Harvesting sales from the waste stream
The construction industry produces an estimated 164 million tons of building-related waste per year, making it the single largest contributor to landfills in the US–about 20% of stateside landfill waste is construction debris. Worldchanging reports that do-it-yourself enthusiasts in England are testing a new business model that would reclaim almost 12% of England’s construction waste by reselling materials at ”ReIY’ (Reuse It Yourself) centers. Materials like timber, tiles and flooring will go for between 20 and 80% cheaper than their new equivalents. And for every ton of reused construction material, there will be a carbon savings of 500 kg (1100 lbs).
Here in New York City, we’re aware of many similarly-themed organizations that salvage materials from the waste stream: Build It Green NYC, The Demolition Depot and Rebuilder Source all reclaim and sell construction materials at deep discounts. Beyond construction supplies, Materials for the Arts and SHHHH Salvage Projects both accept donated bulk materials from companies, productions and individuals to redistribute them to artists, educators and non-profits; NY Wa$teMatch‘s Materials Exchange is a free online marketplace for the exchange of surplus goods and used equipment. Many more links to similar programs via the NYC Materials Exchange Development Program.
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