Photo by Incase
There are tons of serviceable materials discarded from construction and renovation projects every day. Sometimes, a thoughtful or enterprising individual will find a way to reuse a particular material in a new construction project. LEED encourages the reuse of building materials as well, but unless you are well connected — or just very lucky — it can be difficult to find a source for reclaimed and recycled materials. However, websites are beginning to connect interested designers with people who have available materials for sale — or sometimes even for free.
Recycled bowling alley table by Stranger Furniture
EcoHome pointed out a new network called C&D Material Trader, which focuses on materials for building trades. It is a startup, and there are only networks in New York and North Carolina, but others should be coming along soon. Eventually, the site hopes to be expand down to city or region level, allowing more local selections to be listed.
At JetsonGreen, Preston has pointed out another site called Planet Reuse which has hundreds of items from across the country. Planet Reuse is great fun to browse through and see what materials strike your imagination. It lists everything nationally, however, so an intriguing item might not be that close by. On the other hand, it allows designers to look farther afield.
The LEED radius for locally-sourced materials is 500 miles, and that allows a lot of range to find things. Even if something is farther away, reusing a material that has special character can provide enough of a benefit to be worth considering.
If you know of other sites helping make these connections, please share those with us, too. Hopefully more and more items being listed will help make these networks more useful all-around and keep more useful materials from being landfilled.