Tag Archives: Aspen

Aspen City Council puts its money where its mouth is for waste diversion program | News | aspendailynews.com

Recycling center

Aspen City Council has committed funding for a comprehensive waste management plan to provide incentives for recyclable and compostable materials to be diverted from the landfill.

She also told the council that unlike other communities that may benefit from a public-private warehouse that could give construction materials a new life, the local market is not in the mood for second-hand materials. “The concept of taking someone else’s used building materials and using it in a new construction project, the audience for that is limited,” Chapman said.

Source: Aspen City Council puts its money where its mouth is for waste diversion program | News | aspendailynews.com

Construction debris to make way for Aspen government office mostly avoids landfill | AspenTimes.com

Hydraulic shears takes down part of the old ACRA building for the new Aspen city offices on March 6.
Anna Stonehouse/The Aspen Times

“We had a goal of 65 percent for diversion and we are at 74 percent,” said Brain Thomas, the project manager for Shaw Construction. “We are happy with Aspen Deconstruction. They knocked it out of the park.”

Source: Construction debris to make way for Aspen government office mostly avoids landfill | AspenTimes.com

Breaking it down piece by piece | Aspen Daily News Online

This insightful article is about breaking down the market for Deconstruction in Aspen, Colorado (oh the pun).  It’s thorough, and a good read if you are interested in the challenges and opportunities of building material reuse ordinances.

The city of Aspen doesn’t have any requirements for contractors to deconstruct a building versus demolishing it. However, it does encourage construction companies to use best practices according to its international energy code, which fosters training and educating contractors and subcontractors to recycle when they can.

Stephen Kanipe, the city’s chief building official, said the practice of deconstruction is driven by the market, and if contractors can sell materials for recycling or scrap.

Based on projects he’s seen coming through the building department, most contractors do recycle material on the job site. However, it depends on the wishes of the building owner and what constraints the contractor faces.

For example, nearly all of the material from the 2011 demolition of the Given Institute in the West End neighborhood was recycled because the construction site was large enough for the separation process. But the Gap building, which is in the Aspen downtown core, has less space to work with.

“There are so many instances that one size doesn’t fit all,” Kanipe said.

City officials in the past have discussed whether to require developers to recycle or employ deconstruction methods. But presently, it’s based on the honor system. Most contractors, residential and commercial, attempt to recycle when they can.

“The market should incentivize it, not the government,” Kanipe said.

via Breaking it down piece by piece | Aspen Daily News Online.

New age at hand for Aspen tear-downs? | AspenTimes.com

ASPEN — A multimillion-dollar tear-down house east of Aspen is escaping the fate of most of the McMansions that get demolished in Pitkin County.

Photo Zoom

Scott Gilbert, left, president of Habitat for Humanity of the Roaring Fork, and Mark McDaniel, of Colorado Deconstruction Inc., check the interior of a home east of Aspen that has been meticulously deconstructed to salvage as much of the material for reuse as possible.

Instead of hiring a bulldozer to level the structure, the owners of the house near the Wildwood school hired a “deconstruction” firm that aims to salvage between 50 and 80 percent of the structure. Appliances such as a top-notch kitchen range and materials such as mahogany flooring were donated by the deconstruction company to Habitat for Humanity’s Roaring Fork chapter. The salvaged materials are being sold at Habitat’s ReStore or directly from the house, said Habitat chapter President Scott Gilbert.

The house owners, who didn’t want to be identified, hired The ReUse People, a California-based nonprofit organization co-founded by Ted Reiff in fall 1993. His company has worked extensively on the West Coast, the Chicago area and recently branched into Colorado. The ReUse People have deconstructed two houses in the Eagle Valley and one in Boulder. This is their first job in Pitkin County.

Gilbert sees big potential in the Aspen and Vail areas because homes with lots of usable materials are regularly scrapped when the property changes hands.

The ReUse People mine building materials and appliances from homeowners who reap tax benefits for their donations. ReUse then sells the materials at discounted prices to people who are pinching their pennies. It either sells the materials itself or works with an organization like Habitat for Humanity.

“That is true economic development,” Reiff said of the model of getting materials reused in other construction and remodeling projects. “I kind of relate us to Robin Hood, except we don’t steal.”

Builders who separate out wood receive credit in the Aspen and Pitkin County land-use processes, plus they pay less in tip fees at the dump. However, deconstruction takes the process a step farther because the materials are carefully handled to enhance the salvage potential.

Final figures for salvage potential aren’t available yet for the Wildwood job outside of Aspen. In Boulder, the owners of a 5,800-square-foot house hired The ReUse People to deconstruct the structure and donated the materials. Their appraised donation value was $232,000, according to materials provided by The ReUse People.

Reiff said the concept works because it makes economic sense. The fee that a property owner pays his firm is more than offset by the tax benefit granted by the federal government for donating the materials.

The salvage of tear-down structures isn’t more widespread because owners aren’t aware of it and contractors often fear it will take too much time and throw them off schedule. Reiff said his company, or the certified contractors The ReUse People often hire, can typically finish a job in less than six weeks.

He believes the idea will catch on as the desire increases to be environmentally friendly and because the finances make sense.

“No contractor in their right mind, or even in their wrong mind, wants to throw stuff away. It’s just stupid,” Reiff said.

Continue reading New age at hand for Aspen tear-downs? | AspenTimes.com

From trash to treasure | AspenTimes.com


Ward and Casal didn’t rely solely on Habitat for recycled materials for their house. A “sucker rod” from an oil rig provides support for the main stairs in their 2,200-square-foot house. The wood for the stair stringers and a massive wood beam came from a 100-year-old ice rink in Pennsylvania. Other interior finish wood was salvaged from a Pickle Barrel restaurant that closed.

The exterior of their house is partially covered with corrugated steel leftover from a ranch near Lenado. White siding was salvaged when the Aspen Square building was remodeled.

“Being a scrounger, I don’t like to see anything get thrown away,” said Ward, a carpenter by summer and foot alignment specialist by winter. He estimated that up to 75 percent of the materials for the house came from other structures — everything but the framing, sheetrock, concrete and roof.


“This house is a good example of what you can do with recycling. The thing that makes it cool is it’s all used,” Ward said. “It should be illegal that stuff ends up in Dumpsters.”

via From trash to treasure | AspenTimes.com.