Something Old into Something New... Using Salvaged and Recyclable Materials

 The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 136 million tons  of construction and demolition waste was generated in 1996. That's the last  time these figures were made available, and the numbers have almost certainly  risen in the 15 years since.  

 The data shows that the majority of the waste came from demolition and  renovation, while the rest came from new construction, with less than 30  percent of that waste salvaged for recycling.  

 Today, architectural salvage—which in simplest terms is the reclamation or reuse of architectural materials—is gaining popularity in our more environmentally-conscious society.  

 A Win-Win

 Remodeling with secondhand building materials has many fans. Some are owners of  historic houses who improve their homes by adding period elements. Others  follow green building practices and appreciate conserving resources and keeping  materials out of landfills. And still others are looking for quirky elements  that will break their homes out of cookie-cutter molds.  

 Materials used come from salvaged elements from buildings slated for demolition,  including homes, churches and commercial properties and may range from aged  barn wood flooring, furniture, doors, and marble fireplaces to claw foot tubs,  ornate radiators and handcrafted decorative hardware.  

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