Three Reasons To Divert Building Materials From Landfills

A non-profit organization devoted to diverting building materials from landfills has expanded to the Central Valley, providing more green options for builders, potential tax savings for property owners and employment opportunities in the field of "deconstruction."

The ReUse People salvages building materials - everything from toilets to landscaping to drywall - and packages it up to resell at bargain prices. The goal is to deconstruct rather than demolish a building.

Alex Breitler of The Stockton Record describes it as "watching a house being built in reverse" in this story about ReUse's expansion to the Valley. The ReUse People, which is based in Oakland, recently opened a warehouse in Sacramento to sell the recycled merchandise to do-it-yourselfers, other nonprofits and the budget conscious.

The organization has recycled about 270,000 tons of building material since it debuted in 1993, said Kristin Williams, the group's Central Valley manager.
Williams said the primary mission is to divert construction material from landfills, but also noted that property owners can get a pretty tidy tax write off and that contractors, who are struggling in this real estate recession, can use deconstruction to generate work.

Founded in 1993, the organization's best year was 2008 when 200 houses in California were deconstructed. The ReUse People will teach the deconstruction trade through courses. If interested, there's more on the Web site.
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