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Reducing Construction Waste

One of the goals of the Green on Gift home is to minimize the amount of construction waste sent to the landfill. This has taken different forms throughout construction. To widen the master closet we had to move a structurally unnecessary beam. That beam found new life as the header for the closet opening (photos below). Other times, we simply used curbside recycling for construction material boxes and beverage containers.

Some items had no immediate alternative use, however, and for those we called in the Atlanta-based nonprofit Lifecycle Building Center (LBC). The LBC runs a retail building material reuse center that’s a self-sufficient alternative to material disposal. The retail store is on the southwest portion of the Beltline in a cavernous old warehouse that’s well worth a visit–they have collected everything from vintage doorknobs to showroom displays. The proceeds from the sale of donated materials fund grassroots community outreach programs that increase demand for green building goods and services.

LBC’s founder is Adam Deck. We worked together at Southface, another Atlanta nonprofit that promotes green building and was my first job out of college. Adam is actually one of two people I interviewed with over the phone from my senior year at Oberlin. For years I’ve watched the LBC team grow, and it was pretty awesome to finally work with them on my own house. They picked up the refrigerator, kitchen countertop, kitchen cabinets, kitchen sink, bathroom vanity, bathroom sink, exterior door, and some interior doors. Green Shortz was there when LBC picked up the materials, and the video is well worth a watch!

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