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Need to donate building materials in NYC? - Big Reuse

Need to donate building materials in NYC?

The construction industry is the world's largest consumer of raw materials. Where do those materials end up when they are discarded in the construction process or after the destruction of the building? Well, according to the EPA, 145 million tons of construction and demolition (C&D) material heads straight to the landfill every year.

In the US alone, 600 million tons of C&D waste were generated in 2018–for comparison, that’s more than twice what the public generates in waste every year. What happens with that material can have a major impact on our environment.

The good news: at least 80% of C&D debris are recyclable or reusable! This includes materials like concrete, wood, asphalt, gypsum (drywall), metals, bricks and components like doors and windows. When you salvage and reuse it has a range of positive impacts which include:

  • Reducing the amount of new raw materials needed in future construction 
  • Improving worker safety and public health by reducing air-pollutants associated with demolition 
  • Preserving unique architectural elements which contribute to our sense of local culture and history 

So what do you with unwanted building materials? 

Consider donating them to Big Reuse! Salvaging building materials is a huge part of our mission. We accept donations of everything from hardware to bricks and flooring to plumbing fixtures to salvaged wood and doors.

For more details check out our guidelines below:

  • Architectural Features, Mantels, Ceilings & Moldings 
    • We accept:
      • Wood Mantels
      • Moldings in good condition 
      • Tin Ceilings with no rust, no holes
      • Railings & Staircases: straight sections only
    • Contact us for deconstruction of specialty items
  • Lumber & Construction Materials
    • We accept:
      • Dimensional lumber longer than 6 feet
      • Full sheets of plywood and MDF
    • We do not accept: 
      • Vinyl Siding, Sheetrock
  • Flooring, Bricks, Tiles & Pavers
    • We accept:
      • Bricks and pavers: palletized and wrapped, drop offs only
      • Large quantities: with approval 
      • Hardwood floor: minimum 500 square feet
  • Doors, Windows & Window Coverings
    • We accept: 
      • Doors: interior, exterior, wood, steel, sliding glass, french, patio, security
      • Windows: thermo pane or double insulated glass, stained glass
      • Window coverings: blinds (no metal), shutters, shades or drapes
    • We do not accept: 
      • Flat panel hollow core doors, storm windows or vinyl windows

If you are working on a deconstruction project or donating large materials we ask that you fill out our online form first so we can coordinate a pick up or drop off! Habitat for Humanity's ReStore in Queens also accepts donated building materials.

If you are an architect, preservationist, city planner or a person interested in deconstruction and reuse, check out CR0WD and consider becoming a part of their sustainable building community! CR0WD researches and advocates for local policies that support sustainable deconstruction and waste diversion. 

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