Store to help divert construction debris from landfills

CHICAGO A non-profit organization called "The Reuse People" is taking apart properties piece by piece instead of flattening them with a wrecking ball. The process is called deconstruction. It costs more in time and money, but up to ninety-percent of building materials can be recovered and reused. The next step is to get the salvaged items into the hands of those who can use them.

A new retail store in the Brighton Park neighborhood called "The Rebuilding Exchange" could help connect the goods with people who need them.

"It's basically pennies on the dollar for what someone would be paying retail," said Ken Ortiz of The Reuse People.

The goal of the store is to divert construction debris from landfills and support sustainable building. It's a project of non-profit, The Delta Institute.

Elise Zelechowski of The Delta Institute said, "What happens in this space is there's some retail activity for the local community, for architects, for contractors. There's job training in deconstruction. There's educational workshops."

Anyone can purchase doors, windows, plumbing, cabinetry and virtually anything else you'd find in a home -- right down to the structural frame.

"The quality of some of the materials that we have here, you just can't buy in a retail warehouse operation like Home Depot," explained Ortiz. You just can't get 1903 lumber anymore."

The Rebuilding Exchange is celebrating its grand opening on Friday, February 13, 2009 from 6pm to 10pm.

3335 West 47th Street

Chicago, Illinois

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