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In 2008, the non-profit organization Delta Institute formally began working on a building material waste diversion initiative. As part of its larger mission to transform the Great Lakes into the vital center of the emerging green economy, Delta was interested in creating a regional green economy model that would turn the liability of building material waste into a community asset.
Working wide a wide range of stakeholders from the public and private sectors to dialogue about this issue, Delta initiated a market research study to evaluate opportunities in building material reuse and the emerging field of sustainable building deconstruction. Based on the data from this study, Delta procured project start-up funding, initiated a partnership with the deconstruction experts, The ReUse People of America, and launched Chicago's first building material reuse center in February 2009, the ReBuilding Exchange.
Through a partnership with The ReUse People of America and contractors in the area, the ReBuilding Exchange gets most of its donated materials from sustainable deconstruction projects. The ReBuilding Exchange also accepts donated materials from renovation projects, and occasionally new materials that would otherwise end up in the landfill. These materials are sold for a fraction of the cost of new, so they stay out of our landfills, and are available to residents at all income levels, particularly those who can't afford the rising costs of such materials.
We work hands-on with customers to maximize reuse opportunities for materials, providing creative ideas and technical know-how on executing a project. We believe that reclaimed building materials are assets and we are passionate about finding the best, cost-effective way to reuse them.
- Heather White
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