communities that get their water from aquifers connected directly to quarries, which have no linings or barriers to prevent toxic materials from leaching into the water supply.

It has pitted quarry operators, who say that the proposed regulations are too strict and costly, against landfill operators, who say the proposed rules are too lenient and will lead to polluted drinking water.

The landfill operators say most dirt in Chicago is contaminated enough that it should be going to landfills, which have waterproof liners and stricter monitoring requirements.

In 2010, the State Legislature passed a law that requires the pollution control board to develop rules to ensure that contaminated dirt is not dumped in quarries.

“How do you define uncontaminated?” asked Matthew Dunn, chief of environmental enforcement for the Illinois attorney general.” One side says well if it’s not too contaminated, if it’s just normal urban contamination, we can still call it ‘clean,’ while the other side says if it contains chemicals or metals that didn’t come from God or the glaciers it is contaminated.”

Continue reading Debating the Cleanliness of Dirt – Chicago News Coopertive

Trustees Debate Construction Recycling Guidelines – Grayslake, IL Patch

In a continued effort to be both pro-environment and pro-business development, the village of Grayslake is in the process of drafting an ordinance that will place guidelines on the recycling of construction and demolition debris.

Village trustees discussed the draft ordinance during Tuesday’s Committee of the Whole meeting, but decided to suspend action pending further research at the request of Trustee Jeff Werfel, who voiced concern over some of the wording.

The ordinance, drafted after reviewing other communities’ ordinances and with input from the Solid Waste Agency of Lake County, proposes a recycling program for any new structures or renovations 2,000-square-feet or greater in size; any size demolition; and any residential or commercial project of four or more individual units.

The ordinance also proposes that 75 percent of construction and demolition debris be recycled, excluding recovered wood.

The catch is the ordinance would not make these requirements effective until a construction and debris recycling facility is located within five miles of the village’s corporate limits, per the proposed ordinance’s wording.

The purpose is to keep participation in the program financially feasible for contractors. Mayor Rhett Taylor said the proposed ordinance would not add any significant cost to contractors.

Werfel, who made it clear he is all for more recycling programs, said he worried the ordinance as worded could make it appear the village is requiring that a construction and debris recycling facility be built within village limits, which could set a precedent.

“I understand why it’s in there,” said Werfel, referring to the 5-mile radius aspect. “It’s a trigger for turning it (the recycling requirements) on, but I don’t want a problem later.”

From his knowledge, said Werfel, such recycling facilities are “quite messy, quite noisy and dusty” and can “vibrate like an earthquake.” Not good for nearby residents, he said.

Taylor assured trustees that the proposed ordinance does not imply a land use right and any application to build such a facility within village limits would be subject to public hearing and would need compatible zoning.

“We don’t have that,” Taylor said of the zoning requirements.

“It’s not granting a 1st Amendment right to build,” offered Trustee Bruce Bassett. “It’s certainly not our intent to create a right to build this facility.”

Continue reading Trustees Debate Construction Recycling Guidelines – Grayslake, IL Patch

Le Mars Daily Sentinel: Local News: Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up (09/22/11)

Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up

Thursday, September 22, 2011

By Joanne Glamm

A new mini-excavator is sorting out more metal for recycling at the Plymouth County Landfill. The total adds up to 130 tons of metal since the first of the year when the Construction and Demolition Recycling program was added, Mark Kunkel, landfill manager said.


The latest recycling effort at the Plymouth County Landfill could give new life to about 2,500 tons of construction and demolition material this year.

The re-use is a result of the Construction and Demolition (C&D) Recycling program added to waste handling at the rural Le Mars landfill in January.

Asphalt shingles, wood without stain or paint, metal and concrete are picked out of construction and demolition waste by equipment attached to a mini-excavator, according to Mark Kunkel, landfill manager.

During an open hous Wednesday, Kunkel explained the impact of the equipment purchased with the help of a $20,000 forgivable loan from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources.

A 100-ton pile of asphalt shingles was among the most visible changes at the landfill during a tour Kunkel led for landfill board members, representatives of city councils in the county and county supervisors.

OMG Midwest, of Ankeny, which owns asphalt paving companies, has offered $30 a ton for the shingles which will be used in asphalt roads, Kunkel said.

More than 500 tons of wood which would have been buried at the landfill will be shipped to fuel an ethanol plant in Chandler, S.D.

Since the first of the year, about 75 tons of concrete have been piled to be crushed by a contractor to be reused as road surface materials at the landfill.

The sorting recovered 130 tons of metal which will be recycled and provide income for the landfill.

C&D recycling is being measured in another way.

“If we can get that kind of tonnage back out of there, that will keep adding onto the years of life at the landfill. which keeps everything cheaper for everybody bringing waste here,” Kunkel said.

The mini-excavator has been used to sort waste more than 600 hours this year.

The landfill has also shipped 215 tons of tree waste for the South Dakota ethanol plant’s fuel.

Kunkel estimates 65 percent of the waste hauled to the landfill is recycled.

At the current rate of recycling and burial, the site is projected to last another 70 years before the landfill is filled.

During the open house, Landfill Board Chairman Rick Bohle, of Kingsley, commended cities in the county for their efforts to promote recycling with programs such as collecting recyclables in blue-colored garbage bags.

These recyclables are hauled to the landfill and then transferred to the rural Cherokee landfill site which doesn’t charge the Plymouth County landfill for the recycling and disposal, Kunkel said.

He estimated the number of tons of blue bags had grown from 87 in 2006 to 800 a year.

“The people of Plymouth County are doing an excellent job and it makes life a little easier over there in Cherokee, too,” Kunkel said. “They get a better product — it’s cleaner, they get more use out of it.”

The City of Merrill has applied for state grant funds to place a second recycling collection dumpster in the city, according to Bruce Norgaard, a Merrill councilman.

Norgaard said blue bag recycling from the southern part of the county is brought to the Merrill collection location and the dumpster overflows on a weekend.

“We do need something for the excess, because if we’ve got capacity, apparently southern Plymouth County will fill it up,” Norgaard said.

via Le Mars Daily Sentinel: Local News: Landfill construction and demolition recycling piles up (09/22/11).

Philly’s Habitat chapter puts its periodic garage sales on a grander scale –

Antionette Reed is in stealth mode as she walks among the used dining-room tables and chairs at Philadelphia’s newest salvage and thrift store.

Reed, 55, takes photos on her cellphone of dining sets at the Philadelphia Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore warehouse in Kensington, and sends the pictures to her daughter, who is about to move to a new home.

She calls the young woman, who shuns thrift shops, and asks what she thinks of the tables and chairs. Evidently, her daughter’s mind is on a single issue.

“Where am I? It doesn’t matter where I am,” Reed says defiantly, refocusing her daughter on what’s in the photos. “Look at the legs. Do you like the legs?”

Detail of a sink on sale for $59. Merchandise is often donated in regions where Habitat volunteers build affordable housing.

In another part of the store, an unusual male-bonding experience is taking place: Two friends are getting their first look at this Habitat ReStore after having visited others in the region.

“I have a five-bedroom house in New Jersey,” says John Hankinson, 51, of Willingboro. “I pretty much redid it entirely through Habitat stores.”

How does an affordable-housing construction nonprofit raise more money in ramshackle economic times? It sells home decorating and renovation items, of course.

This month, Habitat for Humanity’s Philadelphia chapter turned its periodic garage sales in a North Philadelphia neighborhood into a large warehouse, stocking everything from kitschy plastic toilet-bowl cleaners whose handles look like art nouveau-ish ballerinas, to stylish kitchen cabinets fresh from the box.

“I think there’s a movement across our country, and maybe some of it is driven by the economy, that people of all income levels are looking for ways to save money,” says Drew Meyer, senior director of ReStore support in Habitat for Humanity’s Atlanta-based national office.

The first Habitat store opened in 1991 in Winnipeg, Manitoba, and the first U.S. shop was in business the following year in Austin, Texas. Now there are more than 700 stores countrywide. Locally, ReStores are also in West Norriton, Pennsauken, Cinnaminson, and at the Granite Run Mall in Media.

The stores’ sales accounted for $175 million out of Habitat for Humanity’s $700 million revenue nationally in fiscal 2010 (the remaining revenue comes from contributions and grants). That’s up from the previous fiscal year’s sales of $162.7 million, a Habitat for Humanity spokeswoman says.

via Philly’s Habitat chapter puts its periodic garage sales on a grander scale –

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur


The TrashDesignManufaktur-Vienna – short TDM – is a division ofDismantling and Recycling Centre (DRZ) , a socio-economic operation of Viennese Adult Education Centres Ltd. The focus of the work is the reintegration, qualification and Vermitttlung of long-term unemployed and people with disabilities..

In TDM unique design is created from the remnants of our society. Thanks to new ideas, the company drives people out of work were long, with a high success rate into the labor market and the back of them created and manufactured products in Europe in the temple of art. We produce elegant and high quality jewelry, furniture and accessories. Our products consist mainly of recycled parts from used electrical and electronic equipment.Each piece is handmade and therefore unique. The project is funded by funds from the AMS Vienna  and the European Social Fund (ESF) . With the purchase of a TDM product you purchase not only a designer piece, but you also support the idea of social economy.

T.D.M – TrashDesignManufaktur.

Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –


Chris Dorst
Adam Stewart of Modern Home Concepts carries away wall trim after removing it from a deconstruction site in Hurricane. The old house on Victorian Place would have been demolished, but a new company is taking it apart and donating its contents to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore.



HURRICANE, W.Va. — A dilapidated house in Hurricane is being taken down, but not by a bulldozer. Instead, it’s being deconstructed piece by piece as part of Sarah Halstead’s effort to make her home state more environmentally friendly.

“It’s a hip concept,” said Halstead, the executive director of WVGreenWorks. “It’s all about reclaiming and reusing as much as possible and diverting as much as possible from the landfill.”

WVGreenWorks, which is dedicated to, among other things, creating sustainable, green jobs in local communities, is partnering with The ReUse People of America, based in Oakland, Calif., in a business venture, which will deconstruct buildings in West Virginia, Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky and parts of Pennsylvania, rather than simply demolish them.

The first regional deconstruction process of the joint effort began Tuesday at a house on Victorian Place in Hurricane.


“We’re hoping this professional approach to deconstruction will give municipalities and homeowners doing remodels more choices and more options on how to deal with construction and demolition debris,” she said. “Really, it presents a whole new chance to shift your mindset. Most people will just ‘doze a building, but when you take a look at the materials involved, some of that lumber you’ll never find again.”

Halstead said the idea is innovative around the area. She said she corresponded with Ben Newhouse, the Hurricane city manager, before the city recently installed solar panels at the wastewater treatment facility.

“It’s a new concept for the folks I’m working with in Hurricane,” she said. “I’ve worked with Ben Newhouse in the past, and he’s a forward thinker.”

Halstead said she talked with Newhouse about the deconstruction business.

“I called Ben and he said, ‘Oh what a shame, we just demolished a house and we’re about to bulldoze another,'” she said. “I said, “Please don’t do it.’ He said the house was really old, with a tile roof and hardwood floors.”

The man who owns the house told Halstead he wanted the house demolished, and she said he didn’t recognize that the materials could be reused.

“I told him, ‘You’ve got a tile roof worth thousands of dollars,'” she said. “Why throw away perfectly good materials other people can use?”

Newhouse is excited about the possibility of recycling materials that otherwise would be thrown out, he said.

“If there’s an opportunity to save the stuff that’s in this house, which has a ton of oak and cherry woods in it, I said, ‘Let’s do it,'” he said. “That stuff is expensive, and there’s no reason to send it all to the landfill.”

Halstead said some people who qualify based on their income can receive a tax-deductible donation for reusing the materials. She said the donation deduction oftentimes will offset the labor costs, which are usually about 5 percent more than what it costs to demolish a building.

“Before we do any kind of deconstruction work, even if it’s a kitchen remodel, we come and completely inventory everything,” she said. “We then send pictures and descriptions off to a certified IRS building-material appraiser, and they write back and give us a range of value.”

Materials taken from the three-story brick house in Hurricane will be donated to the Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Charleston.


via Deconstruction reuses what would be demolished  – News – The Charleston Gazette – West Virginia News and Sports –.

1 Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure – State Journal –

Crews are finding a gold mine of reusable building materials at a dilapidated house in Putnam County.

HURRICANE — From hardwood floors to an old door, crews are uncovering a treasure trove of materials in a dilapidated house in Hurricane.

“If these materials had to be purchased on the open market, forgetting the labor costs of it, there’s probably over $100,000 of materials that could eventually, if we had the time, get salvaged out of this house,” said Ted Reiff, president of The Reuse People Of America.

The company is based in California with a mission to salvage building materials. Local contractor Dale Oxley is learning deconstruction and its benefits at the structure.

“Each stone that you turn over or each board you turn over, you find additional products that have value in today’s market,” said Oxley.

“It’s sad,” said Tara Hicks, a neighbor who lives near the house. She’s glad the materials inside the house will be put to good use.

“I’m still going to miss that sight. It’s a good sight to see that old home. It was a wonderful view,” said Hicks.

Deconstruction also has environmental benefits by keeping the old materials out of landfills and it has tax benefits.

“People can donate their useable building materials to us and receive the same tax deductible donation as you would by taking things to Goodwill,” said Reiff.

The recovered materials are being donated to Habitat For Humanity’s Restore. The deconstruction is expected to be finished in a couple weeks.

Copyright 2011 West Virginia Media. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

via 1 Man’s Trash is Another Man’s Treasure – State Journal –

Kaiser donates $300,000 in construction materials to Re-Use Hawaii | Hawaii 24/7


Kaiser Permanente Hawaii has announced its donation of $300,000 of reusable construction materials to Re-use Hawaii, a non-profit organization working to reduce waste through building material reuse and recycling. Donated materials include lighting, cabinetry, electrical fixtures, plumbing, doors, window frames and more.

“We are grateful for Re-use Hawaii and their mission to increase the environmental sustainability of our island, and planet, through the practice of reuse,” said Janet Liang, president of Kaiser Permanente Hawaii. “Having the means to eliminate, reduce, reuse and recycle byproducts from any construction projects we undertake is critical, especially for an island community, and we are always proud to partner with local organizations and community initiatives that are in line with our environmental stewardship efforts.”

Quinn Vittum, co-director of Re-use Hawaii, said: “We are very thankful for Kaiser Permanente Hawaii’s commitment to the environment and their generous donation of reusable materials. Reusing these materials instead of disposing of them helps to divert waste from landfills, saves trees and energy, and reduces green house gas emissions. We’re honored to partner with Kaiser Permanente Hawaii to turn waste into a resource.”

Kaiser Permanente has a long history of environmental stewardship. The organization builds greener facilities, strives to purchase non-toxic materials, and supports sustainable agriculture.

The organization’s electronic health record system, Kaiser Permanente HealthConnect, also helps preserve resources and trim waste. By replacing paper medical charts and digitizing X-ray images through this system, the organization has been able to save more than 1,000 tons of paper waste and avoid more than 200,000 pounds of X-ray film per year.

Since becoming operational in 2007, Re-use Hawaii has performed more than 150 deconstruction projects and kept well more than 1500 tons of good, reusable material out of local landfills. Salvage material from deconstruction projects, along with surplus material donated from the community, is redistributed to the community at the Re-use Hawaii Warehouse, a 25,000 square foot facility, located in Kakaako Makai.

For more information about Kaiser Permanente’s environmental efforts, visit:

via Kaiser donates $300,000 in construction materials to Re-Use Hawaii | Hawaii 24/7.

Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool

This regional forum on deconstruction will showcase how local communities have developed successful partnerships to create jobs, train individuals and salvage still-usable building materials. Deconstruction saves materials that would otherwise be dumped, which wastes resources and needlessly strains local landfills. Join us and learn about the benefits of deconstruction as well as how cities and businesses can be more engaged in the deconstruction industry.

Speakers include:

Ted Reiff, president of The ReUse People of America, has worked with the Kansas City region the past few years on deconstruction efforts. Reiff will share stories from the field in other regions of the country as well as projects he’s worked on in the metro.

Gerald Shechter, sustainability coordinator for the City Manager’s Office of Environmental Quality and grant manager for EnergyWorks KC in Kansas City, Mo., will explain why the city included deconstruction as part of its $20 million EnergyWorks KC grant. Shechter will also cover the city’s plans to deconstruct homes on its dangerous buildings list and in partnership with neighborhood organizations.

Brian Alferman, director of Habitat ReStore Kansas City, will discuss his organization’s partnership with The ReUse People, and how Habitat ReStore trains and certifies deconstruction contractors for whole-house removals. Alferman will also explain how to work with local ReStores to salvage usable materials and reduce costs through tax deductions.

Register now.

via Deconstruction as a Community-Building Tool.

Historic home of music great torn down in Treme | The Associated Press | Music | Washington Examiner

A dilapidated pre-Civil War Creole home in Treme built by one of the city’s first brass band leaders in the 1850s has been torn down to the chagrin of preservationists who’ve warned that the city is losing a chunk of its architectural and musical heritage in the rush to rebuild from Hurricane Katrina.

On Friday, wrecking crews demolished a two-story Creole cottage built by Charles Jaeger, a German immigrant who became a major band leader in New Orleans during the antebellum years and after the Civil War. Brass band music, considered a progenitor of jazz, became popular in New Orleans after the Civil War. Brass bands still play pivotal roles in New Orleans culture.

“Another historic music landmark bites the dust in New Orleans,” said Jack Stewart, a New Orleans music historian and preservationist.

The broken down and abandoned building was standing in the way of expansion plans for St. Peter Claver, a growing Roman Catholic church and school.

The Creole plantation-house style house, which had a gallery running around it, was in bad shape with one side buckling and its wooden frame was eaten up by termites and decay, contractors said. Despite its derelict state, preservationists and city officials had hoped to save the building. Those efforts did not pan out because of a lack of money and time.

“We knew we were working with a tough timeline from the beginning,” said Michelle Kimball of the Preservation Resource Center, a group whose mission is to save old buildings. “We explored every alternative: moving the house, deconstructing it, salvaging. We would have loved to have seen the building saved.”

She said it was one of the oldest buildings in Treme, a historic neighborhood where a society of free blacks flourished in the 1800s after the arrival of thousands of refugees from the Haitian Revolution. The house of Jaeger was located on North Roman Street in the upper portion of Treme.

Charles Chamberlain, museum historian for the Louisiana State Museum, said the building was a rare example of Creole architecture in the United States.

“Creole architecture is unique within the United States. It is a French style of architecture that is really indigenous to the lower Mississippi valley — and that’s it,” he said. “Any Creole architecture that we have should be preserved. Most Creole cottages are single story, and this is a two-story Creole cottage, which makes it extra cool in my opinion.”

Jaeger, a cornet player, moved to New Orleans in the 1840s and became a band leader. Stewart said he led several bands, including white, black and integrated groups. Jaeger died at age 52 in the early 1870s.

“He was almost like the official city brass band leader,” Stewart said. “He was an all-around musician.”

Since Katrina, numerous homes and music halls that incubated New Orleans’ musical art forms have disappeared in large part because of the city’s zeal to eliminate eyesores and tackle the longstanding problem of blighted property. After taking office in 2010, Mayor Mitch Landrieu said he wanted to eliminate 10,000 blighted properties in three years.

But the effort has been criticized by preservationists for not taking enough care to preserve the city’s history. For example, the city unwittingly approved the demolition of the childhood home of jazz great Sidney Bechet in late 2010.

Since the 2005 storm, the city also has lost the Halfway House, a venue that had been turned into a pesticide business and later damaged by fire, the Gallo and Dixie theaters and the Naval Brigade Hall. The homes of several jazz musicians — including Louis Nelson, Willie Guitar, Ed Garland, Danny Barker and Buddy Bolden — have been torn down or fallen into disrepair since Katrina.

New Orleans has a long track record of tearing down historic buildings associated with jazz. The most glaring example was the demolition of Louis Armstrong’s childhood home on Jane Alley in the 1960s to make way for the city’s prison.

via Historic home of music great torn down in Treme | The Associated Press | Music | Washington Examiner.

Recycle Everything…Including the Kitchen Sink – Forbes

The next time you drive by a demolition site, ask yourself one question: Where does all of this stuff go?  Chances are everything that you see (including the kitchen sink) can be recycled and distributed in an open marketplace. The copper piping, electrical wiring, and steel can be recycled, and has value. As commodity prices rise, the demand for recycled metals increases as well. In today’s economy, recycling scrap metal can have a positive impact on your bottom line and the environment.


via Recycle Everything…Including the Kitchen Sink – Forbes.

Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog

Earlier today it was the interior of a cottage, and now, a modern barn conversion! We can’t help all these rustic modern interiors and exteriors we’ve been showcasing lately. The upcoming fall season makes us crave warm woods, snugly hearths, earthy textures, and from-nature materials. You can usually find that in abundance in cozy cottages and beautiful barns. But of course, this is a modern design blog, so we also happen to love when someone manages to mix, quite deftly, a rustic exterior and a modern/rustic interior, as seen in this barn conversion we spotted on the Architectural Digest website. Interior designed by S. Russell Groves, you can see how heavy, personality-filled materials like stone and rough-hewn wood make a backdrop for more simple, sleeker modern furnishings. An earthy, soft color palette fills the whole space up like a warm hug. While probably still a little too rustic for minimalists and modern purists, we see the modern in this space.

Do you?

via Live Modern: Modern Barn Conversion | 2Modern Blog.

Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record

One local family redefined home recycling this month.

A growing trend featured in the Park City Area Showcase of Homes this year is homeowners tearing down old houses to build new on their lots mostly because Park City is running out of vacant lots.

Rob and Barbara Wolin decided to do this to their house on Silver Cloud Drive.

“They loved the views and the neighborhood, but architecturally, they wanted something different,” said Realtor Karen Gage.

But the Wolins couldn’t bear the thought of all the waste, so they asked general contractor Sam Costanzo to salvage as much from the house as possible. What was reusable was donated to Habitat for Humanity’s ReStore.

The ReStore accepts salvaged or unneeded construction materials and resells them to help fund the organization’s projects.

What wasn’t donated was reused if possible. Some wood will go back into the new house. Some decorative stone will be crushed for gravel.

“It seemed the more responsible thing to do,” Barbara Wolin said. “I’ve always been concerned about environmental issues and believe in recycling It was worth it, totally worth it.”

“It would have cost her a lot less to have a demolition team. She just had a really hard time thinking that all that stuff would go to the landfill,” Costanzo said.

He hired Mike Maza to take the home apart piece-by-piece.

“And I mean piece-by-piece,” he said. “He dissembled it All the stone work, all the cabinetry, interior lighting, doors, windows copper pipes, copper wiring.”

Demotion would have taken five days with a wrecking ball, but the dissembling took nearly three weeks and was only just completed earlier this week, he said.

Ed Blake, executive director of the Salt Lake Valley Habitat for Humanity said the Salt Lake City ReStore often receives material from these kinds of projects. They also see excess tile from finished jobs, replaced furniture from hotel rooms, and recently received five semi-truck trailers full of unwanted, but brand new, cabinets from Lowe’s.

The ReStore keeps thousands of tons of material out of landfills, Blake said, and the proceeds benefit Habitat for Humanity. Within the next year, profits from the ReStore will be able to fully fund overhead, allowing every monetary donation to go directly toward a beneficiary’s mortgage.

via Home leveled brick by brick, then donated – The Park Record.

Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail

For 112 years, the schoolhouse at Sir Guy Carleton elementary was abuzz with children reading, writing and doing arithmetic.

But Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse fell silent in 2008 when it was nearly destroyed by arson. It appeared set for demolition until Tuesday, when a local theatre company swooped in to save the landmark yellow building.

Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. - Carleton School in East Vancouver will house the Green Thumb Theatre project. | Handout


Green Thumb Theatre unveiled a $1.2-million plan to transform it into a rehearsal hall. The theatre company, which develops plays relevant to the lives of children and young adults, said it’s confident it will raise the money in time for a grand opening next fall.

“We’re delighted because Green Thumb Theatre will be restoring our much-cherished heritage schoolhouse to its original splendour and beyond,” said Pat Munton, the school’s principal. “It’s just amazing, it brings tears to my eyes, frankly.”

The Carleton schoolhouse was erected in 1896; other buildings were added in later years. The schoolhouse was in continuous use until three years ago, when fire gutted its insides. A section of the roof remained under a blue tarp on Tuesday.

Patti Bacchus, chair of the Vancouver Board of Education, called the arrangement between her organization and Green Thumb Theatre a win-win. Not only will the heritage site be repurposed, she said, but students at the school will get the added benefit of exposure to some of the top theatre educators in B.C.

“The fire that occurred here was, indeed, devastating,” Ms. Bacchus said. “We have been very concerned about finding a solution to that. I have to be honest – for quite some time, it looked fairly bleak. We made several approaches to the provincial government to fund the repairs of the building, and those were declined. At one point, it was recommended to us that we proceed with demolition.”

Ms. Bacchus said the board was “delighted” when it was approached by the theatre company.

What to do with the schoolhouse, located in the city’s Collingwood neighbourhood, has been a controversial issue since the fire. Heritage Vancouver recently placed the building at the top of its list of endangered sites. Dwindling enrolment has also led to questions about whether the rest of the school should be kept open.

B.C. New Democrat Leader Adrian Dix attended Tuesday’s announcement at the school, which is in his Vancouver-Kingsway riding. Mr. Dix declared it a “wonderful day” and tipped his cap to members of the community who spoke against the schoolhouse’s demolition.

“We were in public hearings, and students at the school who were in this building came and talked about it,” Mr. Dix said. “… They talked about how important it was to them that this building be restored, that the tradition they were part of and that goes back in this community for so long be restored and brought back. I think it’s an extraordinary thing when young people in Grade 3, or 4, or 5, take up a cause.”

After his remarks, the NDP Leader donated $1,000 to the project.

Patrick McDonald, Green Thumb Theatre’s artistic director, said the company hopes to raise much of the $1.2-million through municipal and federal arts programs.

“This is a very attainable goal,” he said.

via Vancouver’s oldest schoolhouse facing wrecker’s ball gets new lease on life – The Globe and Mail.

Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle | MNN – Mother Nature Network

Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle

Recycling company Knowaste plans to open 5 factories in the U.K. that will transform used diapers, incontinence and feminine hygiene products into green home building materials such as shingles and siding.

Disposable diaper waste


An interesting — and a touch gross — new development in the world of recycled building materials:
Over the next four years, Canadian recycling firm Knowaste plans to build five facilities in the U.K. each capable of converting 36,000 tons of absorbent consumer waste products (i.e. used diapers along with feminine hygiene and adult incontinence products ) annually into recycled plastic building materials such as roof shingles, siding and commercial tubing. Just think — one day in the not-too-far-off future you can live in a house built from soiled nappies! Or not.
In the U.K. alone, more than 1 million metric tons of absorbent hygiene waste, “the convenience curse of the 21st century,” is landfilled or incinerated of each year. The Knowaste recycling facilities where used hygiene products are sorted, sterilized and ground up into recycled plastic pellets will put a slight but much-needed dent in this figure. Find out more about how the process works in the video that’s embedded below.
Says Knowaste CEO Ray Browne of his company’s first diaper recycling facility in West Bromwich: “It will produce capacity for handling about a fifth of the absorbent hygiene products waste stream — equating to a saving of 110,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions every year.”
For now, the waste will be collected from Jamie Lee Curtis’ garbage can nursing homes, hospitals and child care facilities, although in the future the domestic market may play a part in this innovative recycling scheme.

via Today’s poopy diaper, tomorrow’s recycled roof shingle | MNN – Mother Nature Network.


Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |


Scott Bosgraaf stands in front of Baker Lofts in 2007. He redeveloped the former Baker furniture factory into commercial and residential lofts. The project incorporated recycled building materials from the old plant, including railings made from the old factory fire sprinkler system pipe.

HOLLAND — For years, Scott Bosgraaf’s specialty was turning brown buildings green.

Bosgraaf — whose family name is synonymous with quality development along the Lakeshore — has been known for transforming vacant factories or other eyesores into trendy, yet historic residential and commercial spaces.

He had a formula for keeping prices affordable: recycling elements of a building into stylish features, and tapping into local and state incentives to help cover the costs, including Brownfield, tax-increment financing and small business credits.

His projects included Baker Lofts and Scrap Yard Lofts in Holland, Kirsch Lofts in Sturgis, Central Lofts in South Haven and Woodard Station in Owosso.

In short, Bosgraaf was the kind of developer that state and local officials liked to see.

But now court documents show his real estate entities and other businesses owe millions to Huntington Bank. To recover more than $6 million in unpaid real estate loans, the bank foreclosed on Baker Lofts and Woodard Station and has filed a lawsuit for loan default for Central Lofts.

The court paper trail shows the resolutions in some of the properties remain fluid. The bank’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are being dropped this week, both sides confirmed.

Two Bosgraaf companies file bankrputcy

And the lawsuits have a broader reach than Bosgraaf’s bricks-and-mortar businesses. Two of his companies, Faargsob LLC and Auto Sports Unlimited Inc, which were used as collateral on some developments, have filed Chapter 7 bankruptcy to liquidate assets.

Both Bosgraaf, 47, of Holland, and attorney Robb Wardrop, who represents Auto Sports Unlimited in its bankruptcy, declined comment, citing ongoing legal issues.

Bosgraaf’s story isn’t uncommon.

Many developers in recent years have felt the double whammy of the real estate market crash and banks calling in loans after reassessing falling property values.

What was different about Bosgraaf was that he was launching projects through 2009, when many other developments were going under. Through press conferences and statements by state officials, he was held up as a poster boy for how to do redevelopment projects right.

His relationship with his major lender, Huntington, started to sour in 2010, as the financial crisis and federal regulatory changes put pressure on the banking industry to reduce real estate loans.

Huntingon gave notice of a foreclosure in a legal notice in the June 9 edition of the Zeeland Record, claiming that Baker Lofts LLC defaulted on a $5.3 million loan. The property was bought July 14 for just over $1.8 million by an entity of the bank.


Scott Bosgraaf projects

Baker Lofts, a $17 million, 100,000-square-foot mixed use development in Holland. Bosgraaf has until Jan. 16, 2012 to pay Huntington Bank just over $1.8 million, plus interest, to redeem 25 units out of the 101 units in foreclosure.

Woodard Station, a $20 million, mixed-use 220,000-square-foot development in Owosso in Shiawassee County. A portion of the property — 22 of 132 units — is slated to go on the auction block Wednesday (9/21) to recoup more than $1.1 million Huntington says it is owed. Bosgraaf has filed a countersuit.

Scrap Yard Lofts, a mixed-used development in Holland. The $5 million renovation of two former Holland Furnace Co. buildings isn’t vulnerable to foreclosure because the project was completely financed by property owner Padnos Iron & Metal Co.

Kirsch Lofts, a nearly $20 million, mixed-use development of a nearly 1 million- square-foot former curtain rod factory in Sturgis in St. Joseph County acquired in 2009. The project, which isn’t completed yet, wasn’t financed by Huntington, but did receive $2 million in Brownfield Redevelopment incentives.

Central Lofts, a $15 million, multi-phase redevelopment of 110,000 square feet of a former school in South Haven, purchased in 2007. Huntington filed a suit on Feb. 2 after the developer defaulted on $3.7 million in loans. Huntington’s lawsuit and Bosgraaf’s countersuit are expected to be dismissed this week.

Bosgraaf has until Jan. 14, 2012 to pay the bank the purchase price, plus interest, or Huntington will take over ownership of about 25 of the 101 condo units in the development at 533 Columbia Ave.

via Huntington Bank forecloses on Baker Lofts, saying Holland developer Scott Bosgraaf owes millions on projects around the state |

Present Tents –

Wildman Wilderness Lodge, Australia

So long, tepee. The next level of “glamping” is the architent — high-spec, high-style canvas accommodations.


The main lodge and cabins at this resort make use of recycled building materials from a dismantled lodge in Queensland. All 15 safari tents are internally clad in polished blackbutt (a dark eucalyptus) and simply furnished, offering airy lodging for nature lovers who want to explore Australia’s Northern Territory.; from about $235.

via Present Tents –

NEA calls for more recycling in construction | Asia Pacific’s largest green business community | Sustainability and Environment |

Singapore’s National Environment Agency says it’s a waste not to use more waste in building materials. Photo:

Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) is urging the local construction industry to use more recycled and waste materials as building material, which can come from existing buildings set to be demolished as well as other sources.

Speaking to Eco-Business on the sidelines of the International Green Building Conference (IGBC), NEA’s manager of waste and resources management, Carrie Wong, said the agency has been discussing how to promote the use of recycled and waste materials with the Building and Construction Authority (BCA) and other agencies.

“We are also looking at other materials such as copper slag, which is generated from the marine industry, as well as incineration ash to see how we can make use of it as construction material,” said Ms Wong. Currently, some of the industry players are practicing similar innovation but Ms Wong is hoping for waste materials to feature in more aspects of construction and play a bigger role in new buildings.

However, some experts point out, changing the mindsets of Singaporeans who may frown on living or working in a building made out of waste materials might be a challenge.

But the NEA says it is hoping that with further education and awareness, more people will be receptive to the idea.

“Singaporeans are becoming more well-traveled and if such practices have been accepted overseas, maybe we have a chance,” noted Ms Wong.

However, executive director of Waste Management and Recycling Association of Singapore (WMRAS), Yvonne Soh, believes more legislation might be needed to push the idea forward.

“Legislation provides a level-playing field, so you can compete on equal ground with natural materials,” said Ms Soh.

She observed that some developers in Singapore are already using more waste and recycled materials for construction but that they don’t readily publicise this as they are careful when it comes to their branding.

So, while developers are wary of making it known that they are using recycled materials, they are well aware of the cost benefits.

And these are huge savings, according to scientific director Dirk Hebel of the Ethiopian Institute of Architecture,  who said that using waste materials could lead to a 90 per cent savings in the Ethiopian construction sector. And he believes such savings are possible elsewhere too.

“Singapore has a long history of making sure affordable housing is available for the people. If we can construct cheaper houses here in Singapore, there would be more benefits for residents, such as cheaper rents, and housing prices could potentially drop as well. And maybe there could be a better living experience,” he added.

Mr Hebel will be joining a new Singapore-Swiss research facility called the Future Cities Laboratory. It will conduct studies on sustainable urban development. This relates to how modern city structures can be environmentally sustainable as well as cost efficient.

He also firmly believes that a country should try to use as much local material as possible rather than relying on imports when it comes to construction purposes.

Even for a country like Singapore which depends vastly on imported materials for construction, Mr Hebel said research holds the key for solutions.

“Could we for example think of a new concrete mix which in the end does not contain cement any more, but maybe contains more ash from the burning of waste and rubbish here in Singapore? We could also perhaps come up with a  new  type of concrete that doesn’t need steel – but we can maybe reinforce concrete using bamboo technology instead, which is cheaper.”

Experts on the closing day of the IGBC in Singapore agreed that innovative research ideas such as these, coupled with legislation and education, is indeed the way to go for the proper use of waste materials in the construction sector.’s coverage of the International Green Building Conference 2011 is brought to you by City Developments Limited.

For other news from Singapore Green Building Week, including the International Green Building Conference 2011 and Bex Asia 2011, click here.

via | Asia Pacific’s largest green business community | Sustainability and Environment | News, Opinion, Events, Press Releases, Jobs, Directory, Resources.

Deconstruction: Most materials from a kitchen remodel can be resold and reused |



Nicolas Vidal (left) and Mike Richardson remove a stove which in turn will be resold.


You see it on TV all the time: The home remodeler takes sledgehammer in hand, hauls it back and thwack! There go the cruddy kitchen cabinets and counters. The remains get hauled to a trash bin, presumably to head to their just reward, the dump.

Ditto the old flooring, wood, nails, whatever. Trash bin, dump; trash bin, dump. R.I.P.

The first hint that something was wrong with this picture came at the ReBuilding Center on North Mississippi Avenue. There were doors. Windows. Electric and plumbing fittings.

And yes, cabinets, intact. Tiles. Wood.


The key to deconstruction is salvaging as much as you can — like these tiles — for future use.

The second hint arrived in the form of a coupon: up to $50 off something called DeConstruction Services. Its premise, says co-founder Shane Endicott, is, “If you can build buildings, you can unbuild them.”

Or as any 3-year-old knows, what can be put together can be taken apart.

So when we decided to remodel our kitchen, we chose deconstruction. Even though our cabinets were low quality, to put it kindly, they weren’t disintegrating. The one-row tile backsplash also could be salvaged. Ditto the sink, disposal, plumbing fittings and a couple of appliances we weren’t replacing. The bids we got — deconstruction vs. demolition — were virtually identical, plus we wouldn’t have to pay for a trash bin. What’s more, we would receive a tax deduction for the (nominal) value of the items we donated to the ReBuilding Center.

DeConstruction Services is a part of Our United Villages, which includes the ReBuilding Center. The center has been involved in deconstruction since its 1997 beginning, Endicott said, partnering with a friend of his who did architectural salvage. DeConstruction Services started operation in 1999, when it took apart a block of homes near the Multnomah Athletic Club. 

“It just took off. The next thing I knew, we had a full-time, year-round operation,” he said, growing from four volunteers to 30 employees. (The recession has taken its toll; full-time employment is down to six.) To Endicott’s knowledge, the service is the first in the nation; people have visited from all over the country and internationally and used it as a model, he said. 

“We don’t reclaim based on resale value; we focus on what’s reusable,” he added. To make sure items are reusable, Mike Richardson, 51, and Nicolas Vidal, 30, unscrewed the cabinets one by one; took off trim wood and set it aside, pulled off countertops and pried off tile. 

Richardson, who’s been with DeConstruction for seven years, allowed that taking apart a structure is a lot different than demolition. “You’ve got to be a lot more careful,” he said, “especially if you come from the style of banging away, knocking down walls.” 

The ReBuilding Center can’t take everything: Used drywall goes in the trash, no matter who does the work. 

Even demolition doesn’t warrant total guilt: Trash bins full of construction debris no longer head straight to the landfill. Metro, the tricounty regional government, stepped in in 2009 with new rules. 

All mixed dry waste first goes to material recovery facilities, according to Shareefah Hoover, a Metro spokeswoman, where wood, cardboard, metals and other things are removed. 

Metro adopted the rules with the aim of increasing the region’s waste recovery rate from its then-55.3 percent, Hoover said. The program’s impact is under evaluation. 

Separately, flooring, roofing and other contractors (or DIY-ers) can find places to take waste via Metro or the city of Portland. (See accompanying box.) Garbage-haulers all know the drill, and some smaller materials can be recycled curbside. Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores also take various used fixtures, though they are more limited. 

“The more you recycle, the more money you save,” Hoover said. “It reduces the garbage load” being hauled to the regional landfill in Arlington. 

The afternoon of our deconstruction, a truck pulled up. Soon, our cabinets were shrink-wrapped and loaded up, off to the ReBuilding Center at no extra charge. 

Lettered on the side of the truck: “Just because they’re called landfills, it doesn’t mean we have to fill them.” 

— Naomi Kaufman Price

via Deconstruction: Most materials from a kitchen remodel can be resold and reused |

Waste & Recycling News | Waste Management/Recycling/Landfill Headlines

“I was the first woman to burn my bra. It took the fire department four days to put it out.”

– Dolly Parton

Sept. 9 — You can put away the matches and lighters away, ladies. There is a better way to dispose of your unwanted or ill-fitting brassieres.

Recycle them.

Yes, you can do that. And just getting that message out is priority No. 1 for Elaine Birks-Mitchell, founder of The Bra Recyclers, a Gilbert, Ariz.-based venture that she says is the only one of its kind in North America.

Birks-Mitchell got the idea a few years back during a conversation with a friend who volunteered at a women´s shelter. She asked her friend about the items that get donated to the shelter.

“And she said, ´Oh, my God, we never get enough; we never get enough of them,´ ” Birks-Mitchell remembered.

So she got an uplifting – so to speak – idea: a company that would collect unwanted bras and donate them.

She and her husband started the company in October 2008. And the growth has been steady, so much so, she now receives 4,000 a month and supplies more than 40 shelters around the country.

She gets her stock from collection drives and from women who mail them (information on how to do that is on the company´s website, Others come from a partnership with Soma Intimates, a chain of 120 stores nationwide that hosts twice-a-year bra donation drives.

Bras that have lost all their powers to lift and separate are recycled. None end up in landfills, said Birks-Mitchell.

Soma Intimates Brand President Laurie Van Brunt has worked with The Bra Recyclers and admires Birks-Mitchell´s operation.

“She has a charitable and philanthropic heart,” said Van Brunt. “She´s a great supporter.”

In so many ways.

Contact WRN editor John Campanelli at

via Waste & Recycling News | Waste Management/Recycling/Landfill Headlines.

Group looking for waste, recycling volunteers – Headline News


Sept. 12 — Community Forklift, which collects used building materials to reuse and resell, is recruiting volunteers who are willing to work 8-hour shifts to recover building materials from the 2011 Solar Decathlon Village in Washington D.C.

Volunteers are needed to advise participants on what is reusable material versus trash and instruct them to deposit materials in the designated dumpster.

Professionals and students involved in architecture, engineering, construction or environment management are encouraged to volunteer, but anyone willing is encouraged to sign up.

The U.S. Department of Energy Solar Decathlon challenges collegiate teams to design, build and operate solar-powered houses that are cost-effective, energy-efficient and attractive. The winner of the competition is the team that combines affordability, consumer appeal and design excellence with optimal energy production and maximum efficiency.

All volunteers must be older than 18 years of age and will be required to sign a waiver form and wear safety gear including steel-toed boots. Community Forklift will supply safety glasses and hard-hats.

Dates and hours of service will be Sept. 17-21 from midnight to 8 a.m. and Oct. 3-6 from midnight to 8 a.m.

For more information and/or to volunteer, contact Christine McCoy at or 202-246-0163.

Contact Waste & Recycling News reporter Shawn Wright at or 313-446-0346.

via Headline News.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Well, Im officially declaring the posting drought on the PGM Blog over! Inspiration is abounding these days – not in the least with regards to the development of Issue 7 and our launch in print. Many exciting things happening on that front and I literally cannot sleep at night because of it. While we keep working away on that matter well keep you inspired right here!I came across this home while browsing the weekend paper and was immediately impressed and inspired. This coastal home in Maine is a testament to what can be achieved with some creativity, patience and know-how of course I think some good design sense is needed too as this project is absolutely stunning considering its humble roots. Owned by a former schoolteacher, Jennifer Wurst and her partner, artist and creator Michael Fleming, the pair have managed to completely renovate and furnish their home for an incredible $4000 dollars!! According to the couple and the article, which orginally appeared in the New York Times and was reprinted in The Globe and Mail the living room was the priciest endeavour coming in at $828, largely due to Jennifers “spluge” on a antique sofa from Brimfield Market for $150, which has now been slipcovered in an antique linen sheet. The cohesiveness and polish in this home is astounding, considering Jennifers primary source of treasures is the dump!! From the article: “Some days it’s pure excitement, running back to the car to unload armfuls of stuff, only to go back for more!” she wrote in an e-mail. “It’s amazing what people throw out. I have found completely new still in packaging items such as my Bodum tea press/pot and even down throw pillows still in packaging and a fabulous ’50s-style wall-mounted can opener.” I have always said there is nothing more humbling than a trip to the dump – a grim reminder of our terrible habits of overconsumption – but I seriously commend Jennifers ability to scavenge such wonderful items from the heaps of trash! If their home is an example of what can be achieved then Id say its worth the challenge.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst and Fleming Home, Maine

Among the home’s upcycled decor examples can be seen of Michael’s work – he collects sea bleached pieces of driftwood, from twigs to stumps and creates everything from scultural peices (as in the large-scale piece seen here behind the dining table) and this original and imaginative driftwood pendant lamp (seen above). View more on Michael’s site Designs Adrift.

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine


Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine

via Wurst & Fleming Home, Maine.

Training Program to Stimulate Wyoming Green Job Market


ShareThis Email PDF Print

Participants in a deconstruction class get hands-on experience in dismantling a shed into recyclable and reusable components.

Being able to get someone training they need to be more successful as an employee or business owner is really what makes this all worthwhile.


Casper, WY (PRWEB) September 09, 2011

In partnership with national Green Jobs training provider CleanEdison, Casper College is offering a new training program for Wyoming contractors and novices looking to enter the Green economy. Program administrators at Casper College are thrilled to announce this tremendous opportunity for Wyoming residents to be introduced to new skills and training in these promising new sectors. “Being able to get someone training they need to be more successful as an employee or business owner is really what makes this all worthwhile.” said Sarah Olson, Workforce Training Specialist at Casper College.

Following the successful Geothermal training conducted last March, Casper College is now offering Deconstruction & Materials Re-Use training in combination with Lead Renovator (Lead RRP) training. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) now requires that firms performing renovation, repair, and painting projects that disturb lead-based paint in pre-1978 homes, child care facilities and schools be certified by EPA and that they use certified renovators who are trained by EPA-approved training providers to follow lead-safe work practices. Firms that fail to comply with EPA’s new Lead RRP training rule may face civil fines up to $32,500 per offense and an additional criminal fine of $32,500 plus imprisonment for knowing and willful violations.

This new training is available to all Wyoming citizens regardless of income, residency, or employment stat State Energy Sector Partnership grant awarded to Casper College from the Department of Labor as part of the American Recovery & Reinvestment Act. Whereas these in-demand certifications normally cost anywhere from $800 to $3,500, this grant allows contractors to receive the same national certifications for $75 for the Lead RRP or $100 for the Deconstruction course, which also includes OSHA certification.

Students who complete the training will be certified to perform work in accordance with new EPA requirements and, should they go on to the Deconstruction portion, be prepared to work on projects that use this sustainable and economical alternative to traditional demolition in which up to 90% of materials are salvaged for reuse. Students will learn the various principles of Deconstruction and materials reuse as well as the ways in which these practices contribute the overall green building and sustainable design movements that are fast-becoming the accepted standard for new construction around the country. The combination of classroom practicum and hands-on field training will enable training participants to quickly transition into the expanding green job market. Wyoming residents interested in participating in this reduced-cost program should contact Sarah Olson at Casper College, at 307-268-3111.

About CleanEdison

CleanEdison, Inc. is the nation’s leading green job training provider, offering award-winning green education services to individuals, companies, federal, state and local governments. Our mission is to promote sustainability and green building practices by offering best-in-class education and expert advice through our customized consulting services and the largest green training program in the nation. Winner of the 2009 CTN Green Excellence Seal for Green Education, CleanEdison is part of the US Green Building Council’s Education Provider Program and an approved affiliate of the Building Performance Institute (BPI). Headquartered in New York, CleanEdison offers courses in BPI Certification, Energy Auditing, LEED, Solar, Wind and Renewable Energy. To learn more about CleanEdison, please visit or contact Megan McInroy at 646-723-4532.

via Training Program to Stimulate Wyoming Green Job Market.

“Hoarders” Foul Opening of Pahoa Re-Use Center | Big Island Weekly

“Hoarders” Foul Opening of Pahoa Re-Use CenterTuesday, September 6th, 2011

County closes facility until Novemberby Alan D. McNariePahoa’s dream of a re-use center at its transfer station has beendeferred.

Less than a month after the facility was opened, it’s closedagain.”The Reuse center has been temporarily shut down. We had been tryingto run it with volunteers, and it did not work,” Hunter Bishop,executive assistant to Mayor Billy Kenoi, told Big Island Weekly.

The reason, in one word: greed. For several days before the shutdown,entries at the “Opala in Paradise” Facebook page complained about”hoarders” who were grabbing items the moment they arrived, possiblyto sell at a local farmer’s market.

Some of the scavengers allegedlywere even approaching cars before their owners could unload.”There was a woman who was willing to be there most of the time,however there were problems controlling the flow of materials in andout,” Bishop said. “People would want to take items as soon as theycame in to the center — take them, leave, come back, take them againas soon as they came in.

It wasn’t a fair or desirable way to controlthe center.”The county has just put out a Request for Proposals soliciting bids torun the center, located at the Pahoa Transfer Station, along withother re-use centers at Kea’au, Hilo, Hawi, Keauhou, Kealakehe andWaimea stations.

The deadline for bids is September 30; Bishop expects the Pahoa station to be open again by November. While the county was soliciting the bids, it would be enclosing the center at Pahoa so that access could be managed more easily.

Like the other re-use centers, the Pahoa center was intended as adrop-off point where people could leave usable items they didn’t want, and other people could pick them up. Some of the other centers, suchas the one at Laupahoehoe, are run by community volunteers.

But Bishopnoted that the volunteer-run stations were only open three days aweek. Pahoa, like the county’s first such center at Kea’au, was openseven days a week.At one point, the county contacted Starsha Young of Keep HawaiiBeautiful for help in managing the Pahoa center.

“We found the condition messy but manageable,” reported Young in aFacebook entry. “We stayed and we were able to come up with fourlovely volunteers to help us ‘Keep an Eye’ on the station. We will bethere tomorrow morning again….

I planned to make a list ofvolunteers and from there we can meet and discuss how to put inshelving and rotate the monitoring of the station.”But within days of that entry, Bishop announced the center’s temporary closure.

via “Hoarders” Foul Opening of Pahoa Re-Use Center | Big Island Weekly.

Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

Shacks occupy a strange place in society. On the one hand, outdated and dilapidated dwellings come to mind. On the other hand, such otherwise-sad shanty structures conjure visions of peace, quiet and personal freedom and lived-in comfort as well.


Ethan Hayes-Chute takes found objects and turns them into quaint huts and half-collapsed homes, over and over and over again. Some are wrapped around real living trees, while others are set inside museums, contrasting starkly with white walls all around.

Tina DiCarlo summarizes this strangely obsessed artist-and-builder well:“[His work]  is so basic, so familiar, so ordinary, and such a mess that at first glance one might mistakenly call it primitive”

“…. [but each building]  is an accumulation of stuff, the ephemera of the every day. Its materials are found, stitched together, hand-assembled – chair, desk, table, shaving mirror, and coffee mug furnish the cabin’s primary function to house and sustain.”

Born on the east coast of the united states – an area famed for its quaint cottages and regional vernacular architecture – this builder is not just creating a sense of nostalgia, nor simply tapping into emotional reactions. He is, in a sense, telling stories of historical and personal fantasy, blending old yarns into modern tales free of simplistic morality or happy endings … somewhere between fiction and folk art.


via Shack-Crazed Builder Constructs Fantastic Recycled Shelters | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Giant Cow Sculptures Created Using Automobile Parts -Laughing Squid


Finnish sculptor and Marimekko textile company designer, Miina Äkkijyrkkä (aka Liina Lång) created this wonderful series of giant cow sculptures made from recycled automobile parts starting in 2000. Known throughout Finland for being a protector of the native Eastern Finncattle dairy breed, Äkkijyrkkä was inspired by her own cows to create these towering metal bovines.

via Colossal, Illusion and Designaside

photos by Juha Metso

images via Colossal

via Laughing Squid.

Local building wins environmental award – WDRB 41 Louisville – News, Weather, Sports Community

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) — It’s called the Green Building. The Louisville structure was recognized for the environmentally-friendly design Friday that won it the first award of its kind in the state.

State representative Steve Riggs presented the building’s owners, Gill and Augusta Holland, with an award of merit from Kentucky.

It comes after the Green Building earlier this year became the first commercial building in Kentucky to be awarded platinum level LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, certification.

“A lot of people worked on the design. A lot of people worked on the interior demolition. You know, we didn’t want to send anything to landfills. A lot of people then worked on sourcing materials, renewable materials, recycled materials, recycling materials from the building. And then we finally built the building and then we had to market and promote the building,” says Green Building owner Gill Holland.

Holland says he’s also proud of the impact the building has had on the design of other buildings in Louisville.

via Local building wins environmental award – WDRB 41 Louisville – News, Weather, Sports Community.

matter! where art and sustainability hang together – via Upcycling


matter! is a contemporary fine art gallery featuring original artworks from over 100 artists using recycled and reclaimed materials; sculpture, garden art, furniture, lighting, jewelry, paintings and other wall art. If you have questions about an artwork or artist, need help buying a gift, or want to learn about artworks on the way, email or call! And if you’re anywhere near Olympia, WA – come visit! We’re open everyday. Check out a slideshow of some of the stuff at matter!

To shop now, you can browse by category or by artist on the matter! website. Have fun! matter! was started by these fascinating people:

Owner & General Manager: Jo Gallaugher

Jo has 20 years business experience and a long-standing love for artworks incorporating reclaimed materials. She holds an MBA from University of California Irvine, and a BA in Political Science from University of Washington. Jo has primarily concentrated on west coast artists while gathering works for matter!, but has begun to expand geographically. She is continually on the lookout for artists creating beautiful artworks with repurposed materials.

Photographer & Art Accomplice: Bob Snell

Bob was trained as a commercial photographer, but quickly decided mainstream commercial photography wasn’t for him. In addition to being the sole art photographer for matter!, he has done several photography shows featuring his original works… choosing everything from stripper shoes to metropolitan skylines as subject matter. His goal is to honestly capture the crazy inventiveness inherent in all that is human.

via matter! where art and sustainability hang together.

Upcoming Event: Building Reuse Summit

Join us during Greenbuild for a how-to summit on increasing recovery and reuse of construction waste.

Register at

Each year in the US alone, over 300,000 buildings are demolished, with the majority of the material ending up in the landfill (US EPA 2003). This results in a significant amount of valuable materials including concrete, asphalt roofing, bricks, metals and lumber being unnecessarily disposed of.

Recovering and reusing construction materials results in the retention of capital resources and supports local jobs. Come learn from industry and government leaders how they are facilitating the recovery and reuse of valuable materials from construction waste with positive economic results.

Topics include

– The role of regulators and policy makers in developing markets for construction waste recovery and reuse.

– Tools for designers and contractors to facilitate recovery and reuse of construction materials today

– See the full agenda at

Who should attend?

– Regulators: Government officials and regulators responsible for waste policy, licensing of deconstruction and demolition contractors, development, and specific building policies

– Demolition & Waste Sector: Demolition contractors, landfill operators, transfer station operators, and C&D recyclers

– Industry Professionals: Architects, structural engineers, building contractors, specification writers, building owners and portfolio managers

About the Venue

The Fermenting Cellar of the former Gooderham and Worts Distillery, originally constructed in 1859, is located in the critically acclaimed Distillery Historic District. The building was repurposed as a venue, and still features the original heavy timber beams and trusses, and Kingston limestone walls.

The Distillery District is located in Toronto’s downtown core minutes away from Toronto’s financial district and has become the premiere site to hold an event in Toronto. There are many reasons, beginning with the truly magical setting. One of Ontario’s hottest tourist attractions, The Distillery District is an internationally acclaimed 13-acre village of brick-lined streets and dozens of vibrantly restored Victorian Industrial buildings. And pedestrian-only, means no cars to spoil the magic (but plenty of parking is nearby).

Register now at

Registration Details


Tuesday, Oct. 4, 2011

8:30 AM–4:30 PM


Fermenting Cellar

55 Mill Street

Toronto, ON


Full day: $185

Half-day: $110

Keynote Speakers

Sadhu Johnston

Deputy City Manager, Vancouver

Nadav Malin

President, BuildingGreen

See a full agenda at

Space is limited, register now at

via Upcoming Event: Building Reuse Summit.

The Mountain Press – Landfill fire quickly contained – Tennessee

Firefighters work to smother a blaze at the landfill.

Firefighters work to smother a blaze at the landfill.

Read more: The Mountain Press – Landfill fire quickly contained 

PIGEON FORGE — A fire Friday evening at the landfill on Ridge Road spread quickly over a couple acres of construction and demolition waste, but fortunately never threatened structures or surrounding woods.With the help of a bulldozer operated by a Sevier Solid Waste employee, crews from five fire departments were able to quickly knock the blaze down, leaving a large cloud of thick smoke the only problem. In dealing with that, Emergency Management Director John Mathews issued his first reverse 911, a system that calls people in the area of an emergency to give them warning.”My main concern out of all of this is the smoke,” Pigeon Forge Fire Department Chief Tony Watson said. “Its not something we want spreading, since weve got those construction materials burning in there, so weve got to control it.”While neither Watson nor Mathews expected the haze to cause serious environmental or health problems, they wanted to issue a warning for residents who live near the landfill out of “an abundance of caution,” Watson said.

via The Mountain Press – Landfill fire quickly contained.

Five local groups get grants from Environmental Protection Agency – LA

Matthew Hinton, The Times-Picayune archive Louisiana Green Corps members Devin Chaney, right, and Jalicia Branch were photographed in Lafayette Square during a Green Jobs Now rally in September 2008.


The grants announced at a ceremony Wednesday at the New Orleans Healing Center on St. Claude Avenue were:

Louisiana Green Corps, $300,000 environmental job training grant to train low-income residents for jobs in energy efficiency and green building; solar and/or solar thermal system installation; and materials reuse, deconstruction and recycling. The program will last two years. The Green Corps acts as a recycling center for paint and construction materials and provides those materials for rebuilding projects in the city.

Global Green USA, $100,000 green jobs pilot program grant for

Read more

via Five local groups get grants from Environmental Protection Agency.

10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace


10 Sources for Reclaimed Living

Much like the growing slow food movement, in which people want to know more about where their food comes from, there is an increased interest amongst people buying furniture and building new homes who want to feel connected to the materials used throughout their space. Sourcing reclaimed woods for anything from tabletops to flooring is a good idea for many reasons – not only is it an environmentally friendly approach to design, but salvaged materials contain a rich history in all their notches and nail holes. If you have an interest in living the reclaimed life, then check out these ten stores and services in our Marketplace for bringing natural, handmade furniture into your home.



Old Barn Reclaimed Wood Co : A massive retailer of high-quality reclaimed wood products, this company offers recycled flooring, lumber, furniture and wood paneling. With materials pulled from 19th century

barns, tobacco warehouses, textile mills and factories, you can bet the pieces made from Old Barn are full of character.

Crofthouse083011Croft House – Modern Reclaimed Wood Furniture : This LA-based company is a great local producer of handmade furniture and home decor. With a focus on sustainable materials, Croft House’s designs are simple, sophisticated and offered at a practical price point.


Danielstrack083011Daniel Strack Furniture : In addition to his use of reclaimed wood for his original furniture designs with eco-friendly finishes, this Chicago-based designer also creates a beautiful line of guitars. Custom work is also an option.


Industrywest083011Industry West : From Jacksonville, FL comes this company with a goal “to help you create a more intriguing environment for your home.” Their inventory includes recreations of 19th and 20th century furniture pieces made from metal, distressed fabrics and reclaimed woods.


Cliff083011Cliff Spencer Furniture Maker : With an aim to evoke warmth and create comfort in the home through each piece, Cliff Spencer offers custom designed furniture and cabinetry while specializing in lesser known hardwoods. All wood is hand sourced in California.


Environmentfurniture083011Environment Furniture : With showrooms in New York, LA and Atlanta, this California-based design house specializes in timeless contemporary collections of furniture that respect the planet. Using unique, sustainably harvested wood like patinaed Brazilian Peroba Rosa wood and salvaged maritime shipping beams, each piece from Environment Furniture is full of rustic elegance.

Americanbarn083011American Barn Company : Started by contractor Jay Wikary, this company has recently relocated to Friendship, Wisconsin, where he continues to source the best local reclaimed materials possible to produce all kinds of home decor products and lumber. American Barn Company also accepts custom order requests.

Meyerwells083011Meyer Wells : Using the grand reclaimed trees of Seattle’s urban areas as the source materials for their line of modern furnishings, Meyer Wells has created a hands-on production process that makes use out of materials that would normally be considered part of the waste stream.


Fromthesource083011From the Source : With their eclectic mix of antique and contemporary pieces made from plantation grown and reclaimed wood, this company offers solely unupholstered pieces, primarily made from teak. With furniture available for all areas of the home, From the Source has a gallery in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood as well as a design house in Greenpoint, Brooklyn.

Reclaimedmain03083011The Brooklyn Home Company : This design house is made up of a family-run cooperative of artists and craftsman dedicated to creating quality and classic, well-designed living spaces. Based in Brooklyn, the RISD-trained team at The Brooklyn Home Company is focused on designing homes that will endure.

via 10 Sources for Reclaimed Living | Apartment Therapy Marketplace.

Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Reusing, and Diversifying

Upcycling can be a boon to existing businesses as well. For Hammer & Hand, a Portland, Ore., design-build construction firm, upcycling became a jobs-saving revenue stream during the recession. It began a decade ago, when co-founder and president Sam Hagerman quit using dumpsters.

“I was writing the garbage man a $10,000 check every month, and I realized that could support a living wage and a half,” he says. So he bought a truck and started an in-house recycling system in the yard of the office building (which boasts flooring made from recycled bleacher seats).

From then on, Hagerman took reusable parts from construction sites–framing components, light fixtures, appliances and lumber. “I realized we could get a beautiful pile of lumber for free,” he says, “and turn around and add value to it.”

When the construction industry got a walloping in 2008, Hagerman weathered the downturn by entering the upcycled furniture market, along with the home energy and the handyman business. “We saved the jobs of 40 people,” he says. “We got creative by necessity, but we changed our business because it also makes financial sense.”

If there is a downside to upcycling, Hagerman says, it’s the inefficiencies related to organizing, moving and storing the supply. Regardless of how cheap any reclaimed materials are, they can represent a huge waste of energy and time if you don’t already have a purpose in mind when you take possession of them. Plus, there’s the danger of running out. “You can’t develop a line of something, because there’s no guaranteed way to get more of the material,” he says.

via Upcycling Becomes a Treasure Trove for Green Ideas –

Campbell River Mirror – In demolition, old school teaches three Rs


Bob Clarke of Coast Realty Group takes works to remove a coat hanger from one of the old classrooms inside the former Campbellton school.

By Kristen Douglas – Campbell River Mirror

Published: August 30, 2011 1:00 PM

Updated: August 30, 2011 1:40 PM

Pieces of the old Campbellton school will help provide needy families with new homes.

Habitat for Humanity volunteers, along with Coast Realty staff, have been salvaging what they can from the old, abandoned building. The recovered items will be sold, with the proceeds going towards construction materials for new homes.

“We do these salvage operations for two reasons – it keeps materials from entering the landfill and we raise funds for our mission, to build homes for people who need them,” said Ken Miller of Habitat for Humanity Campbell River.

Coast Realty Group, who works for the new owner of the old building, contacted Habitat for Humanity to give permission to take what they can from inside the facility.

Miller and his crew have been dismantling parts of the school for about a month now and figure they’ll be working for about another week more.

Volunteer Terri Chalaturnyk, from Coast Realty Group, found not only precious recyclables but a keepsake of sorts.

Behind a cabinet was a dusty piece of ripped, orange construction paper with a note written by two students on May 23,1968. It reads: “Campbellton is the best school by far. We went to this school.”

Volunteers have also pulled out blackboards, coat hooks, breaker panels, basketball netting and hoops, a stage in the gymnasium and tons of plywood – some pieces up to 10 feet long.

The material is then turned over to the ReStore on Willow Street, which sells the items for 50 to 70 per cent off retail prices. The proceeds then go towards Habitat for Humanity’s building program which provides housing for low income families.

Miller, who manages the local ReStore, said de-construction and salvage operations have been ongoing in Courtenay for the past three years, and would like to see the program get going in Campbell River. So far, Habitat for Humanity crews have salvaged parts from an old home on Racepoint Drive and from a mini-storage in Campbellton.

“We hope to do more of this, we’re hoping to take down more houses – and we’ll take it down completely,” Miller said. “We’d love to have more people donate materials and homeowners are eligible for a tax receipt for all materials we’re able to sell.”

And demand for the materials is huge.

“The shelf-life of the wood is about a few minutes once I get it to the store,” Miller said. “I’ll have about 15 people a week come by and ask ‘when can I get plywood?’ I have the clientele that want the material, so if there’s people who have the material to fill that bill, it’s great.”

Habitat for Humanity has so far been able to house two families in Campbell River. The society built a duplex on Maple Street in 2009 and it hopes to build more.

Miller said the group hopes to see a fall start, but housing all hinges on whether there’s land available that the city is willing to part with.

The materials taken from Campbellton School, which was sold by School District 72 to E&D Properties Ltd. in late June, will go to the Campbell River ReStore but will go towards housing projects in both the Comox Valley and Campbell River.

via Campbell River Mirror – In demolition, old school teaches three Rs.

Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Wastecon 2011: Raising the C&D Diversion Roof

In addition to the economics of construction and demolition (C&D) materials recycling having improved, state legislation and local ordinances also have driven more C&D recycling. That was part of the message from panelists at a session on C&D recycling at Wastecon, the annual convention of SWANA (the Solid Waste Association of North America).

Speaker Richard Ludt of Interior Removal Specialist Inc. (IRS), South Gate, Calif., noted how a number of ordinances enacted in Southern California have affected C&D scrap diversion flows in his market region.

Reacting to California Assembly Bill 939, which was passed in 1989 with the goal of increasing landfill diversion to 50 percent, municipalities enacted a variety of ordinances affecting C&D materials, Ludt said.

Ludt said some communities have required contractors to pay a deposit that will not be returned until their project is finished and they can prove they reached a specified landfill diversion or recycling rate. Such arrangements were not always well received by contractors and also tended to create extensive recordkeeping and accounting systems for the municipalities.

Ludt praised the city of Los Angeles for creating “possibly the simplest C&D ordinance I have seen.” In Los Angeles, C&D materials must be taken to certified facilities that have been audited and approved by the city. “They reach their desired recycling percentage by permitting [facilities] carefully,” said Ludt. “Builders like it because there is no deposit and city staff like it because there is no tracking of deposit payments.”

Speaker Miriam Zimms of Kessler Consulting Inc., Tampa, Fla., provided an overview of C&D recycling in several regions where municipalities or solid waste districts have tried approaches to spur recycling.

In King County, Wash., Zimms said agencies there are providing considerable technical support, have streamlined the permitting process and offer grants tied to “green building” LEED (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) projects. These initiatives have been enough to boost the C&D materials landfill diversion rate to 83 percent in King County, according to Zimms.

Metro Portland, Ore., is another region where LEED projects are abundant, and in fact new Metro Portland government buildings are required to seek LEED certification, said Zimms. Builders in the region are mandated to recycle 75 percent of their scrap materials, although Zimms said only 45 percent of projects may be in compliance with this mandate.

In her home state of Florida, Zimms said C&D recycling has grown to the point where there are now more than 120 C&D recycling facilities in the Sunshine State, although Florida’s overall C&D materials diversion percentage may be no greater than about 27 percent.

Wastecon 2011 was Aug. 23-25 at the Gaylord Opryland Resort in Nashville, Tenn.

via Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Wastecon 2011: Raising the C&D Diversion Roof.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World

 Since 2008, Hayes-Chute has been building these quirky huts, hermitages and shacks while exploring themes of self-sufficiency, self-preservation and self-exclusion. Built completely out of salvaged wood, found materials and vintage and antique goods, the huts are piecemeal – as though they were constructed slowly over time. Hayes-Chutes builds these shacks inside museums and galleries so visitors can tour through them and experience a mode of living that is normally inaccessible.

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Metro Central Transfer Station in Northwest Portland lets artist pick through rubbish — and recycle art |


Mike Suri, William Rihel, Ben Dye and Leslie Vigeant sit in an impromptu living room/talk show set constructed at the transfer station by Rihel. He makes these kinds of stage sets almost every time he visits there. “It’s easy enough to find a decent roll of carpet and several functioning pieces of furniture, some fake plants,” he says. “Soon it starts to resemble the places that all these objects came from. Setting up scenes or temporary sculptures with the objects at hand is kind of like sketching on the train. Things are changing so fast that you have to act quick and pay a lot of attention.” Minutes after this shot was taken, the set was swept away by the front loader and the materials were prepped for the landfill.


via Metro Central Transfer Station in Northwest Portland lets artist pick through rubbish — and recycle art |

City Museum – St. Louis, MO

The City Museum is the Mecca of all reuse destinations. The creativity, scale, craftsmanship, and sheer amount of material reuse is breathtaking.  If ever there is a place that will restore faith in the ingenuity of humans, the City Museum is in the top two (the first being developing countries). 

Check out the site and then get in a car, bike or take a flight to St. Louis and see the City Museum – it will change your life!


1-to-1 Conversion: Single-Piece, Reused-Wood Pallet Chair | Designs & Ideas on Dornob

They are so commonplace within industrial districts you almost don’t notice them – stacks of usable and broken pallets made of plastic, metal and wood, just waiting for someone to program them into something fresh and useful again.

Younger cousins to the increasingly-famous cargo container (widely used both in shipping and, more recently, architecture), the wooden pallet is used to transport things like furniture from place to place via ships, trains, trucks and fork lifts.

Using pieces from precisely one pallet per seat, this design was modeled after careful structural considerations, scale model testing and much thought about how to take the fewest steps possible from old to new uses.

Pierre Vede preserves the appearance (and thus: the associations) of these ubiquitous building-and-transport blocks, modifying them minimally and adding a few off-the-shelf IKEA cushions to the chair as a finishing touch for human comfort.

via 1-to-1 Conversion: Single-Piece, Reused-Wood Pallet Chair | Designs & Ideas on Dornob.

Habitat’s ReStore partners with College Hunks –



The Morris Habitat ReStore accepts furniture, appliances, plumbing fixtures and much more. While the ReStore provides free pick-up services, it usually takes a minimum of two weeks to schedule. Now donors have the option of pick-up within 48 hours through College Hunks.

Additionally, buyers can also take advantage of the College Hunks services for delivery of large items purchased at the ReStore. A truck has been dedicated for Morris Habitat use every Tuesday, to deliver purchased ReStore items to customers’ homes.



via Habitat’s ReStore partners with College Hunks –

Salvaged Building Materials Shopping Advice | Architectural Salvage

Selection of salvaged doors for sale

When shopping for salvaged windows or doors, make sure they’re square and the hardware is functional. Image: Liz Foreman for HouseLogic

Read more:

Buying your sinks, mantels, windows, and other remodeling materials from a salvage yard or one of Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores pays double environmental dividends.

First, using recycled and salvaged building materials keeps those products out of a landfill. Second, you reduce demand for the energy and raw materials needed to manufacture a new fixture or building component.

On the big plus side: salvaged building materials are beautiful examples of a bygone era when craftsmanship was king.

Successful salvage shopping takes some savvy to get what you need and avoid headaches when it comes to fitting your salvaged treasures into your remodeling project. Try these tips for remodeling with repurposed materials:

Measure, then re-measure, then ask someone to check your measurements before you buy so you’re confident the materials will fit into your home.

Check to make sure old windows and doors are square, and that small parts, such as hinges and door hardware are functional, or at least can be repaired or replaced.

Balance your budget. Unusual and antique materials aren’t necessarily cheap — you could pay more trying to fit a vintage pedestal sink into your small bath than you would for a modern pedestal sink on sale at a home store.

Check dimensions carefully. Standard sizes, such as door thickness and the size of framing lumber, have changed over the years. Ask the store manager about the product you plan to use and how it compares to modern materials.

Is there enough? You may love a set of vintage oak cabinets, but you might need more than what’s available at the salvage store. Get creative by mixing old and new materials, or using fill-ins, such as shelves.

Watch for hidden hazards. Years ago, folks didn’t recognize the dangers of lead paint and asbestos. Old wiring may not meet modern electrical codes. Ask the store manager if they examine and test their products.

Get an expert. Hiring a contractor who has experience working with recycled materials can help you overcome most of the challenges of working with repurposed materials. Ask the manager of your local salvage store, or friends who’ve done similar projects, who they’d recommend.

Got a great use for a salvaged building materials? Give us your insights!

via Salvaged Building Materials Shopping Advice | Architectural Salvage. Where recycling meets design | Tree House




Tree House

‘When Christiana Wyly was in high school in Switzerland, she read the Italo Calvino novel “Il Barone Rampante,” or “The Baron in the Trees,” and was captivated by its story of a boy who climbs into the trees and stays there for the rest of his life. Nearly a decade later, Ms. Wyly, an investor and a director of Zaadz, a sort of MySpace for the spiritual and environmentally conscious set, was still thinking about the book when she commissioned a 150-square-foot, $75,000 treehouse to serve as both a guest cottage and a refuge for herself and her daughter, Viola, at their home in the Santa Monica Mountains in Los Angeles County. Designed by Roderick Romero, an artist and musician in Manhattan who builds treehouses under the name Romero Studios, the house, completed in February, is shaped like a Moroccan lantern (to match the Moroccan furniture in the main house 100 feet away) and made of salvaged redwood from old olive oil tanks (the top and bottom are copper). Mr. Romero covered the staircase — eucalyptus branches fastened to eucalyptus railings and arches by hidden screws — with resin and salt; when the salt dissolved, it left little indentations, giving the steps traction. Ms. Wyly, 25, said she visits her treehouse retreat daily, to read, meditate and practice yoga, and to spend time with Viola, 4. “It’s a quiet space,” she said, “completely silent except for the wind moving through the trees.” ‘

Quoted and picture:

via Where recycling meets design | Tree House.

TheSpec – Buried treasures – Canada

Buried treasures

The thing that most of us do not have in common with archeologists is the patience required for their work. How many of us would be content to painstakingly brush away millennia worth of soil with a paintbrush?

That’s also true of the urban archeology that is now uncovering vestiges of Hamilton’s past in the historic Treble Hall on John Street North. Owner Jeff Feswick and son Michael are “deconstructing” the interior of the 1879 building, carefully peeling back walls, ceilings, floors and the detritus of about 130 years. They have discovered a fascinating array of artifacts, ranging from used corsets to curious old bottles. (The story, photographs and video are on

Suddenly, it’s not just a derelict downtown building any more. It’s a place when Victorian-era Hamiltonians worked, played, performed, did business and perhaps lived. The “ghosts” of 19th-century Hamilton (in the non-spooky sense) are revealed.

Not every building owner or developer can do this. The pressures of time, banks, loans and business most often demand that such work be done with speed. But can we imagine, if everyone had the patience of Jeff Feswick, what stories are left to be told, what ghosts slumber in Hamilton’s old attics and cellars?

So, thanks to Feswick and son for finding and preserving a little of Hamilton’s intriguing past. The city is richer for their interest and patience.

Robert Howard

via TheSpec – Buried treasures.