Some of you have been asking why Build It Green became Big Reuse. Since 2005 – NYC’s first not-for-profit store for reclaimed building materials and furniture – Build It Green kept almost 40 million pounds of construction materials and furniture out of landfills through our Queens and Brooklyn Reuse Centers. Sadly Build It Green was part of larger non-profit that had to close its doors.
In 2015, we created Big Reuse as a new independent 501c3 non-profit in order to purchase the assets of Build It Green and relaunch! Our independence required a new name – Big Reuse was born.
As Big Reuse, our mission is now more focused. We are dedicated to reducing climate change by helping NYC get to Zero Waste and creating green jobs through social enterprise. Along the way, we provide thousands of New Yorkers with quality, reused materials and compost to improve their homes and communities.
We reduce the environmental toll of landfilling reusable materials
NYC’s construction and demolition industry throws away nearly 7,000,000 tons of building materials annually – that is 38 million lbs each day! These materials clog our landfills, release carbon into the atmosphere, and create an artificial need for more materials to be manufactured. By salvaging usable items from demolition and remodel projects and reintroducing them to the market, we take a small step toward eliminating these significant environmental costs. Our goal is to demonstrate another option for materials diversion and hopefully inspire the city to require recycling and reuse for construction and demolition waste.
Food waste is a dangerous source of greenhouse gases when it is buried in landfills. But organic matter that is properly composted turns into a nutrient-rich soil amendment with minimal carbon emission. Through our partnership with the Department of Sanitation NYC Compost Project, Big Reuse diverts over 1 million pounds of organic matter from landfills every year. We compost the materials locally and use it for community greening projects. We worked with 750 volunteers to put the compost to good use through street tree care program and support of over 150 community greening projects, Big Reuse’s compost directly improves our city’s soil.
We are socially responsible
Substituting salvage for demolition allows us to generate green, living wage jobs and job training. Big Reuse provides 26 hard-working individuals with a friendly and intellectually stimulating work environment, a living wage, and health benefits. We provide a training work site for over 30 trainees each year for 3 months to a year depending on the program.
Net revenue from our Reuse Centers support local, environmental initiatives. Giving old items a second look helps to reduce our city’s dependence on raw material consumption. At each step, our emphasis is on contributing responsibly to our community.
We offer quality home and community improvement needs
Our reuse centers have everything from panel doors to high-end refrigerators, window shutters to reclaimed lumber, kitchen cabinet sets to salvaged flooring. We serve everyone from contractors and interior design professionals to renters looking to creatively maximize their apartment space.
Reuse treasures abound in our aisles. Shop for beauty. Shop for quality. Shop for the environment!