30 Mar

Big Reuse: Reusing materials to keep them out of our landfills

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Big Reuse is New York City’s only non-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials. Over 19,000 tons of building materials are thrown out every day in New York City. These materials are clogging our landfills, releasing carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and creating a need for more materials to be manufacturing. That’s not sustainable!

Big Reuse’s mission is to keep these materials out of the landfill, while offering deep discounts on their resale. Their reuse centers have everything from panel doors to high end refrigerators, window shutters to reclaimed lumber, and kitchen cabinet sets to salvaged flooring. Ultimately, they are working towards reducing the amount of unnecessary construction and demolition (C&D) waste clogging out landfills, which contributes to pollution, greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, climate change and global warming. The GHG emissions prevented by their diversion efforts are equivalent to saving 360,000 gallons of gasoline!

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All proceeds help support Big Reuse’s environmental initiatives around the city, including Big Compost- retired scaffolding program for raised garden beds at community gardens, Big Gives Back- donation program for non-profits and community groups, Big Blooms, NYC Compost Project, and more! Their Big Gives Back program has given away $300,000 worth of materials benefiting NYC’s community and environment; their Food Scrap Drop-off program serviced 1000 households per week in 2015; their Big Blooms program has given away 5,345 pieces of retired lumber to build to build 2,226 garden beds in over 1,269 community and school gardens; and they have processed 765,477 pounds of food scraps and accepted 237,554 pounds of wood chips and leaf matter in 2015- that’s over 1 million pounds of organic matter diverted from landscapes.

Big Reuse states that “Reuse is a logical and environmentally friendly alternative to discarding durable materials. Reuse just makes sense, economically and environmentally.”

For more information, visit their website at http://www.bigreuse.org/what-we-do

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