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


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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.

The Herald-Sun – A thrift shop for building materials


DURHAM – Richard W. Morgan Jr. has opened a store in downtown Durham, the ReUse Warehouse, that’s like a thrift shop for building materials.

In a 8,500-square-foot space at 800 Taylor St., Morgan is selling surplus new as well as used materials from porcelain tile to used cabinets, commercial-grade carpets, old doors and antique bricks that he said are priced lower than their original retail value.

The warehouse is near the new location of the nonprofit The Scrap Exchange in the East Village Plaza that’s owned by Julio Cordoba. The property is next to Golden Belt and is also part of what was historically a textile mill facility.

“The mission is to divert material from the landfill, period,” Morgan said of the mission of the business’ nonprofit partner, the California-based The ReUse People of America.

The nonprofit repurposes building materials to keep them out of landfills. Morgan said that since the store is a partner with the nonprofit, homeowners or others can receive a tax deduction for making a donation of building materials.

He also sells items on consignment in the shop, with a portion of the sales price from the items going to original owner.

Morgan, a loan officer for Harrington Bank who is running the ReUse Warehouse business on the side, said he believes God had a hand in the location and launch of the new business.

“I can see his hand in everything,” he said.

Morgan said he started planning for the for-profit ReUse Warehouse a year and a half ago, and has gotten a lot of support from his father, Richard Morgan, who owns the longtime downtown home furnishings retailer and gift shop Morgan Imports.

He said his father has supplied a large amount of material for the shop, since his father has a partnership with Triangle Flooring out of Cary that has surplus materials from big construction jobs.

Morgan said he also is looking to gather materials from homeowners looking to demolish their property, or who in donations from homeowners who would pay for a deconstruction in exchange for a tax deduction.

Inside his shop, he pointed to a corner containing cabinetry, an oven, and a kitchen countertop taken from a home in Hope Valley that was sold and was targeted for a renovation by the new owner.

“It was a whole house remodel,” he said.

Morgan said he believes the tax benefit of a donation would offset the additional cost of a deconstruction project, as opposed to doing a demolition. But he said the company is also looking into bidding on demolitions to be able to access the materials as well.

He said he expects to see business for the store generated from customers looking to do remodels, and said he believes the slow-to-recover economy will be on his side, as consumers are looking for a good deal.

Ted Reiff, president of ReUse People of America, said the nonprofit has seen deconstruction drop by 20 to 25 percent from a high in 2007 or 2008, but he said retail sales have increased.

The nonprofit partners with seven other stores scattered throughout the country, and also operates two of its own. Reiff attributed the increase in retail sales to more people focusing more on own home renovation projects rather than new construction.

“A lot of people have downsized their projects, and they’ve also found that reused materials are often just as good as new materials, and they’re priced significantly less,” he said.

On Monday, Hillsborough resident Carey Collins was in the ReUse Warehouse of Durham looking at materials for a home renovation. Collins said he’s also a contractor with the company MCN Woodcraft.

He said he has bought building materials from the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, which also sells donated surplus building materials, but he said he’s seen a decline in the available supply as a result of a drop-off in new construction.

He said the stores are helpful for selling items at lower prices.

“It looks like (Morgan) is getting enough volume of product where you can actually plan something,” he said.

via The Herald-Sun – A thrift shop for building materials.

Most debris from old IWU library salvaged for reuse

Heavy machinery for Stark Excavating dug into the basement area of the former Sheean Library at Illinois Wesleyan University, Tuesday, August 16, 2011. Materials from the demolition are being recycled. (The Pantagraph, David Proeber)

Read more:

In razing its old library, Illinois Wesleyan University didn’t just send a bunch of crumbled rock to a landfill. Most building materials were salvaged for reuse and some, in fact, will play a part in the university’s future.

Stark Excavating crews, handling the demolition of the former Sheean Library, have spent July and August separating metals and concrete masonry as they knock down the sturdy 45-year-old structure.

Much of the crushed concrete will create a “lay-down yard” for a new classroom building, creating a graveled space for equipment storage and other uses.

A construction date for the new building won’t be set until fund-raising is complete.

“Almost none of (Sheean) goes into the garbage,” said Stark spokesman Garry Moore, explaining it’s become the norm in the past two decades to try to recycle materials in commercial demolitions. “Recycling is really something our whole society needs to be doing.”

Illinois Wesleyan leaders agree, and say the project is an application of the school’s sustainability

focus. Sheean closed when Ames Library opened in January 2002.

“It’s just good practice. It’s a common courtesy anymore to recycle,” said IWU physical plant director Bud Jorgenson. “The easy way out would be to just throw it all away. But that’s not right.”

Culling mercury, glass

Other materials, such as fluorescent lamps, are sent to specialists who cull reusable mercury and glass, Jorgenson said.

Recycling Sheean’s building materials helps IWU meet construction standards set by Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, he said.

Most of Sheean’s recycled materials will come from the building’s concrete masonry and bricks. Stark uses a giant jackhammer on a backhoe to crush concrete; a grapple device can pinch materials and then crush those, too, said Moore.

Economical approach

Recycling is not just good for the environment, it’s also economical. “It would cost Illinois Wesleyan to dump, and that’s expensive,” said Moore, who said transportation adds to the cost.

Boston-based architects Shepley Bulfinch Richardson and Abbott designed the new building, which will house tech-savvy classrooms, resource rooms, study areas and faculty offices for business administration and economics departments.

Shepley Bulfinch also designed the $25.7 million Ames Library and the $7.1 million Hansen Student Center renovation.

via Most debris from old IWU library salvaged for reuse.

At Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, business is booming –


This is a showroom at ReStore. Habitat for Humanity opens its third ReStore in the area. The home improvement center offers deep discounts on appliances, furniture, cabinetry and other building materials and supplies with all profit going to Habitat’s building programs. (Baltimore Sun photo by Joe Soriero / August 22, 2011)

By Mary Gail Hare, The Baltimore Sun

6:21 a.m. EDT, August 23, 2011

Norma Thompson spent much of Monday dusting, polishing and sprucing up items that will fill a soon-to-open home improvement store in Halethorpe. The hours she volunteers with Habitat for Humanity’s newest ReStore will help this Baltimore grandmother, who works as a housekeeper at a downtown hotel, earn a home of her own.

Each prospective homeowner must provide Habitat volunteer hours, and Thompson is doing just that at the nonprofit organization’s third ReStore in the metropolitan area. She has her eye on several items that will go on sale Saturday, when the discount center opens in a Halethorpe business park. She is picturing them in the East Baltimore townhouse that she hopes will be her home sometime next year.

“I love making all this stuff look new and pretty,” said Thompson, 60.

ReStores, which number more than 700 nationwide, sell new, surplus or gently used appliances, furniture, cabinets, flooring and building materials and turn the profits over to Habitat’s building projects. Mike Mitchell, CEO of Habitat for Humanity of the Chesapeake, said the stores are building homes and saving the environment by keeping many usable items from going into a landfill.

“Every store helps us to address the housing crisis,” he said. “This really is social enterprise at its best.”

In 2008, the two metropolitan outlets combined to donate $1.2 million to Habitat, said Mark Bendann, chief operating officer for the local Habitat.


more via At Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores, business is booming –

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online

News photo

Ondagumi president Chuya Onda


Chuya Onda, 68, is the president of Ondagumi, one of Japan’s biggest hikiya companies. Hikiya specialize in deconstructing, rebuilding and moving buildings. They are also experts at lifting up houses in order to make them earthquake-proof with special high-tech materials. Since the Great East Japan Earthquake of March 11, Onda’s company has been overwhelmed with the demolition aspect of his business. If a building is too dangerous to use, Onda and his team must demolish it. If it is merely tilted, then Ondagumi will straighten it out. Onda is well known as a tough guy who knows no fear when it comes to blowing up buildings, but when it comes to his wife — even after 42 years of marriage — he still gets weak in the knees.

Anyone can demolish a structure, but the real trick is to lift up and move a whole building without spilling the tea on the table. That’s what we do. We prepare for two weeks and then voilà, we raise the whole building with all the furniture inside it and move it so smoothly that everything stays exactly as it was when we began our work. The furniture, the dishes — nothing is disturbed. The homeowners could even sit on the sofa and sip tea as we move their whole house, but usually they want to watch the process so they remain outside taking photos.

Japanese buildings might look weak, but they are strong. Three top U.S. demolition teams came to Japan and tried to blow up typical Japanese homes with dynamite. The results were surprising: no team succeeded! The spots where the dynamite was placed were damaged, but the rest of the building was undisturbed. The kind of effect one sees in other countries, where even high-rise buildings crumble once some floors get severely damaged, just doesn’t happen in Japan because all structures are built to withstand quakes.

Instead of cutting down a tree or demolishing a house, save it by moving it to a new location. Japanese cities grew quite organically, so their roads are very narrow. Once the need for wider roads arose, starting in the Edo Period, Japanese moved trees and buildings by a few meters to make room for road construction.

Continue reading this article here

via Ondagumi president Chuya Onda | The Japan Times Online.

Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent – NJ

The High Line in Manhattan — a defunct elevated railway retrofitted into a dynamic public park — is a raging success. While said success is a complicated equation, for art lovers, one of the major attractions the High Line offers is a revolving schedule of temporary artworks in and around the park — for the pleasure of visitors and neighborhood locals alike.

Here in Jersey City, the 6th Street Embankment is the rogue cousin of Manhattan’s High Line. While experts and architects differ on whether a redeveloped Embankment could actually replicate the High Line’s success, the six-block former rail spur, long abandoned and overgrown with foliage, is an untapped resource begging for artistic intervention.

That’s where ReNew ReUse ReConnect (RRR) comes into play. The project, organized by Anne McTernan and Sophie Penkrat, is a Jersey City public art initiative dedicated to the Embankment with a curated program of temporary installations that are designed to draw attention to the structure. McTernan and Penkrat were awarded $695 at one of last year’s Pro Arts Art Eat-Ups by for their RRR proposal, and now they need artists.

RRR will be a two-day temporary exhibit taking place during this fall’s Jersey City Artists’ Studio Tour on the evenings of October 1 and 2, from 7 to 10 pm. The site-specific installations will be located in the alley adjacent to the Embankment, running between Jersey Avenue and Monmouth Street.

Initially, the deadline for participation was July 29. McTernan and Penkrat have extended the deadline to solicit more proposals, so if you have an idea, email them ASAP at annemacdesign (at) or sophie.penkrat (at)

via Submissions Wanted for ‘ReNew ReUse ReConnect’ Public Art Initiative | The Jersey City Independent.

Supermodel Tatjana Patitz reuses salvage in her California home –

Tatjana Patitz’s kitchen with salvaged wood sink and 1960s stove [photo Living etc

California, USA – Hidden away among towering pines and orange groves, Tatjana Patitz’s California home, full of flowers, foliage and double-height windows that draw the outside in, is at one with the nature on her doorstep. An outdoor bamboo rainshower and reclaimed stone tub create an indulgent, Japanese-style bathroom, French doors open onto a plant-filled outdoor terrace with a cushion-strewn daybed and views over the garden to the ocean beyond, writes Living etc.

Furnishings are an eclectic mix of old and new, antique and bespoke, faded rugs, wind chimes, stacks of books, and swathes of fabrics in earthy tones and textures.

Tatjana has brought old-fashioned cosiness into her kitchen (see photo) with a 1960s stove and rough-hewn sink, both from a scrap yard. Cupboards and shelves are made from salvaged wood.

Living etc: Take a tour around supermodel Tatjana Patitz’s ranch

via Supermodel Tatjana Patitz reuses salvage in her California home –

Furniture made the green way – Telegraph

Seeing the potential: Max McMurdo turned a bath into a chaise longue

Seeing the potential: Max McMurdo turned a bath into a chaise longue  Photo: JOHN LAWRENCE

‘The problem with much modern furniture design is that it is not built to last,” says Dr Jonathan Chapman, author of Emotionally Durable Design (£24.99; Earthscan), a book that asks people to reassess their relationship with the items they fill their homes with.

Dr Chapman argues that one of the reasons for the environmental “mess” we are in is “the way we design, manufacture and consume objects… we are hopelessly seduced by the glow of all things modern, be it a flatter screen or a smarter plastic”.

Furniture never used to be “throwaway”, replaced every few years either because it was too shabby or had ceased to be fashionable. Dr Chapman says that in the Thirties economists came up with “planned obsolescence”, meaning that if people had to replace items more frequently, they would buy more and thus stimulate economic recovery. The past few years of recession and stagnant growth have underlined the flaws in this theory: building an economy on consumer spending does not necessarily result in sustainable growth.

Maybe it’s time to make our purchasing decisions on how durable and Earth- friendly an item is.

One idea being pioneered by the New Forest Trust is to give every tree felled for furniture its own GPS reference so people can pinpoint its provenance and even visit the stump.


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“It’s about getting people to think differently about their new bed or coffee table,” says trustee Donald Thompson. “Rather than just seeing it as a commodity, to see it as wood that was once a tree growing in a forest, that what you have is unique.” Furniture makers using New Forest timber now have access to this service (

So what is eco furniture? There isn’t an official definition but some of the elements eco-friendly design must include are:

The reuse or sustainable use of materials: using reclaimed wood or wood from certified forests; using renewable materials such as flax, jute, hemp and cotton instead of plastics; reusing items that are otherwise thrown away.

The use of local materials: the fewer miles a piece of furniture and its components have to travel the better.

Emissions during manufacture: much mass-manufacture of furniture results in toxic pollution from dyes, paints, glues and chemical treatments. Techniques such as traditional dovetailing in carpentry – rather than using glue – minimise emissions.


Max McMurdo has a knack for seeing beautiful potential in builders’ and retailers’ salvage. He has made coffee tables out of washing-machine drums and chairs out of shopping trolleys. His latest creation is a chaise longue made from a Victorian cast-iron ball-and-claw bathtub.

“Because they are so heavy, cast-iron bath tubs are often sledgehammered in situ and removed from Victorian properties in pieces. It’s such a waste of a classic design,” says McMurdo. “The ball-and-claw feet are a lovely feature and it’s a shame so many are destroyed. I’ve turned them into sofas before but I was experimenting recently, taking more off the back to create a chaise.”

McMurdo is acquiring a name for himself among the house-clearance brigade. “I get calls from plumbers and scrap merchants offering me baths. Some people just turn up at my workshop with them.” His designs can be seen on


Traditional bed makers Harrison Spinks ( have been manufacturing mattresses and divans in Yorkshire since 1840, but recently decided to try to source materials more locally. “We were importing our mattress wool from Australia and our wood and other mattress fillings were either imported or partly synthetic,” says Simon Spinks. “We wanted our beds to be natural and our raw materials closer.”

The firm purchased a 300-acre farm near their Leeds factory, where a thousand Texel/Leicester and Swaledale sheep graze before supplying their fleeces for bedding. “We’ve reduced a 12,000-mile trip to 15,” says Spinks. “What’s more, Yorkshire wool is better than Australian for beds, it’s more springy.”

The firm has now bought a nearby wood which from next year will supply the pine and spruce for the bed bases.


Working in futuristic fabrics after graduating from the Royal College of Art made Inghua Ting ( think about the impact of design on the environment.

“I witnessed factories in Japan overproducing tons of material just because it was the wrong shade or specification,” she says. “There is so much waste that just ends up in landfill.” Ting makes fabulous hammocks, cushions and stools out of car seat belts that have not passed vehicle safety or colour tests. She also makes parquet flooring and furniture from second-hand leather belts sourced from flea markets and charity shops.

via Furniture made the green way – Telegraph.

Habitat’s ReStore Offers New Options For Dorm Decor

The last bit of metro college students moved in today at Creighton University. Last week UNO students moved in and chances are students are spending time organizing and getting their new living space in order. But there is a popular decor option that gives back to the community.

“And we made it into a magazine rack,” Volunteer Jessica Duce said. “I love the idea of using things at the restore that have been donated, and repurposing them for somebody’s home or dorm room.”

She spends her time helping people find ways to re-use hundreds of home improvement supplies.

“We can be so creative, make doors and cabinets and spray paint lamps and make old news again,” Duce said.

She showed us how to make a desk using bathroom cabinets and an old door, jewelry storage using old shutters and old artwork into new.

“This is the before and what we did was took out he center, flipped it around and we created some custom art for a girl,” Duce said.

But for every item she helps sell at Habitat’s Restore, she’s helping fund habitat for humanity homes.

“If you think about one of the big box home improvement stories, the Lowes, Home Depot or the Menards. It’s really anything that you would see down in those, only some of these might be gently used,” ReStore director David Klitz said.

They have old and new appliance, tiles, artwork, you name it and they’ve probably got it.

“And just the wide variety of items that come down here. Anything from furniture and home décor items,” Klitz said.

So far, money from sales this year alone, have funded 4 and a half homes in the Heartland.

“It’s a great time for people to come down here,” Klitz said.

He says now more than ever, college students are coming in to find ways to liven up their living space.

“People are really really creative and they see something and they really run with it,” Klitz said.

“And everything that you get here, gives back to habitat for humanity so it’s a win win,” Duce said.

A win for volunteers, college students and Habitat for Humanity.

Restore is open to the public Monday through Friday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm. They are closed on Sundays. You can also drop off donations at their location at 1003 South 24th street.

via Habitat’s ReStore Offers New Options For Dorm Decor.

Building awareness and a cabin – Regina, Canada

Take a stack of old pallets, the lids off some old car trunks and the plywood off old, worn-out signs and what have you got?

For most of us, it’s a big pile of garbage.

But for a group of inspired builders and Tyler and Parise McMillan of Weyburn, it’s a home away from home.

Looking to build a cabin this summer, the McMillans looked to Waalnut Construction to see what could be done.

That got owner Eric Penner de Waal thinking about how to build on the cheap and in the most environmentally friendly way possible. He teamed with Regina’s Habitat for Humanity ReStore and Robinson Residential Design Inc. to come up with a plan to build the cabin entirely out of recycled materials.

So over a three-day build which ended Sunday at the ReStore, those pallets became the exterior siding of the cabin. The trunk lids from a Honda Civic, a Ford Mustang and a Chevy Nova? Window awnings. And the old signs are the sheeting that surrounds the wooden frame.

All told, building the small, loft-style cabin with two bedrooms will cost less than $30,000 (thanks in part to plenty of donated labour).

The McMillans weren’t to arrive in Regina until Sunday night to get their first look, but even before then Tyler knew – at the very least – they’d have a conversation piece on their hands.

“Once you step past thinking of them as pallets and start thinking of them as building materials, it changes and you don’t feel all that uncomfortable,” Tyler said, noting the couple’s five-yearold son Calder is “pretty fired up” about the loft.

“As long as you’re comfortable with the guy doing the work, it’s not too much of a stretch for us to think wood pallets can be used as an exterior on a cabin.

“(The trunk lids) were a total shock and I have no idea what those are going to be like, but you have to have a little fun with it.”

For Penner de Waal, a regular customer at the ReStore, the project became less about money (his company is making no profit) as much as it was about building awareness for the Habitat for Humanity store. Used and new materials are donated to the store and sold by Habitat to raise funds for its other endeavours.

“We want to show everyone in the city that this is what you can do with that stuff we’re throwing in the big hill northeast of town,” said Penner de Waal, referring to the city garbage dump.

All of the windows in the cabin were donated, the flooring is multi-coloured as it is made of a range of hardwood project leftovers and the flooring underlay, while a new product, is made of recycled materials.

“Having to source all the material was a challenge,” said Penner de Waal.

“The stuff that people are throwing out (is surprising). We’ve got a pallet of shingles – enough to do a whole roof – and RoofMart can’t sell broken bundles that are weird colours to clients. So they have all these saved up in the yard and what do you do with them? They usually end up in the dump.”

While the McMillans are paying for the materials that are coming out of the ReStore, the ReHouse project, as it has come to be known, wasn’t about money for Habitat for Humanity, either.

“It wasn’t a project about the money; it was about awareness,” said Habitat volunteer co-ordinator Cindy Covey. “Some people know about it, some people don’t, which is sad because some of the product is unbelievable. You can get 80-per-cent discounts on some things.

“When we were at our old store we had that ‘Garagesale perception’ but as we’ve moved here, we’ve been trying to changes people’s perspectives. A lot of it is brand-new product when in the past it wasn’t.”

The cabin has a narrow design so it can be easily loaded on a flatbed truck and taken down the highway to its permanent location at White Bear Lake.

“If you’re willing to let them try a bunch of things and step outside what the normal building materials might be and at the same time feel like the skeleton of the building can be recycled too and be comfortable with that . we were convinced,” said Tyler.

© Copyright (c) The Regina Leader-Post

via Building awareness and a cabin.

Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World


Inspired by the cooper tradition of barrel making, an old whiskey shop in London’s Covent Garden has been given a new life that pays tribute to the sauce. Redesigned by Anonymous Artists, the whiskey shop was transformed into a cozy bar, using only recycled materials. Donated by the Balvenie Distillery in Dufftown, Scotland, the team used 3,500 recycled slats of packing wood and 50 barrels to outfit the shop’s interior.

Read more here

via Inhabitat – Green Design Will Save the World.

Business of the Week: The Away Station – San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch

This is an impressive idea, locating a salvage yard within an already existing lumber yard.  Powell’s Books of Portland, Oregon carries used books alongside of new ones. Industry leaders said that this is a business model destined to fail.  In fact, Powell’s Books is a thriving business and has been successful for years now.  Combining salvaged materials along with new materials creates options, educates, and allows for less stops along a project.  It’s a great idea, maybe we can encourage it to grow. 

The Away Station, 109 Broadway, Fairfax (415) 453-4221, (415) 453-4410;

What do they offer?

Located in the lumber yard at Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, The Away Station is a nonprofit organization with a vision to create a world without waste.

Everything offered is salvaged. Lumber, hardware, doors, windows, sinks, ovens, light fixtures, cabinets, furniture, art supplies, home accents, and so much more are available at unbelievably low prices.

Services include hauling, professional moving, organizing and green business ideas.

When you purchase items you get a great deal. If you donate items, you get a tax benefit.

Who are they?

Executive Director Carrie Bachelder grew up in San Anselmo and went to Drake. Her dad taught at Redwood High School and her mom is a member of the native plant society. “My whole family is still here,” she said.

Bachelder is an energetic woman who started several companies including catering and making jewelry from found objects, but the moving and organizing company gave her the idea for this enterprise. “Whether they are moving or remodeling, I saw that my clients always needed to get rid of stuff. We were driving all over the place to the appropriate resale stores because nobody takes everything,” she said.

“The biggest issue is a place that takes building materials. My contractor brother suggested I speak with Fairfax Lumber & Hardware, because of their sustainable and green business  practices,” she said. “When I shared what I wanted to do, they saw it as a perfect fit.”

How long have they been here?

The Away Station opened in the spring of 2010, but the idea germinated for five years. Bachelder decided to set up the business as a nonprofit, because many of her Marin customers wanted a donation. “We are not funded by anybody,” she said. “The corporation is a 501c3.”

A team of seniors from Redwood High School is revamping the website so visitors can see the changing stock.

Bachelder is on site three to five days a week. Still in the moving and organizing business, she looks brings in materials from clients who are selling or remodeling their homes.

The Away Station has one-and-a-half paid employees and the rest are volunteers. “My yard man is my hero,” said Bachelder. “He has the consistent on-site knowledge, plus he does the heavy lifting. All the customers love him.”

Why are they business of the week?

The mission of The Away Station is to serve the community in its commitment to a zero waste lifestyle through: diverting reusable material from the landfill; providing services for the collection of construction and demolition by-products; providing a facility for redistribution of salvage materials; educating the public on best practices for reuse; and promoting green collar jobs.

“If someone is gutting a million dollar house from the 40s, 50s, or earlier, it will probably cost about $80,000 to do the demolition. The homeowner can get much more than that in a tax write-off benefit. In addition, the homeowner gets ‘the good feeling’ because many of their treasured items will be used by another family, and the old growth redwood is sent onto a new life rather than winding up in a landfill,” Bachelder said.

Because they are a nonprofit, a third-party appraiser needs to be brought in prior to demolition. According to Bachelder, deconstruction contractors are becoming more skilled at removing things like shutters, doors and wood intact, to preserve resources.

San Francisco resident, Linda Kosut, and her architect husband drove to Fairfax for a door. “We love the integrity of older things,” she said. “Our house was built in 1918 and our Tahoe property in the late 40s. The prices here are fabulous. It’s like an outdoor hardware store full of wonderful finds,” she enthused.

“We are the only ones doing this in Marin, but we network with all the other re-use facilities in the Bay Area. I vowed to create a system for our community,” Bachelder said.

Like most entrepreneurs, Bachelder has a master plan. “We started with the building materials,” she said, “but my goal is to make an entire shopping area here. I would love to co-locate already existing resale and repair small businesses so that you can buy a lamp at The Away Station and walk it over to someone who can rewire it. My goal is to make effortless to live a zero waste lifestyle. ”

via Business of the Week: The Away Station – San Anselmo-Fairfax, CA Patch.

Atlantic County seeks halt to Egg Harbor Township waste hauler’s dumping – Breaking News

test4Waste hauler property

This is a long but insightful article on an illegal waste facility and a NJ legal system that failed to do anything about it for the last 20 years.  Citizens are uninformed and unaware of regulations for waste and waste haulers all over the country.  Here at the RA we will be starting a project to help change how people (don’t) see C&D waste.  It’s called the Drop Box Brigade, and we hope something as simple as a picture will inspire community involvement in C&D waste disposal.  Ironically, the waste hauler is called “Magic Disposal”. Not so ironically, I was born about twenty miles from this site.

By WALLACE McKELVEY Staff Writer |

Atlantic County is seeking a court ruling to stop an Egg Harbor Township waste hauler from operating an alleged illegal solid waste facility off the Black Horse Pike.

A complaint filed last month accuses Steven Waszen, who operated Magic Disposal until January 2010, of dumping solid waste and hazardous materials, including asbestos, and maintaining a public health nuisance at the property he owns at 2520 Tremont Ave. in the Cardiff section of the township.

On May 20, a county Division of Public Health inspection revealed 99 solid waste containers, two of which contained asbestos; an estimated two yards of construction and demolition debris; a 10-foot-high pile of scrap tires; leachate — or liquid discharge — forming puddles on the ground; and a trash compactor truck emitting “foul odors and draining foul leachate onto the ground” at the site.

When inspectors returned July 14, they reported finding 106 solid waste containers and a “very strong odor” of garbage. The asbestos material, leachate and scrap tires remained on the property, while the trash compactor had been removed.

This is not the first time Waszen has been connected to such allegations.

In 2007, the state Department of Environmental Protection imposed a $700,000 fine — which, according to the DEP, has never been paid — against the company for violations at its now-closed Ridge Avenue facility, which Waszen operated from 1996 to 2005. Two years later, the department banned Waszen from the solid waste industry and revoked Magic Disposal’s certificate to operate a solid waste facility, or Certificate of Public Convenience and Necessity.

After protracted legal battles, both decisions were upheld by state Superior Court.

In December, the DEP also excluded Waszen and Magic Disposal from most recycling activities in the state, a decision DEP spokesman Larry Hajna said has not been appealed.

Waszen could not be reached for comment. Attorneys who have represented Waszen in the past declined to comment or did not respond to messages.

Officials at the local, county and state level say it is difficult to prosecute Waszen or to enforce the judgments that have already been made.

“He gets fined, then there’s a court order we’ve got to collect and, if he doesn’t pay, we’re back in court again,” County Executive Dennis Levinson said.

Magic Disposal also owes Egg Harbor Township more than $4.3 million in fines for failing to obtain building permits for a garage at its Ridge Avenue complex.

Although technically that figure has continued to grow in the absence of payment, Township Administrator Peter Miller said building officials stopped calculating the fines in 2010. Miller said the legal costs to bring Waszen to court would be greater than the partial amount a judge would likely award the township.

With the Ridge Avenue facility closed and the county now prosecuting Waszen for his Tremont Avenue facility, Miller said the point is moot.

“Their issue is more significant than ours over whether he got the proper permit in a timely fashion,” he said.

Levinson said it is frustrating that the county and the DEP’s enforcement efforts are constantly hampered by court appeals.

“We do what the law allows us to do,” he said. “If what we’re doing isn’t sufficient, then that’s up to the state Legislature to make laws that will allow us to proceed in a more timely fashion.”

Rick Dovey, president of the Atlantic County Utilities Authority, said Magic Disposal has been a well-known problem operator for 20 years. It’s one of the few remaining companies that makes skirting the law a “consistent method of operation,” he said.

“I just know if ACUA or any other public entity were to do that, we would be noticed and fined appropriately, and quickly,” he said.

One issue, Dovey said, is that most people aren’t familiar with the regulations for waste haulers.

“Most businesses don’t even know they’re supposed to be licensed,” he said. “If somebody has a trash truck and says, ‘This is how much I’ll charge you,’ they won’t ask to see your license.”

The county’s action came as a surprise to most of the Tremont Avenue facility’s neighbors.

Dan Wilhelm, 55, who lives behind the facility on Windsor Drive, said he has not heard or smelled anything from the site since the owners erected a mound of dirt, which acts as a sound barrier, nearly a decade ago. Before then, there was a near-constant odor emanating from the lot and regular truck traffic.

If the owner has continued dumping on the site, Wilhelm said, he’s glad the county has stepped forward to prosecute.

“They got to stay on that stuff — not just him, but all of them,” he said.

Aside from the occasional smell, especially during the summer, neighbor Eliezer Echevarria, 52, said he has not had any recent problems with Waszen. “If you came here 18 years ago, it’d be a different story,” he said.

The Ridge Avenue facility, which is not subject to the complaint, is similarly quiet.

Neighbor Calvin Tureaud, 54, said there has been little activity for about two years. Gone is the stench of decay wafting in the breeze and the armada of trash trucks before 5 a.m., he said.

The legal system worked for his neighborhood, at least, Tureaud said.

“We had to put up with it for years and years until the neighbors got together and said ‘enough is enough,’” he said. “We had to go to Town Hall and to the freeholders and board meetings, but it finally worked.”

When the facility did close, Tureaud said it happened nearly overnight.

“Nobody notified us first. They just started to pack up,” he said.

Contact Wallace McKelvey:


via Atlantic County seeks halt to Egg Harbor Township waste hauler’s dumping – Breaking News.

Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roof

Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roofing Shingles in Asphalt - Image

New legislation could result in $8 million in savings.

Illinois Governor Pat Quinn has signed legislation allowing the Illinois Department of Transportation (IDOT) to start using asphalt made from recycled roofing shingles. It also allows businesses to increase the amount of shingles used in asphalt production and requires IDOT to maximize the use of recycled materials in construction projects. The governor’s office estimates the state will save more than $8 million annually through the new legislation.

“In the midst of one of the busiest construction seasons in state history, we must continue to embrace green practices in building our roads,” Quinn says. “This law will keep more shingles out of landfills, benefit the environment and save the state millions of dollars by expanding our use of recycled materials.”

House Bill 1326, sponsored by Rep. Daniel V. Beiser (D-Alton) and Sen. Dave Koehler (D-Peoria), allows IDOT to use asphalt made with materials from recycling facilities that process shingles, following regulations established by the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency. The law also directs IDOT to use recycled materials in its projects as much as possible, saving more than an estimated $8 million per year. The agency must report the results of those efforts to the Illinois House and Senate Transportation Committees each year.

“Under Governor Quinn’s leadership, the expanded use of recycled asphalt in roadway pavements is just the latest green initiative the Illinois Department of Transportation has undertaken,” says Acting Illinois Transportation Secretary Ann Schneider. “Although motorists will not notice the difference, this new law is good for the environment and ultimately will save money.”

The new law also allows businesses that specialize in waste collection from construction and demolition sites to double the amount of shingles they can provide to recycling facilities for use later in the production of asphalt.

via Construction & Demolition Recycling : Industry News Illinois Governor Signs Law Allowing Recycled Roof.

It ain’t easy building a green kitchen – Lifestyle – Style – Food and Wine – The Canberra Times

Gino Monteleone from Select Custom Kitchens in his Hall workshop. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

Gino Monteleone from Select Custom Kitchens in his Hall workshop. Photo: Andrew Sheargold

Building an environmentally friendly kitchen takes research and persistence.

So, let’s cut to the chase. What exactly is a sustainable kitchen? The short answer is, not necessarily a brand new one. In fact, the less material that’s ripped out during renovations and sent to landfill, the higher the overall sustainability score.

But if those old chipboard cabinet carcasses must go the toss, a new sustainable kitchen can be any style – minimalist modern, faux Provencal, Shaker-inspired, Aussie recycled retro, Nimbin natural, farmhouse rustic or boldly quirky with a splash of Frida Kahlo colour. But whatever the final design, it definitely won’t be a spotlit culinary power stadium with a massive stove the size of a small aircraft carrier and energy bill to match.

A green kitchen has a conscience. Everything should be able to be recycled at the end of its useful life.

There’ll be no toxic glues or surface sealants, stove and lighting will be energy-efficient, and the design will reflect practical, everyday needs.

Details in Rosslyn Beeby's kitchen built from sustainable materials - recycled blackbutt for the benchtops, with Osmo oil, and plantation hoop pine for the cabinets.

Details in Rosslyn Beeby’s kitchen built from sustainable materials – recycled blackbutt for the benchtops, with Osmo oil, and plantation hoop pine for the cabinets.


As Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud remarked in a recent episode broadcast on ABC television, building or renovating ‘‘to a philosophy’’ is a difficult task. It means lots of research – months of it – and a determination to ruthlessly probe the validity of vague claims that building products are green, eco-certified or possess multi-starred green energy ratings. It can be discouraging, even humiliating when salesfolk scoff at questions about recycling or waste production involved in manufacture.

Stick to your principles, and use the internet to check out green bona fides. A recent British survey found 50 per cent of environmental marketing claims about ‘‘green attributes’’ were misleading. The survey, by Cambridge Consultants, says a product’s ‘‘life-cycle analysis’’ is the only way to assess sustainability – this includes mining, logging, processing, waste management, transport and potential reuse. The triple bottom line is impact on resources, ecosystems and human health. How much greenhouse gas is produced during manufacture? Are there respiratory risks to workers?

via It ain’t easy building a green kitchen – Lifestyle – Style – Food and Wine – The Canberra Times.

The house of Fords falls in Oak Harbor – Whidbey News Times – WA

Michael Senko of Bellingham-based Re-Use Consulting works with his father, company owner David Bennink, to disassemble the old Ford dealership building on SE Barrington Drive and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. Building owner Dan Berg has decided to demolish the structure to make way for an unknown future development. - Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times

Michael Senko of Bellingham-based Re-Use Consulting works with his father, company owner David Bennink, to disassemble the old Ford dealership building on SE Barrington Drive and Highway 20 in Oak Harbor. Building owner Dan Berg has decided to demolish the structure to make way for an unknown future development.
Justin Burnett/Whidbey News-Times


Nothing lasts forever and that includes the old Ford dealership on the corner of Highway 20 and SE Barrington Drive in Oak Harbor.

Building owner Dan Berg has received a permit from the city to demolish the 55-year-old structure and, if all goes well, it should be down around the end of the month. The building has been vacant for several years and it’s become clear that its time has come.

But Berg said that won’t make seeing it go any easier.

“I spent 30 years in that place,” he said.

His ties to the dealership stretch back to 1969 when his father bought the business. Berg purchased it from his dad in 1985 and ran it as his own until 1999 when he sold it and retired.

The dealership continued on as Whidbey Island Ford until February 2008 when it closed its doors, largely due to changes in the automobile industry, the nature of distribution channels and a souring economy.

Two of the other three dealerships in town, Whidbey Island Volkswagen Mazda and Frontier Chevrolet, would also close over the next two years.

Berg has been fishing for a new tenant since 2008 but has had no takers. The only interest expressed has been for the lot, which is about 2.5 acres, without the building. So, Berg said he made the decision to tear it down.

Once the work is done, the property will be sold or leased. Berg said the property has a lot of potential and could host a variety of different businesses, but that he has no idea what might end up there.

“With this economy, I really don’t know,” he said.

Steve Powers, director of Oak Harbor Development Services, confirmed that the property is zoned community commercial. That means anything from a strip mall to a big-box business could set up shop on the vacant lot, along with some upper-level residential units.

“There’s a pretty wide range of uses that could occur there,” Powers said.

City business leaders aren’t lost on the possibilities either.

Its location at the southern entrance to the city and its high visibility on Highway 20 make it a “gateway” location, according to Oak Harbor Chamber of Commerce Director Jill Johnson.

The intersection of Highway 20 and SE Pioneer is where many travelers decide what they think about Oak Harbor and that influences their decision to keep going or take a detour to downtown.

“It’s a powerful piece of property,” she said.

Johnson’s heard a lot of different hopes for the lot. Some want to see it turned into a city park or become the future location of a covered farmer’s market. But Johnson said the property should be utilized by a business that would provide the city with some of the sales tax revenue it lost when the car dealerships closed.

Johnson said her hope is for a shopping complex of mixed use, such as Harbor Village on the corner of NE Seventh and Highway 20. But rather than having any big-chain stores like Starbucks, she said she’d prefer it offer a combination of regional mid-sized stores, like Whidbey Coffee, along with local mom-and-pop businesses.

Others hoped to see the existing building put to use. Chuck Bos, 96, bought the Ford dealership in the early 1950s when it was still located downtown. He moved the business to its present location and built the new building in 1956.

Bos said it would have been a great place for a furniture store and was disappointed it couldn’t be saved. However, he said Berg was a good man and understood.

“It’s a shame,” he said. “It’s a hell-of-a-good building.”

With its large wood and much of its internal timber framing still in good condition, Berg agrees that demolishing the structure and throwing everything away would be a waste. That’s why he’s hired a Bellingham-based consulting firm that specializes in the reuse of building materials from demolished structures.

According to Berg, just about everything in the building will be recycled, from the salvaged lumber to the cinderblocks and concrete.

He admits he isn’t saving any money this way, nor does he consider himself an overzealous environmentalist.

“I guess it just makes me feel better,” Berg said.

via The house of Fords falls in Oak Harbor – Whidbey News Times.

Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland –

Photo by Anthony Spinello
An old rollercoaster at Spreepark, an abandoned amusement park outside of Berlin

If you put your mind to it, pretty much anything can be converted into an art experience: basements become art galleries, factories become biennials, entire cities become art-world playgrounds. Adaptive reuse is all the rage, a postmodern urban balm that uses the power of art to resuscitate abandoned and irrelevant buildings and neighborhoods. “Kulturbahn” is such a project, a proposal to turn Spreepark Berlin, a forsaken amusement park built by the German Democratic Republic in 1969 and transferred to private hands after the Berlin wall fell, into a multimedia art playground.

Photographs of the site — located in in the city’s Treptower Park — show a constellation of amusement park attractions abandoned after Spreepark closed for good in 2001. Defunct swing rides sway next to weed-choked spinning teacups and “Dinoworld,” an overgrown field of colossal, graffitied dinosaur figures. Viewers can explore the current state of Spreepark through Kulturbahn’s Web site, scrolling through a satellite view of the site with flags pinning down different park landmarks. The dreamlike landscape certainly looks like fertile ground for an artistic intervention.

Musement, the group behind the proposed plan, is an interdisciplinary crew composed of gallerist Anthony Spinello, writer Stephanie Sherman, performance-art researcher and artist George Scheer, and artists Chris Lineberry and Agustina Woodgate. The group’s diverse composition reflects the scope of the project itself — to present “a new model for cultural amusement,” according to a statement on its Web site. Kulturbahn will be a “platform for art creation and exhibition that responds, reflects, and transforms transformative sites,” activating interest in Spreepark as a site of “universal imagination.”

via Meet the Itinerant Art Crew Transforming an Abandoned Berlin Amusement Park Into an Artist Wonderland –

How to Appraise Your Appraiser | The ReUse People

It never fails. When a new business model is developed based on an older, established model, two things happen. First, older, entrenched businesses attempt to discredit, and in some cases demonize, the new model. Second, unscrupulous faux organizations spring up to make a quick buck off unsuspecting customers, even if it means flaunting the law.

When deconstruction companies first began to promote a softer approach to building removal so that valuable materials could be salvaged and landfills preserved, they were routinely discredited, often by the demolition industry itself. Fortunately, that picture has changed. While deconstruction still gets pooh-poohed occasionally, now the folks who do the bad-mouthing only end up discrediting themselves, not us.

Sadly, we haven’t been so fortunate when it comes to faux-organizations. In fact, the more popular deconstruction becomes, the more alert we need to be for the sharks and charlatans whose presence threatens the entire industry.

I’ve become particularly concerned of late about the burgeoning ranks of building-materials appraisers, some of whom are 1) unqualified, and/or 2) quote ridiculously high valuation rates in order to win appraisal jobs, regardless of the long-term consequences to the donor.

As you probably know, an independent, third-party appraiser enters the picture when an in-kind donation reaches $5,000 or more (most donations to TRP exceed this threshold). IRS regulations require a professional appraisal in order to assure a realistic, fair valuation of the donated materials.

Now, mind you, a fair valuation is not simply one that is low enough to avoid IRS scrutiny. It is one that meets or exceeds IRS requirements. IRS regulations on appraiser qualifications have become more stringent in the last few years, and TRP sets its own standards even higher.

The following paragraphs are excerpted from IRS Bulletin 561″Determining the Value of Donated Property” (revised April, 2007). I added the underlines for emphasis.

“A qualified appraiser is an individual who meets all the following requirements.

  1. 1. The individual either:
    • How to Appraise Your AppraiserHas earned an appraisal designation from a recognized professional appraiser organization for demonstrated competency in valuing the type of property being appraised, or
    • Has met certain minimum education and experience requirements. For real property, the appraiser must be licensed or certified for the type of property being appraised in the state which the property is located. For property other than real property, the appraiser must have successfully completed college or professional-level coursework relevant to the property being valued, must have at least 2 years of experience in the trade or business of buying, selling, or valuing the type of property being valued, and must fully describe in the appraisal his or her qualifying education and experience.
  2. The individual regularly prepares appraisals for which he or she is paid.
  3. The individual demonstrates verifiable education and experience in valuing the type of property being appraised. To do this, the appraiser can make a declaration in the appraisal that, because of his or her background, experience, education, and membership in professional associations. He or she is qualified to make appraisals of the type of property being valued.
  4. The individual has not be prohibited from practicing before the IRS under section 330(c) of title 31 of the United States Code at any time during the 3-year period ending on the date of the appraisal.
  5. The individual is not an excluded individual.”

The same bulletin considers an appraiser “excluded” if he or she “… acted as an agent for the transferor or donor in the transaction” or is “… any person employed by any of the above persons.” In discussions with our IRS auditor and CPA, these definitions were further clarified to include employees of the appraiser who happen to be close relatives of the deconstruction contractor or any officer of the nonprofit organization.

When a donor winds up paying additional taxes because their donation was unfairly valued or the appraiser was unqualified, the donor is not the only one to suffer. The reputation of the recipient organization takes a heavy blow as well. Frankly, I’m afraid that the IRS may drastically tighten its rules because of the shoddy and, in some cases, illegal practices of a few bad appraisers.

Individuals and companies that make the TRP list of qualified appraisers must agree to follow certain guidelines. Among other things, our appraisers are expected to prepare reports in accordance with Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practices (USPAP), and to visit the project site prior to deconstruction to confirm the type, condition and characteristics and the materials being donated.

TRP refuses to compromise it values at any time, but especially when it comes to the valuation of donor materials. We are committed to providing donors with enough solid documentation to sustain the value of their donations, and we support that documentation with:

  • Laboriously detailed inventories
  • Internal quality control of such critical variables as materials received, documentation and inventory
  • Diligent, reputable managers who provide excellent customer service
  • Enviable salvage rates, made possible in part by our knowledge of reuse/recycling markets
  • Thoroughly vetted appraisers who can be trusted to produce fair-market appraisals

TRP has occasionally refused to accept donations from owners whose appraisers were either unqualified or “excluded” by the IRS. We did it for their protection as well as our own. In addition, we have refused to do business with appraisers who practice below-standard appraisal practices or evince insufficient qualifications. And we have de-certified a few deconstruction contractors because they continued to refer potential clients to questionable appraisers.

Whether you are a contractor, a nonprofit that accepts salvaged building materials, or a building owner considering deconstruction, I urge you to conduct your own due-diligence on any appraiser who gets involved in the donation process. If you need assistance, give TRP a call.

via How to Appraise Your Appraiser | The ReUse People.

Wait! don’t throw that away; it can be reused | GazetteNET – Massachusetts

NORTHAMPTON — A new group is forming in the city to find ways to stem the tide of items that end up in the city’s Glendale Road landfill.

Calling itself the ReUse Group, the panel has actually met once already, but is seeking more members as it prepares for a second meeting Wednesday at 8:30 a.m. at the Department of Public Works headquarters on Locust Street.

Karen Bouquillon, the city’s solid waste supervisor, said the group aims to make it easier for residents to reduce what they dump in the landfill by offering convenient ways for more items to be reused. “It’s what’s going into the landfill that doesn’t need to go into the landfill,” she said.

Board of Public Works member MJ Adams, who co-chairs the committee with Rosemary Schmidt, also a BPW member, said it is important that the committee come up with a plan for improving the reuse program before the landfill closes.

“We could do better than we do on this,” she said. “The less we have to transport out of town and pay for, the more manageable it will be.”

While the long-term goal is to open a reuse facility, in the short term the group will plan one-time events to promote reuse and educate the public about ways to keep items out of the landfill.

For some time, city residents have been eager to start a swap center, sometimes known as a take-it-or-leave-it spot, that many other communities have established. But because Northampton’s Locust Street recycling center doesn’t have room for one, the idea never got off the ground.

One location being considered for the new swap center is the state highway department’s land next to the Locust Street recycling center, although other locations will be considered, she said.

“One of the priorities is that it be centrally located,” said Bouquillon.

She said the panel intends to work with other groups with a similar focus, including nonprofit thrift stores, or building materials groups dedicated to reuse.

Read the rest of the article here

via Wait! don’t throw that away; it can be reused | GazetteNET.

Reclamation Administration: News and Research on Building Material Waste Prevention