The ReUse Contest Evolves

Fourth of July at The ReUse PeopleThe fourth of July is one of my favorite holidays. It not only marks the beginning of a great human experiment in liberty and individual freedom, it celebrates an evolution of political thought spanning some 2,500 years—Aristotle, Cicero, Cato, the Magna Carta, John Locke, Edmond Burke and many others—which has delivered to Americans the most envied way of life in the world.

We in the building-materials reuse business are participating in a different kind of evolution—the evolution of practices that have become vitally important to our ability to sustain that way of life. Humans started on this quest by reusing stones and timbers, then lumber, doors and windows, then lighting and plumbing fixtures. As soon as a new product is developed, we find creative ways to reuse it. Thousands of people purchase doors, windows, appliances, lighting and so forth, and thousands more give them extended life.

We began the Reuse Contest for one reason: to show people how easily, inexpensively and attractively they can reuse salvaged materials. Over the years the contest has seen classy kitchen installations, sheds and cabins, furniture, room additions, repurposed shipping containers, chicken coops, decks and lots more.

In each of our contests over the past four years, diverse materials have been adapted to more and more varied uses. This year's contest -- our first national effort -- already includes interesting art projects and various kinds of structures. Many of our partner stores have received over a dozen entries to date, with more to come. The response at other stores is lagging a bit, possibly due to extreme weather, which has undoubtedly inhibited the purchase of materials, not to mention the physical work involved in actually building something. Of course, many potential entrants are still working on their projects -- we've barely reached the height of the home-improvement season.

Even if you are miles away from one of our partner stores, you can still email your entry to TRP. You do not have to buy the used materials from a TRP or partner store -- your project just needs to created with mostly used materials. Below is a list of the stores participating in this year's contest. If the store where you shop is not a participant, please let us know and we will invite them aboard next year. This, like our country's founding, is an evolutionary process.

2012 ReUse Contest Members
Store Location Contact Telephone eMail addresses
Habitat ReStore
Orange, CA Karen Thoms 714.434.6200
The ReUse People
Pacoima, CA Jeff Cockerell 818.581.7553
The ReUse People
Oakland, CA Brandy Sosa 510.557.1568
Sacramento, CA Josh Daniels 916.399.8900
Second Chance
Boise, ID Chris Thomas 208.914.3940
Habitat ReStore
Kansas City, MO Jarron Paronot 816.231.6889, X 221
ReBuilding Exchange
Chicago, IL Meegan 773.252.2234
Habitat ReStore
Charleston, WV Amy McLaughlin 304.720.0141 x 22
ReUsable Green Works
West Haven, CT Pete (jr.) Mastriano 203.410.8171
ReUse Warehouse
Durham, NC Rick Morgan 919.219.4913
Salvage Too - Rockford Reuse Center
Rockford, IL Jane McMillan 815.963.6236, x 249
Demo Depot
Prospect, PA Jack Brown 724.331.3087
Habitat for Humanity
    Northwest Harris County ReStore
Houston, TX Carolyn Stevens 713.818.8595

First-place winners at the local store level will automatically be entered in the national contest with a chance to win additional prizes -- from $250 to $1,000 in gift certificates redeemable at local reuse stores.

So get busy! We're eager to see what you can do.

Special Events Reminders
August 20-22: Community Action National Convention, New York. TRP will have a booth.

November 13: TRP is co-sponsoring, with WasteCap, a day long course on Construction and Demolition Waste Recycling in San Francisco. Participants will leave as WasteCap Accredited Professionals with the skills necessary to develop, manager, monitor, document and promote successful recycling programs. This course is also eligible for 7.5 CEU's through USGBC for LEED Green Associates and APs. More information to be announced.

November 14-16: San Francisco Green Build Show. TRP will have a booth. Complimentary tickets to this event will be available from TRP on a first come first served basis.

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse has received a shipment of 2x4 and 3x6 rough sawn lumber from a house built in 1925. Beautiful stuff!



At the Los Angeles (Pacoima) warehouse we have a stainless steel 30-inch Wolf range, about 10 years old and in great condition. Also, a Koler white porcelain pedestal sink, and a modern hand-blown glass wall sconce. Come see these beauties and more.



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