Building renovations and demolition represent a significant opportunity to separate materials for reuse. Mis-orders, slightly damaged goods, or left over materials can be salvaged through reuse. RecyclingWorks, using stakeholder input, has also developed a set of Best Management Practices for managing construction and demolition materials, including information on reusing building materials.
There are several non-profit organizations in Massachusetts that take donations of reclaimed building materials. Learn more about deconstruction and donation and how to organize these projects.
Donated surplus building materials or appliances are resold at a fraction of their retail price, with important benefits:
- Avoid disposal costs
- Reduce taxes through tax-deductible donations to non-profit organizations
- Enable more affordable do-it-yourself projects for homeowners and/or landlords
- Preserve new raw materials.
- Reduce disposal of materials in landfills.
- Create and support local jobs in your community
Fortunately there are many organizations that can help you increase reuse of building materials:
The Building Materials Reuse Association facilitates building deconstruction and the reuse/recycling of recovered building materials. The BMRA website includes a list of many organizations that reuse building materials. A few of these organizations are:
The Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources, is a nonprofit storefront, and online e-store, for building materials and environmental products, located in Roxbury, Mass. They accept donations of new and “gently used” supplies for resale to their co-op members and the general public, but offer reduced pricing for low income customers and other non profits. The Reuse Center also is a source for environmentally friendly products, home improvement workshops, and expert customer service.
EcoBuilding Bargains, a nonprofit store and online e-store located in Springfield, Mass. It sells used and surplus building materials and green, weatherization, and energy and resource conservation products. It screens the quality of their donations, and offers free pick up in a large service area. EcoBuilding Bargains works closely with a network of retail stores and construction contractors to capture materials that they would have thrown away that can be reused. It also has a network of deconstruction contractors, who will recover reusable materials as an alternative to demolition and offer free advice on how to do your own deconstruction.
ReStores by Habitat for Humanity are located around the state and provide an income source for the Habitat for Humanity community building projects. ReStores obtain surplus appliance donations from manufacturers as well as other donated building materials, fixtures, and antiques.