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Non-Profit Sells Donated Building Materials

 

Mike Gable, Executive Director
Construction Junction
214 North Lexington Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15208
 412-243-5025
 http://www.constructionjunction.org

  Interview Highlights

  • Pittsburgh's only non-profit retailer of reusable building materials.
  • They are a non-profit so that means all the materials that people choose not to throw away are eligible for a tax deduction by donating them to Construction Junction.
  • The object is to prevent people from throwing everything into a landfill.
  • People who choose not to throw things away and make them available at a very reasonable cost to their neighbors is a very positive things to do.
  • Doors are one of their biggest selling items.
  • This first quarter sales are 30% greater than last year.
  • Everyone on the staff is getting paid and getting benefits.
  • They pick up materials from construction sites, homeowners, etc.
  • It is so satisfying to have a job where people thank you for being here.
  • They cover all of their operating expenses thru the sale of materials.
  • Once in awhile they go to foundations to seek grants for capital investments.
  • Construction Junction has attracted others organizations to recycle items.
    • Free Ride is a non-profit that takes donated bikes and gives them to those in need while teaching them how to fix-up the bike.
    • Creative Reuse Pittsburgh works with companies that have discards from the manufacturing process and uses the material as art supplies for schools.
  • If you are thinking about starting a venture like this be sure to talk to as many people who are running one now and ask a lot of questions.
  • You can find organizations like this by contacting : Building Materials Reuse Association.
  • Investigate your local contactors to see what they are currently doing with material like this.
  • They are working on having an on-the-ground component as well as a policy and advocacy arm.
  • They have 2 companies in the building that are for-profit companies that recycles home appliances and another that recycles computers. There is a charge for recycling these items responsibly.
  • Describes itself as Pittsburgh's only non-profit retailer of reusable building materials. Deconstruction, materials for sale ($50 for a $250 Murray Feiss chandelier), recycling (collected musical instruments for Pay It Forward charity in Feb.), training, public education events.
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