Close to home, we toured the Our United Villages ReBuilding Center. The ReBuilding Center is a huge, warehouse-like facility that accepts the region’s largest volume of used building and remodeling materials. Their goal is to keep as much of this material as possible from ending up in a landfill. They even have their own DeConstruction Services unit, which can dismantle pretty much any building, salvaging up to 85% of its major components for reuse. Some materials, such as cement and drywall, end up getting crushed and recycled. Much of the remainder is available to the public at a very reasonable price. Everything from a small piece of trim to a huge timber beam from an old industrial building, plumbing fixtures, doors, windows, mantels, hardware…if it was in a building, you’ll probably find it here.
KEEN Utility partnered with Our United Villages in 2014. After donating 28 pairs of boots to the center’s full-time volunteers, they donated another 40 pairs of steel-toed shoes to establish a Volunteer Shoe Library. DeConstruction volunteers can check out a pair, sort of like you would at a bowling alley, only without the big heavy balls, cheap beer and greasy pizza. This keeps their tootsies safe and comfortable while they spend the day de-nailing lumber, stacking and bundling materials, grading lumber, and so on.