Tag Archives: reuse centers

Environmental coalition plans to salvage materials from vacant north St. Louis buildings | KBIA

An environmental collaborative aims to remove vacant properties, plans to salvage materials from 30 buildings in north St. Louis in 2019. Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, is identifying buildings that qualify for deconstruction.
ELI CHEN | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

“When you strategically disassemble a structure, there’s more opportunities to find and remediate environmental hazards,” Ginn said. “It would allow us to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfills and you don’t have as much dust spreading through neighborhoods.”

Source: Environmental coalition plans to salvage materials from vacant north St. Louis buildings | KBIA

Community Forklift wins small business award from eBay, thanks to its mission and its fans | Hyattsville Life & Times

Community Forklift and its CEO Nancy J. Meyer won a SHINE Award from eBay in the Charitable Business category. Photo courtesy of Community Forklift

Community Forklift is a nonprofit reuse center for building materials, architectural salvage and antiques. The name refers to the organization’s mission “to lift up communities” in the DC area by turning the region’s construction waste stream into a resource stream. “These prizes will help us reach a larger online audience, which means we can do more good here in the DC region!” Meyer wrote on a blog post. “We can keep more materials out of landfills, provide more free materials to neighbors in need, and offer more green jobs to local residents.”

Source: Community Forklift wins small business award from eBay, thanks to its mission and its fans | Hyattsville Life & Times

Something old, something new. (Re)using salvaged building materials | Metro

Mary Reese hunts for tile at the new Habitat for Humanity ReStore in Gresham.

Jacobson compares shopping for salvaged building materials to thrift or vintage shopping, and advises shopping early and often. “Stock changes from day to day and quantities can be limited,” he says. “The list of stores is growing and that makes it easier to find what you need, but the region’s supply chain for used building materials is still a work in progress” Also, he says, find a contractor willing to work with you, one who’s willing to deconstruct and salvage materials, as well as incorporate reused items into the new space.

Source: Something old, something new. (Re)using salvaged building materials | Metro

How Creative Repurposing of Industrial Scrap Is Holding Off a Neighborhood’s Gentrification by Amanda Abrams — YES! Magazine

Ann Woodward, executive director of the Scrap Exchange, stands before the strip mall and parking lot that the organization now owns.

The Scrap Exchange is on the brink of something much bigger. This summer, the organization closed on a deal to buy 10 acres of a moribund strip mall surrounding the building. Executive director Ann Woodward’s ambition is to turn the area into a “reuse arts district,” unlike any in the country. It will include a range of creative elements, like a playground made of reused materials, a shipping container mall hosting local entrepreneurs, a recycle-a-bike program, artists’ studios, and a performance space.

Source: How Creative Repurposing of Industrial Scrap Is Holding Off a Neighborhood’s Gentrification by Amanda Abrams — YES! Magazine

Thrift stores for building materials ride the re-use wave – StarTribune.com

Nick Swaggert, of Better Futures, said the work he and his company do has “saved 700 tons of building materials from going into the landfill.”

With many homes over 30, trend experts expect homeowners to tackle remodeling projects as long as the economy remains strong. Thrift stores such as Habitat ReStores, now at 875 locations nationwide and 15 in Minnesota, are riding the wave too. Sales at the new location, which opened in September, are exceeding expectations. “Our New Brighton store is doing $1 million a year, and we hope the Minneapolis store will match that in two or three years,” said Pete O’Keefe, senior manager of operations at Twin Cities Habitat for Humanity.

Source: Thrift stores for building materials ride the re-use wave – StarTribune.com

Architectural salvage gives a home some character

AlbanyRadiators

Old-time radiators are common items seen at salvage shops like Historic Albany Parts Warehouse. (Photo: Provided)

In honor of Earth Day on April 22, consider purchasing used items that promote the motto of the three Rs: reduce, re-use and recycle. By incorporating architectural salvage items into your next project, you not only keep usable items out of the landfill, but you can also add a bit of history into your own home at significant savings..

ReHouse door plates

ReHouse Architectural Salvage in Rochester has a variety of door plates and other items from older homes upstate. (Photo: Provided)

Source: Architectural salvage gives a home some character

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships – Sara Badiali

One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community.  Like churches or pubs, reuse centers can be a pivotal gathering place. If done well, the physical detritus of the community flows through a reuse center. Neighbors stop and talk with each other over finds and projects, suggestions are made and advice is given. I’ve seen reuse centers inspire creativity that transcend individual projects and develop into community initiatives.  Material with history motivates people to collaborate and build both projects and relationships.

Continue reading Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships – Sara Badiali

REUSE CENTERS: WAYS TO OPTIMIZE PARTNERSHIPS SERIES – ARTIST RESIDENCIES– BY SARA BADIALI

Artist Residencies is the final installment of articles about partnership optimization for the building material reuse community. See the entire series here

 

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series

Artist Residencies

Art starts with raw materials and reuse centers are brimming with materials waiting to be reused.  Thus, reuse centers are filled with unrealized art.  What better way to showcase this potential than with an artist in residency?  By sponsoring an artist to commit acts of creativity, reuse centers can show off inventory and potential use in unique ways.  Recology is an artist in residency program at the Recology Solid Waste and Transfer Station in San Francisco, California. This program has sponsored over 100 artists since 1990.  Artists have unlimited access to inventory and even studio space provided by the transfer station.  Artists are required to speak to elementary school students and tour groups about using reclaimed materials and there is a two day gala event for the unveiling of the finished artwork.

There are unlimited ways to partner with artists.  The key is to find a good balance between experience, education, and the deliverable product.  Some residency programs require the artist to donate the end piece to a gallery for permanent display.  Other organizations hold an auction for the final product and use the proceeds for funding purposes.  The unveiling, gala, or celebration for art is an important event.  Reuse centers are utilitarian by nature, so to express the value of a beautiful creation make sure the party is off site and fancy.

Fine art is one type of reuse possibility, but reuse centers that carry wood will benefit from craftspeople who make custom furniture.  For many people the desirability of having a custom piece of furniture by an artist, is a chance to own an heirloom.  Reclaimed wood from a local landmark or historical building that is crafted into furniture, is a functional piece of history. When done beautifully these pieces really are unique, valuable for both their craft and their connection to place and time.

Partnering with artists and craftspeople in residency programs can facilitate unlimited opportunities.  The benefits of partnership include supporting local craftsmen and burgeoning artists, but also funding opportunities.  Art organizations have loyal patrons because many people feel strongly about supporting the arts. Reuse centers are in the excellent position of supplying materials for art, but also education in both craft and reuse.  An organization that combines collaboration with artists, providing education, environmental benefits, and supporting the local economy in jobs and goods, is a great investment for funders.  In many cases a reuse center can adopt an arts program with little administrative or policy changes, and the value is limitless.

 

 Consulting

The Reclamation Administration is a great databank for reuse centers collaborative partnerships.  There are a few that stand out as particularly successful models.  Partnerships are an excellent way to get exposure, marketing, materials, and revenue, while supporting the local community.

Contact me if you are interested in learning more on collaborative partnerships for your reuse outlet.

Design build social venture Project RE launches with big goals in North Point Breeze – Pittsburgh Business Times

From left to right: Steve Shelton, executive director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh; John Folan, professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; and Mike Gable, executive director of Construction Junction.From left to right: Steve Shelton, executive director of the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh: John Folan, professor of architecture at Carnegie Mellon University; and Mike Gable, executive director of Construction Junction.

With $2.3 million in funding support from organizations that include the Heinz Endowments and the Colcom and RK Mellon foundations, Project RE launches as a 10,000 square foot production facility within Construction Junction in which architecture students within the UDBS work with the apprentice laborers from the Trade Institute of Pittsburgh, which operates a few blocks away, to design and build new affordable housing and other prototype products out of reused materials collected by neighboring retail operation.

via Design build social venture Project RE launches with big goals in North Point Breeze – Pittsburgh Business Times.

REUSE CENTERS: WAYS TO OPTIMIZE PARTNERSHIPS SERIES – Business Evaluations – by Sara Badiali

Business Evaluations is the fourth of in a series of five articles about partnership optimization for the building material reuse community. Starting with Reuse Contests , Curriculum Design & House as Showcase

 

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series

One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community. Business Evaluations is really about partnering with educational institutions within the community.

 

Business Evaluations

Partnering with educational institutions can go beyond the medium of reuse.  Colleges and Universities frequently have business schools within them.  The genius of students are that they are constantly problem solving as it is the educational environment. Teachers and professors are often on the look-out for projects that enrich their curriculum with real businesses that are facing actual issues.  Reuse centers, nonprofit or private, offer a unique case study opportunity. The fluctuating markets of reclaimed material, selling unusual and often unique products, and the volume of goods that are incomplete in some way, are amazing problems to solve.  An executive director’s nightmare, can be a business class’s educational goldmine. The return for opening up your business to a student evaluation, is a plethora of sharpened minds let loose to collect information, review data, debate, postulate, and innovate. It is their job to provide information and ideas that typically a business would never have time or money to do.

These types of projects are most effective if the reuse center is open and helpful in providing data. For example in Ohio the Tristate Habitat for Humanity opened its doors to business students from Miami University.  The Strategy Works teams shared statistical data about ReStore buyers, donors, and potential corporate partners.  Each team provided researched suggestions on how to more effectively market the ReStore.

All partnerships with schools and students benefit from the perspective that they aren’t cheap labor, but professionals in pre-recruitment stage. If utilizing undergraduate students does not appeal, then consider contacting graduate programs. However, living in Portland, Oregon and constantly working with students, my experience is that creative gold comes from minds unfettered by established practices or “the norm”. If open to it, learn from what companies like Widen & Kennedy and Nike already know, that when supported there is no limit to what young creatives can do for a business.  Reuse centers can use educational partnerships in other ways like marketing, organizational development, strategic planning, and board recruitment for starters.  The benefits of collaborating with local educational institutions are limitless, and the stewardship of young minds is good business.

 

Next Up: Artist Residencies

The Reclamation Administration is a great databank for reuse centers collaborative partnerships. There are a few that stand out as particularly successful models. Partnerships are an excellent way to get exposure, marketing, materials, and revenue, while supporting the local community.

Stay tuned for the next article in the series on partnering with artists to realize the amazing potential of reuse.

REUSE CENTERS: WAYS TO OPTIMIZE PARTNERSHIPS SERIES – HOUSE AS SHOWCASE– BY SARA BADIALI

House as Showcase is the third of in a series of five articles about partnership optimization for the building material reuse community. Reuse Contests & Curriculum Design started the series. 

 

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series

One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community. The whole house showcase is one of my favorite collaboration projects.

House as Showcase

For many people “seeing” the potential in a material is challenging.  Piles of hardware or stacks of used lighting components can look like junk.  Retail outlets rarely show inventory without a display area. But reuse centers can be at the mercy of volumes of materials and few workers to organize them. The result is unappealing piles of product on shelves or the floor.  Those of us who can see the beauty beyond the mess find this experience bittersweet.  There are more interesting finds for us, but a person can only buy so much.  Then there is the heartache of seeing all that interesting material languish unused.

One reuse center tackled the issue of material languish by using inventory to decorate an entire house.  Some reuse centers have display areas or even design rooms within their stores.  But a lack of space can inhibit this option.  By using a donated vacant house as a showroom, the reuse center sold items literally off the walls.  Lighting fixtures, outlet covers, doors, sinks, paneling, windows, and many other random household items are displayed for sale in the home.  Walking through the house, customers are able to see the items in context.  Customers could better “see” the material’s potential for their own home. They could also buy the item off the wall hardware and all.

The display house’s interior is ever evolving, which would make an interesting photography project. More importantly the material is moving, being sold to create space for more reusable components.  Possibly the most important element is that people are inspired to use reclaimed materials.  That the transformation of junk to viable product is as simple as displaying it in the right context.  The other benefits of using an entire house is the attraction of interior design to reuse.  The opportunity to stage materials is a great way for staff to show off their artistic skills. There is untapped potential in the artists and craftspeople that work in the reuse industry, especially in the reuse centers (after all, they work with the material every day).

Obtaining an entire house for the purposes of displaying reclaimed materials, is not viable for every reuse center. However, the materials are coming from somewhere and in some cases it’s a house that is being demolished.  There is widespread urban blight in this country. Many municipalities are struggling with abandoned houses and unfortunately entire neighborhoods are being demolished.  Actively using abandoned buildings is an effective way of keeping vandals and crime in check.  There is potential for partnerships in this area if you can just “see” it.

Next Up: Business Evaluations

The Reclamation Administration is a great databank for reuse centers collaborative partnerships. There are a few that stand out as particularly successful models. Partnerships are an excellent way to get exposure, marketing, materials, and revenue, while supporting the local community.

Stay tuned for the next article in the series on partnering with educational institutions to go beyond the medium of reuse.

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series – Reuse Contests – by Sara Badiali

Reuse Contests is the first of in a series of five articles about partnership optimization for the building material reuse community. 

 

Reuse Centers: Ways to Optimize Partnerships Series

One of the benefits of starting the Reclamation Administration is that I get to see how reuse centers optimize partnerships within the community.

Like churches or pubs, reuse centers can be a pivotal gathering place. If done well, the physical detritus of the community flows through a reuse center. Neighbors stop and talk with each other over finds and projects, suggestions are made and advice is given. I’ve seen reuse centers inspire creativity that transcend individual projects and develop into community initiatives.  Material with history motivates people to collaborate and build both projects and relationships.

 

Reuse Contests

Reuse Contests are growing in popularity.  Over the years some contests have developed from community gatherings into grand events.  Entire galas have grown out of simple DIY challenges.  Nothing gets the competitive juices flowing like media coverage and a party.

The Post-Gazette and Construction Junction joined forces and created the Reuse Inspiration Contest. People sent in photos of their home renovation projects and three won tickets to the Big Pour, a beer festival sponsored by a brewery in Pittsburg.  The reuse center Construction Junction, the Post-Gazette and the brewery attracted lots of publicity but also provided the community with inspiration in creative reuse.

Other events like these include catwalks complete with fashions made from recycled materials.  CART’M, a reuse and recycling center on the Oregon coast, presents the TRASHION show every year to a sold out crowd of hundreds.

These contests have expanded into categories from structures that are integrated into buildings, to fine art displayed in local galleries. A community in Arizona established a yearly event called The Big Heap, complete with reuse categories and a market. The festival is so big now that it is a music venue for national bands and is covered by HGTV.  Reuse contests are an effective platform for jumping off into greater reuse possibilities.

 

Next Up: Curriculum Design

The Reclamation Administration is a great databank for reuse centers collaborative partnerships.  There are a few that stand out as particularly successful models.  Partnerships are an excellent way to get exposure, marketing, materials, and revenue, while supporting the local community.

Stay tuned for the next article in the series on partnering with educational institutions to create reuse curriculum.

Finger Lakes ReUse Wins EPA Award – Ithaca Times : News

Award-Winning ReUse

The United States Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has named Finger Lakes ReUse (ReUse) as a recipient of its 2015 Environmental Champion Award. ReUse was nominated for this award, the highest honor presented to the public by EPA, by Tompkins County Solid Waste Manager Barbara Eckstrom, in recognition of its accomplishments in transforming waste into jobs and job skills training opportunities for the community.

via Finger Lakes ReUse Wins EPA Award – Ithaca Times : News.

Restores restocking volunteers | Edmonton Examiner

Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Alfred Nikolai shows some of the pieces created for the second annual Art for Humanity project, at the Habitat for Humanity Restore north last year.  Habitat is seeking more volunteers to work inside at its stores.
DAVID BLOOM QMI Agency Habitat for Humanity President and CEO Alfred Nikolai shows some of the pieces created for the second annual Art for Humanity project, at the Habitat for Humanity Restore north last year. Habitat is seeking more volunteers to work inside at its stores. DAVID BLOOM QMI Agency

“If you are senior, and you have some kind of ability that you can share, especially if you’re a handyman of some sort, or even if you’re not, you can find a friendly environment,” he said, adding that people of all ages can also come in and lend a hand.

via Restores restocking volunteers | Edmonton Examiner.

Former ReNew director cleans out warehouse – Brattleboro Reformer

Deconstruction Works owner members (L-R) Erich Kruger and Michael Weitzner work to clean up ReNew Salvage.(Kayla Rice/Reformer)

Deconstruction Works owner members (L-R) Erich Kruger and Michael Weitzner work to clean up ReNew Salvage. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)

“It’s kind of bittersweet. It didn’t have to happen this way,” he said while taking a break from his work. “It’s a mess right now, but at least I know it is being done right.”

After being let go by the ReNew board, Kruger continued working in the trade and last year he helped start Deconstruction Works, which became a worker-owned cooperative this year.

Deconstruction Works owner members (L-R) Erich Kruger and Michael Weitzner work to clean up ReNew Salvage.(Kayla Rice/Reformer)Deconstruction Works owner members (L-R) Erich Kruger and Michael Weitzner work to clean up ReNew Salvage. (Kayla Rice/Reformer)

viaFormer ReNew director cleans out warehouse – Brattleboro Reformer.

ASSA ABLOY Group Brands Announce Product End-of-Life Recycling Program for Wood Doors – MarketWatch

Customer service professionals from Graham Wood Doors and Maiman Wood Doors can provide door owners with a location of a local Habitat for Humanity ReStore. The doors can be dropped off at the ReStore location, where their lifecycle will continue for a good cause. Proceeds from the resale of the doors will be used to build homes, communities and hope locally and around the world.

“At ASSA ABLOY our mission is to provide products and services that are environmentally sound throughout the entire production process and the product lifecycle,” said Aaron Smith, Director Sustainable Building Solutions for ASSA ABLOY Door Security Solutions.  “Product end-of-life recycling programs are a key part of our efforts and we are especially proud of the wood door program donation and re-use aspects with longtime partner Habitat for Humanity.”

via ASSA ABLOY Group Brands Announce Product End-of-Life Recycling Program for Wood Doors – MarketWatch.

Turning trash into treasure: How creative reuse is boosting local economies

This article by Pop City‘s Lee Chilcote is a virtual treasure trove of information on reuse programs all over the country – especially the midwest. It is well written and informative. Do yourself a Friday favor and take a moment to read the entire article.

Nicole McGee

“It used to be just the poor, starving artist stereotype of taking found materials and dumpster diving out of necessity,” says MaryEllen Etienne, Executive Director of the Reuse Alliance, a national group based in Dayton, Ohio. “We see that still, but there’s more thought in it. They’re trying to have an impact by showing that these things can still be beautiful and have meaning rather than just sitting and wasting in a landfill.”

via Turning trash into treasure: How creative reuse is boosting local economies.

Advertise on The Reclamation Administration – Access to a Diverse Reuse Community!

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Shopping at Knoxville’s Intriguing Salvage Yards » Metro Pulse

Shopping at Knoxville’s Intriguing Salvage Yards

For some time I’ve been meaning to write about three especially thrilling salvage yards in town, their rickety outbuildings and crowded aisles full of history, whimsy, and intrigue. These salvage yards are all are second- and third-generation locally-owned businesses, and all their stock is recycled.

• Knox Rail Salvage is the most popular of the three. It’s bright yellow signs are iconic, especially the yellow-painted tower visible from the Interstate.

Knox Rail was started by Walter Carter and Mike Frazier over 30 years ago, and is still owned by Frazier. Often, shoppers may find Nancy Frazier Harbison, Mike’s daughter, behind the counter at the Fifth Avenue store. The large brick warehouse is busy—a steady stream of customers, and the phone ringing off the hook. The Fifth Avenue store has a hodgepodge of household items and fixtures. It is possible to use it like a Target, and I often do, knocking out a varied shopping list on one trip: door mat, socks, school supplies, birthday party decorations. An especially pleasing find were 1986 paper ALF plates, still in plastic wrap.

Where do they get their stock?

“Everywhere,” Harbison says. “Train wrecks, truck wrecks, fires. It used to be 80-85 percent salvage.”

Now Harbison says it is mostly brand-new “first quality” overstock or overruns.

All the plywood in our renovated house came from Knox Rail’s lumberyard, every piece stamped “REJECT,” but still perfectly usable.

Don’t miss the rest of the article via Shopping at Knoxville’s Intriguing Salvage Yards » Metro Pulse.

Re-Build-It Centre operators asking for a break | Whistler | Pique Newsmagazine | Whistler, CANADA

FREE IS COSTING The Re-Build-It Centre in Function Junction isn't getting all the great donations it has been promised by homeowners with houses under renovation.

FREE IS COSTING The Re-Build-It Centre in Function Junction isn’t getting all the great donations it has been promised by homeowners with houses under renovation.

The Re-Build-It Centre operators in Whistler have an issue with high grading and they want everyone to be aware of it.

Centre manager Brian Van Straaten wrote in a letter to the editor of Pique Newsmagazine this week that sometimes when Re-Build-It employees go to pick up donated items from a home under renovation the best items tagged for donation by the homeowner have disappeared.

“The contractor who has been hired by the homeowner to renovate, has the impression that since the homeowner has marked things to be taken away they are ‘free’ so they take what they want leaving the dregs for us,” wrote Van Straaten in his letter.

The centre offers a program where Re-Build-It employees will visit a home under renovation with the owner and help the owner tag the items to be donated. The items for donation can’t always be deconstructed and moved at the time of the initial visit so a second visit takes place later.

Van Straaten has a simple request: “Contractors, please think twice about taking away the valuable opportunity for us to turn a donation into revenue for our social service programming.”

Van Straaten noted in his letter that proceeds from Re-Build-It Centre sales help fund 27 programs and services offered by Whistler Community Services Society.

He said in his letter that the centre in Function Junction has been overwhelmed with generous donations of gently used building supplies, furniture and appliances.

Homeowners who are planning to renovate are encouraged to donate unwanted contents from their home to the Re-Build-It Centre. Employees of the centre will go into the home and dismantle cabinets, counters and bathrooms then remove the materials in what Van Straaten described as a ‘velvet glove’ deconstruction service. Along with the salvaged materials, the Re-Build-It staff will remove furniture tagged by the homeowner for donation.

“These donations are not the same as free, as we sell the items and turn the money back into funding for the food bank, outreach workers, drug and alcohol education program, counselling assistance and community kitchens to name a few of our core WCSS programs,” wrote Van Straaten.

The centre is open seven days a week and it operates in a warehouse at the end of Alpha Lake Road. The opening of the centre was made possible by a $40,000 donation from the Whistler Blackcomb Foundation and a $10,000 donation by Ziptrek Ecotours.

via Re-Build-It Centre operators asking for a break | Whistler | Pique Newsmagazine | Whistler, CANADA.

ReUse Action and Rusted Grain are Partners in Sustainability – Buffalo Rising

 

Although their businesses are different in name, Michael Gainer of ReUse Action and Megan McNally of Rusted Grain are partners. Both are focused on sustainability and achieve this goal through making new creations from old material. Reclaimed wood from doors, flooring, cabinets, garages, and even church pews can be restructured and cleaned up to yield everything from furniture to knick-knacks.

via ReUse Action and Rusted Grain are Partners in Sustainability – Buffalo Rising.