Building? Remodeling? Just Having Fun? Then Save Some Money and Save the Environment!

By PSU EcoMerge Capstone - 9:55 PM

Most people don't think about landfills or how much they really contribute to them.  When we hear numbers like 251 million tons of waste a year in produced in the United States people tend to glaze over.  It's too much to picture.  Well the construction industry makes about 40% of that waste which makes it one of the largest contributors out there.  To make it a little easier to picture imagine the average house, imagine your house.  That average 2,000 square foot house - your house - contributes 8,000 lbs of waste in its construction.  If there was a way to reduce that number would you do it? If there was a way to reduce that number and save money would you do that?

Thankfully there are places that help us do just that.  Although they are incredibly under utilized in the right now. Lucky for those of us in Portland we have a great place called The Rebuilding Center to fill that role.  They work on both ends of the supply chain.  They will actually help with the demolition of houses working their hardest to make sure everything that can be saved from that landfill is saved. When a house is demolished this way you...
All of that stuff is then kept and sold for those of us who are constructing something new.  Either from scratch or just adding in a new touch.  When we buy from places like this not only are the prices 50% to 90% off market price but we have removed these items from the waste stream.  Also when we do this we don't need to use the resources to create a  new item.  These prices also open up home improvement to those who might not be able to do it otherwise allowing people to improve their way of life.  Sounds like a win-win-win.


Sources:
http://www.rebuildingcenter.org/

https://greenbuildingelements.com/2009/01/08/home-constructions-dirty-secret-8000-lbs-of-waste-per-2000-square-foot-house/

http://www.sustainablebrands.com/news_and_views/waste_not/planetreuse-redirecting-building-waste-landfill-leed-projects


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