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Burlington Program Gets $53,452 EPA Grant To Reduce Building Materials Waste

Release Date: 10/21/2005
Contact Information:

Contact: Sheryl Rosner (, EPA Office of Public Affairs, (617) 918-1865

For Immediate Release: October 21, 2005; Release # sr051017

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $53,452 to ReCycle North, of Burlington, Vt. for its program to reduce the amount of waste in building construction. The award was part of EPA Innovations Pilot Grant program, which encourages innovative pilot programs testing new strategies to protect the environment and public health.

The Vermont not for profit that received the grant will develop a national train-the-trainer program for building deconstruction and the use of reclaimed building materials in new residential construction. The partnership brings together a committed group of "Building Materials Reuse" professionals and draws from more than 10 years of experience in this emerging field.

"This grant will help support and encourage deconstruction and materials reuse, providing environmental benefits by reducing greenhouse gas emissions from landfills and reducing energy and resource consumption by extracting resources from old building materials," said Robert W. Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office.

The project partners ReCycle North, Habitat for Humanity, Penn State University's Building Materials Reuse Association and Yestermorrow Design/Build School will develop a curriculum and present two workshops in April 2006 in the Burlington area.

The workshops will include a combination of classroom instruction and actual "deconstruction" of local buildings to demonstrate the value of reusable materials and to give participants hands on-experience of the "deconstruction experience." The class will also visit ReCycle North's Building Materials Center, a retail store that sells salvaged and donated building materials.

EPA has estimated that 92 percent of the 136 million tons of building-related construction and demolition waste is generated in this country each year is from renovation and demolition activities with about 20 to 30 percent reused or recycled. The goal of this pilot is to develop a formal training program that can be transferred to other accredited educational organizations, such as community colleges, trade schools, and union apprentice programs. Currently there is no single source educational program for building deconstruction and materials reuse.

ReCycle North's professional crew deconstructs buildings slated for demolition and salvages reusable materials to be sold at the Building Materials Center located in Burlington. ReCycle North's fees for deconstructing buildings are often less than the cost of demolition because ReCycle North salvages and reuses almost all materials from buildings, reducing disposal costs. Building owners can also receive significant tax benefits for donating materials to a nonprofit organization.

More information on the group is available from:

Communities affiliated with Habitat for Humanity as well as other communities that develop deconstruction and materials reuse programs will benefit by an increase in recycling of recovered materials, availability of low cost materials, more affordable housing, job creation and a cleaner environment.

For more information on the agency's innovations workgroup, visit the agency's web site at

Related Information:
Innovations Initiative Pilots
Reuse in New England
Donation Programs - Building Materials Resources/Reuse Centers