“The good news is that—as we’ve seen in the past two decades with Clean Energy—strong leadership with a clear vision can pay off for the Northwest in big ways: hundreds of new Clean Materials businesses, thousands of new jobs, and billions of dollars in new investment. At the same time, we can slash the emissions that are driving climate change and reduce toxic pollution.”
The City of St. Louis is ramping up demolition of vacant buildings on properties owned by the metro’s land bank, but some of them will undergo deconstruction instead. (Photo by Oscar Perry Abello)
As he gears up for the pilot project with the city, Schwarz says that Refab will tighten its hiring focus. “We’ll hire people from the neighborhoods where we do the deconstruction,” he says. “We’re going to take tax dollars and put them into the pockets of the residents who are affected by this activity in their neighborhood.”
ReFab Founder Eric Scharz. Photo by J.B. Forbes.
Schwarz’s experience had taught him that in an increasingly imitative world, some people hungered for an authenticity conceived in the marriage of age and use.
He founded Refab, a salvage yard in south St. Louis, in a condemned building four years ago. At the time, he had about $3,000 in his pocket and an idea for salvaging discarded building materials and turning around the lives of veterans. Today, Schwarz leases a 40,000-square-foot warehouse off Gravois Avenue and employs 14 people. His budget for 2017 is $1.2 million. That growth is partly attributable to a backlash against the uniformity produced by globalization.
The customers who frequent this two story red-brick repository of rescued material are weary of seeing the same furniture, the same sinks and the same light fixtures — all of it mass-produced on the other side of the planet. “You go into a lot of houses — and I don’t know if we coined the phrase — but they are all ‘Lowes’d up,’” said Randy Miller, who was looking for material for his coffee shop in Southern Illinois. “This is a like a candy store.”
Products made by E’Yako Green from recycled Jaguar Land Rover billboards include conference bags, shoppers, folders, iPad pouches and pencil cases. The bags are made from a combination of recycled PVC billboards (on the inside) and hessian and ShweShwe on the outside. A variety of ShweShwe colours and patterns are available with different bindings. The focus at E’Yako Green is on developing, sourcing and supplying South African made, mostly eco-friendly, promotional products.
Using Deconstruction & Design to Reduce Blight, Divert Waste & Create Jobs
via Reclaim Omaha: Goodbye Waste & Blight, Hello Jobs | Indiegogo. Find them at Reclaimed Enterprises too.
While it’s true that the “3Rs” have become a catalyzing movement of our times, the “reuse” part of this waste management trilogy is often overlooked. Thanks to ReuseConex, the International Reuse Conference & Expo, this is about to change!
If you work with a local reuse organization, if you shop at thrift stores or online resellers, if you buy or sell reusables, if you’re interested in green-collar jobs, and if you’re concerned about climate change – then join us for ReuseConex!
The theme for ReuseConex 2014 is Innovate. Transform. Sustain. — and we hope you’ll join us while we explore new methods and replicable models to make reuse work for your community. At ReuseConex you will find out more about the “triple bottom line” benefits of reuse, learn from and share best practices, and network with leaders in the reuse industry. Join us!
Eliminating decay in Detroit is a monstrous undertaking, but if Reclaim Detroit and the Detroit Blight Removal Task Force do what they intend to do, things are about to change — for the better.
Nearly 80,000 abandoned buildings loom over the city. No mayor has ever been able to make much of a dent in Detroit’s vacant properties. But Kevyn Orr, the state-appointed emergency manager, has allocated $520 million to tackle blight over the next six years.
Demolishing a home in Detroit is relatively cheap, costing about $8-10,000, and many consider this as the best option. So why not quickly tear down every single home? Negative environmental impacts include spreading asbestos and lead poisoning, which can affect neighboring communities with hazardous dust.
That’s why Reclaim Detroit, which began in 2011, is applying their in-depth research to push for “deconstructing” 10 percent (about 8,000) or more of the city’s abandoned buildings. And according to Jeremy Haines, Reclaim Detroit’s sales and marketing manager, they’re creating more jobs for locals, as well.
Thanks to Ruth Trocolli the archaeologist for the District of Columbia Historic Preservation Office, for this gem of an article.
The Kinnickinnic River in Milwaukee.
Maher hopes to put his new skills to work and continue deconstruction work in the area. He has learned that it is possible to efficiently take a structure apart, salvaging valuable materials and greatly reducing what goes to the landfill. As the construction sector of the economy rebounds, the success of the Kinnickinnic River project could encourage less traditional demolition and greater use of deconstruction techniques.
“If things can be reused and we can keep things out of landfill,” Maher says, “why not put the materials to use?”
The Partnership for Working Families, a grantee of the Surdna Foundation, is a national network of leading regional advocacy organizations who support innovative solutions to our nation’s economic and environmental problems.
Home ReSource is an example of how we can work to protect our environment and still have economic vitality in Missoula. It’s a $1 million-a-year nonprofit business, employing 30 people. That’s based on garbage – or, rather, donated inventory. And because Home ReSource is locally based, all that money stays in Missoula and is reinvested in the community. It’s encouraging that others are seeing the value of building materials reuse, and other reuse centers are moving to Missoula and western Montana.
REBUILDING EXCHANGE IS HIRING AN EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR!
Elise Zelechowski, our current Executive Director will be stepping down later this month. We are looking to fill this position immediately.
The Rebuilding Exchange’s mission is to create a market for reclaimed building materials. We do this by diverting materials from landfills and making them accessible to the public for reuse, promoting sustainable deconstruction practices, providing education and job training programs, and creating innovative models for sustainable reuse. www.rebuildingexchange.org Rebuilding Exchange is a non-profit social enterprise and a supporting organization of the Delta institute. Founded in 2008 to address a growing need for a market-based solution to address the high quantities of demolition waste entering our landfills, Rebuilding Exchange now has an annual budget of approximately $1.2 million, 90% of which is earned income.
Reporting to the Rebuilding Exchange Board of Directors, the executive director is responsible for the overall financial and operational performance of the Rebuilding Exchange and leads the Rebuilding Exchange in the fulfillment of its mission and revenue goals, with an eye towards constantly evolving the vision. The executive director provides leadership and management of the operations and strategic growth of the Rebuilding Exchange. This includes management and development of a highly competent team of managers, financial management, strategic partnership development, fundraising, public relations, brand management, and reporting.
For a full position description, please visit http://www.idealist.org/view/job/xNsFBPTdx32D/
The full announcement about the transition can be found here.
Detroit, which filed an $18 billion bankruptcy July 18, is reeling from the loss of more than 435,000 jobs in its metro area from 2000 to 2010, according to federal data.
Greg Willerer is embracing urban agriculture in Detroit. By selling at farmers markets, local restaurants and a community-supported agriculture project that sells his goods directly to consumers, Willerer said he can make $20,000 to $30,000 per acre in a year.
This has left it with an abundance of underused property. The city is spread over 139 square miles and has an estimated 150,000 vacant and abandoned parcels, according to a report this year by Detroit Future City, a planning project created by community leaders.
Converting some of that land to farming could clean up blight and grow jobs, regional officials say. With sufficient consumer demand and the emergence of a local food-processing industry, 4,700 jobs and $20 million in business taxes could be generated, according to a 2009 study.
“It will help,” said Mike DiBernardo, an economic development specialist with Michigan’s agriculture department. “We have so much blighted land that we can create opportunities for entrepreneurs, and we can give people in the community something to be excited about.”
Our United Villages (OUV) is a local, non-profit, community enhancement organization. OUV is rooted in the belief that every person can make a positive difference in their community. Our mission is to inspire people to value and discover existing resources to strengthen the social and environmental vitality of communities.
If you love being a part of a collaborative workplace – in a value based work environment; where the mission drives decision making and everyone is deeply committed to making a positive difference in community and the world; appreciate smiles and laughter; and can demonstrate you possess the passion and qualifications necessary to serve the role of Our United Villages Volunteer Igniter Coordinator, we want you to apply today!
The person in this position will work 32 to 40 hours per week.
The Volunteer “Igniter” Coordinator is responsible for overseeing all aspects of Our United Villages’ (OUV) volunteer programs to provide meaningful hands-on opportunities for individuals and groups who add support to day to day operations and special projects to help achieve the mission and goals of Our United Villages. Work in concert with all staff and volunteers to achieve asset based outcomes each workday for a truly sustainable world.
It can also win awards.
Ruby Ruiz, director of the Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity ReStore, has learned that lesson four-fold.
The ReStore has been named winner of the Texas Veterans Commission 2012 Small Business Employer of the Year Award.
Half of the store’s eight employees are military veterans.
“It just worked out that way,” said Ruiz. “They all applied for available jobs and made a favorable impression on me.
“They are all phenomenal workers. They all know a little about everything and take pride in their work. That’s one thing that helps make the ReStore so successful.”
The veteran workers, who have all worked at the ReStore about a year, include warehouse superintendent Joe DeLosSantos, assistant manager Joe Wier, transportation director Juan Hernandez and Randy Webb, who handles customer sales.
Webb served in the U.S. Navy, and the other three are Army veterans. Hernandez is an active member of the Army Reserves.
All are part-time employees working between 20 and 25 hours per week.
To a man, the quartet singled out the camaraderie among the workers as the best thing about their jobs.
“We’re like family. We have a lot of fun doing the job we do, and it’s for a good cause,” said Webb. “This is the first time I’ve ever looked forward to coming to work even though I’m the only Navy guy.”
Ernie Pemberton, of the local Texas Veterans Commission office, nominated the store for the award after shopping there to assist a homeless veteran.
“Joe’s (Wier) and Ruby’s smiles first caught my attention,” said Pemberton. “During the course of conversing with Joe, I found out he had been in the Army and asked how many other veterans worked here.
“Because of the customer service I received and what they do for veterans, I nominated them.”
Ruiz, the store’s only full-time employee, said the group’s experience has improved the ReStore’s bottom line, too.
“Before this group came in, we just put things out and hoped they worked. These guys make sure everything works or it doesn’t go on the floor,” she said.
The ReStore accepts donations of new and used building materials and fixtures from a variety of sources and resells those materials at bargain prices.
The ReStore, which turns 13 on Nov. 1, will show off its award and its veterans with an entry in the Nov. 10 Veterans Day parade.
Golden Crescent Habitat for Humanity executive director Cynthia Staley said hiring veterans will continue to be an organizational policy.
“Hiring veterans is something that really just happened,” said Staley. “But once we realized what a terrific source of labor this is, we are now committed to maintaining this level of hiring. Our veterans have initiative, great can-do attitudes and aren’t afraid to tackle anything. We love them.”
Now Hiring! Looking for a friendly Reuse and Outreach Associate
Reuse & Outreach Associate Needed for Local Green Business (Hyattsville, MD)
Position Title: Reuse & Outreach Associate(30–40 hours a week, includes weekend work)
Company: Community Forklift, Thrift Store for Home Improvement
Location: Inside the Washington Beltway, 5 minutes from DC in the Hyattsville area
B&B Demolition owner Bill Knight has spent $2 million to address environmental issues when buildings are torn down.
EDMONTON – Bill Knight, owner of B&B Demolition, has invested $2 million in equipment to help satisfy the demand from building owners conscious of the environment.
“There’s no doubt being green helps promote business,” he says. “Owners, while they don’t receive financial benefit, are getting behind and driving green demolition.
“Once, when a structure was torn down, everything was thrown away. Now everything is separated and recycled. There’s only about 10-15 per cent of material we can’t do anything with.”
If there is one thing Knight doesn’t want, he says, it’s another year as hectic as 2012.
“In our first year, in 1999, we did $800,000 worth of business,” says Knight. “This year, we are on track for $12 million.
“We began our company with four labourers and a rented Bobcat working and working out of a 900-square-foot house. This year our team grew from 22 workers to 57. Office staff grew to 13 from six.
“We have been incredibly busy training teams. When you drive by one of Edmonton’s many construction sites, nine times out of 10, something had to be demolished first.”
Knight says his company will out-distance many local companies when it this month receives LEED certification (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design.)
Recently named one of Bloomberg Businessweek’s 2012 Most Promising Social Entrepreneurs, PlanetReuse is working nationwide to help connect the design and deconstruction/demolition community to make material reuse easier. Today, roughly forty percent (40%) of landfill waste comes from building construction and demolition.
Make reclaimed material reuse easier and more people will do it, is the simple but revolutionary goal that drove the founders of PlanetReuse to create a new kind of company in 2008. Frustrated by the time and resources it took to track down salvaged materials for their own commercial projects, they took an entrepreneurial leap to uncover a solution for the built industry as a whole.
Initially an internet-based material brokerage, PlanetReuse has evolved into a consulting and brokering company focused on providing the insight, experience and materials its clients need. With a well-defined and efficient process, PlanetReuse expertly matches materials with designers, builders and owners to save projects money, serve LEED efforts and sustain the planet.
Work in a Dynamic, Start-Up Environment
PlanetReuse is currently looking for a Reclaimed Building Materials Broker and Consultant to add to the team. This position will work with designers, contractors, owners and deconstruction companies to procure and manage sustainable projects throughout North America.
It’s our dream to rejuvenate our city by returning to our agrarian roots, by creating the world’s largest urban farm right here in Detroit, a sustainable producer of agricultural goods. Owned, operated and staffed by Detroiters, Hantz Farms will provide:
Green jobs for local residents. We’ll help Detroit progress to the mixed economy that’s so important for our future.
A cleaner, greener environment for our children. We’ll clear away the garbage, the blight, the debris, and establish beautiful, well managed agricultural crops. In every aspect of Hantz Farms, we plan to use only recyclable materials and aim to reduce waste to nearly zero. We’ll also reintroduce Detroiters to the beauty of nature.
Synergy for local businesses. Tourists coming in to Detroit to visit Hantz Farms—not just for an annual event, but on a daily basis—will patronize other businesses as well.
Consolidation of city resources. Detroit’s fire, police and public works departments can better serve city residents when freed from the burden of nearly abandoned neighborhoods.
We can build a new, green economy in Detroit, and lead the world by example. Join us.
To find out more, contact Mike Score, President-Hantz Farms at email@example.com.
DAYTON — That dilapidated, abandoned century-old house on the corner doesn’t look like much, but deep inside is hidden treasure.
Dense, old-growth lumber prized by architects and custom builders supports the roof, limestone blocks are at the foundation, and there are cabinets, solid doors, oak floorboards, beautiful fireplace mantles, even a spirit or two.
Salvaging and selling the bounty for the past two years has been the mission of Dayton Works Plus, a partnership of East End Community Services, PowerNet of Dayton and the Architectural Reuse Co.
MCC will train up to 35 individual contractors/laborers in abatement and deconstruction and offer small business development training to 12 new and small businesses. The program will implement an On-the-Job Training program to place up to 32 residents trained in abatement and deconstruction into jobs with contractors for the KCMOPD East Patrol Division and Regional Crime Lab’s $57 million development project on a 20-acre campus between 26th–27th Streets and Brooklyn–Prospect Avenues.
Sixty-six structures, mostly residential, will be demolished and the city hopes to employ local companies hiring local residents to abate the properties and deconstruct using principles of materials remediation to reduce the amount of waste deposited in landfills.