Don’t Demolish—Deconstruct

As we get closer to America Recycles Day, November 15, I wstuff-in-a-landfillanted to talk about a BIG recycling opportunity that often gets missed.

Everyone has seen the pile of cabinets, appliances, light fixtures, countertops, flooring, carpeting, etc. that accompanies a remodeling project. Most of what is in that heap can be recycled or reused—and if donated to a qualified 501(c)3 charity, can be claimed on taxes as a charitable donation at fair market value. While deconstruction does cost more than demolition, and usually takes longer since the materials are being carefully salvaged, the advantagestove-and-fridges of tax savings and environmental sustainability can outweigh those disadvantages

Located in Fairfax, DeConstruction Services, LLC has had over 1,000 deconstruction projects in the area since 2004, donating the property owner’s material to The Rebuild Warehouse in Springfield. According to Amy Hughes, V.P. Human Resources, DeConstruction Services has saved 25,656 trees. This translates to 5440 football-sized plots of plantation pine trees and 192 tons of greenhouse gases not produced. On the economic side, the value of the property owner donations of reclaimed used building materials has added up to approximately $24 million.

Second Chance, located in Baltimore, is another large-scale deconstruction company that does projects in Fairfax County. They are actually a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that, according to their website,  provides “people, materials and the environmenrebuild_salvaged_kitchent with a second chance.” They deconstruct buildings and homes, salvage usable materials and have a retail space for those items in Baltimore. Additionally, with the revenue generated, they provide “job training and workforce development for those with employment obstacles in the Baltimore region.”

Whether your project is a smaller bathroom or kitchen remodel or a whole house major reconstruction, consider deconstructing rather than demolishing. Also check out available rebuild_lumbersalvaged materials for the construction phase.

Locally, The Rebuild Warehouse in Springfield, along with Habitat for Humanity’s ReStores in Alexandria and Chantilly accept—and offer—a wide range of building materials.

For a complete list of deconstruction advantages, go to





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