May 16, 2019 – “Using Salvage Stores to Improve Your Home on the Cheap” by Judy Colbert in the Money section of Next Avenue
After colorful commentary that surfaces advantages of using old materials in new designs, Colbert writes:
Pete Theodore, marketing manager for Second Chance, in Baltimore, cites another advantage of salvage: “It’s an environmentally sustainable practice. It saves raw materials and provides waste stream diversion.”
Unlike landfills and incineration processes, the practice of reclaiming, recovering and reusing building materials is ecologically sustainable and environmentally sound, Theodore notes. Deconstruction reduces demolition debris overloading landfills and provides renewed materials that preserve the region’s rich architectural heritage,” he adds.
Within the first three months of 2019, Theodore says his company diverted more than 3 million pounds of materials from landfills. (Among the most interesting materials Second Chance has claimed: light fixtures and wooden benches from the old Philadelphia Convention Center.)
Doing Good for Workers
Some salvage shops, like Second Chance, do good in other ways. Second Chance’s workforce includes a number of ex-offenders. “We train them and give them work experience,” says Theodore. For instance, customer service manager Antonio Joson has been with Second Chance for a decade. Before that, he was incarcerated for a number of years and was shot five times. “We’re helping him start his own side business,” says Theodore….
Lauren A. Williams, a professional organizer, used to volunteer for Second Chance and says, “I regret not being able to afford a Victorian toilet bowl. Wudda made an awesome bird bath.”And she recalls seeing there a giant, tall, wrought iron bird cage from Berkeley, Calif. ‘I have no idea what I would have done with it, but OOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO,” Williams says.
It’s enough to give a person salvage envy.