Blog Post

Homeowners Rehab Incorporated (HRI) is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization that produces and preserves affordable housing throughout Massachusetts. In 2017, HRI purchased Matheson Apartments in Downtown Worcester with plans to transform the 60,000 square foot 70-unit complex into efficient, accessible, and affordable housing. Prior to starting renovations, RecyclingWorks in Massachusetts (RecyclingWorks) and Linnean Solutions helped HRI recognize an opportunity to donate, reuse, and recycle various materials. HRI was referred to RecyclingWorks by Linnean Solutions, a mission-driven firm that supports RecyclingWorks’ Construction and Demolition (C&D) Technical Assistance. HRI committed to identifying local reuse and recycling outlets that could accept the variety of materials generated during the project. By the end of their project, HRI was able to divert almost 90% of their materials from the waste stream.

Together, the Matheson team decided to prioritize the careful removal, storage, and donation of usable building materials, while also collecting mixed construction and demolition materials for recycling. With an emphasis on donation, the team decided to collaborate with The Greater Worcester Habitat for Humanity ReStore. With this partnership, HRI was able to donate upwards of 200 kitchen cabinets, appliances, and fixtures for reuse.

After the cleanout phase, the project team collected mixed construction and demolition (C&D) materials on-site. Out of the 160 tons of C&D waste that the project yielded, 140 tons were recovered and hauled to United Materials Management for recycling. These successes were a result of strategic partnerships with local reuse stores and recyclers, and a well-developed waste management plan. When calculating labor costs versus savings on disposal costs, it is estimated that HRI saved $300 while also preventing valuable materials from going into the trash!

HRI received RecyclingWorks’ C&D Technical Assistance, which offers no-cost consulting on waste management planning and strategies to maximize waste diversion for large-scale commercial construction projects. If your business or institution has an upcoming project, call the RecyclingWorks hotline: (888) 254-5525 or email us at info@recyclingworksma.com.

RecyclingWorks assists businesses with waste prevention, reuse, recycling, and food recovery. With stakeholder input, RecyclingWorks has developed a set of best management practices for managing C&D materials, in addition to guidance on deconstruction and donation. These guidelines can help businesses save money on waste disposal costs, repurpose valuable building materials, and contribute significant benefits to the environment.