Founder of Community Forklift & Executive Manager of the Alliance for Regional Cooperation, Jim Schulman discusses his work on the Building Materials Reuse Association. His work in cooperation with the DC Sierra Club and others are pushing building code changes to help rescue building materials from the waste stream.
The excerpt review below is by Jim Schulman, a catalyst in the reuse industry. He is founder of both Community Forklift and Sustainable Community Initiatives.
Minter takes the reader on tours of various scrapyards and material processing facilities from Minneapolis, Dearborn, and Indianapolis in the Midwest to Bangalore, Guangzhou, and Wen’an in the Far East, among a dozen or so other places. One of his stops is the family owned scrapyard where he grew up working elbow to elbow with his grandmother. These vignettes and the interesting characters who populate them, though geographically and chronologically scattered, slowly and logically reveal the tidal forces of supply and demand of factory production and material consumption that splash back and forth around the world over the course of decades, though sometimes within a few weeks.
Do yourself a favor and read the entire article on Deconstruction in Elevation DC.
Tear down a house and you’ll end up with tons—literally—of garbage.
If a 1,500-square-foot home is demolished, it generates 37 tons of waste–drywall, insulation, flooring, brick, and more.
Much of that garbage goes straight to the landfill. But a movement is slowly growing–helped by industry as well as the nonprofit sector–to save parts of an old home from the landfill. Builders who support this movement say that the extra hassle of “deconstructing” rather than demolishing a home is more than offset by the goodwill it builds among clients. Nonprofits say that deconstruction represents an unprecedented economic opportunity.
Jim Schulman, president of the nonprofit Sustainable Community Initiatives, says that Community Forklift, the 34,000-square-foot reuse warehouse and store it owns, is on track to do $1.7 million is sales this year. Multiply that by the other hundreds of reuse centers nationwide, and he says the deconstruction industry could be a $500 million-per-year economic engine.
Jim Schulman of Community Forklift and The Building Material Reuse Association recently wrote a beautiful review of the new book Tear Down: A love poem to arson-prone, deindustrialized Flint, Mich. by Gordon Young.
When a book inspires a review that is this poignant and thoughtful, do not hesitate – go out and get it! But first read the entire review on Washington Independent Review of Books.
A love poem to arson-prone, deindustrialized Flint, Mich.
I was halfway through Gordon Young’s absorbing yet wrenching portrait of Flint, Mich., while on a red-eye flight from Seattle to Baltimore with a stopover in Detroit. After I had put the book down to sleep, I awoke in the dark over southern Wisconsin. Perhaps it was the optics of the airplane window or my vantage point above the clouds, but I observed the most delicate new moon I had ever seen. I took it as a portent of hope for the sustainability of communities all over the world, including down-and-out Flint. As the light grew from the incipient sunrise, I made out the outlines of Lake Michigan. In a few minutes, much to my surprise, the whole mitten thumb of eastern Michigan, framed by Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron, laid out before me.