Yikes! That's low.
It has been only a bit more than a century since we started discarding buildings' remains. Prior to the advent of steam-powered machinery, dynamite and the wrecking ball, most building materials were salvaged as part of the deconstruction process and then re-purposed. Now, the de-construction industry is returning.
The Current State of Salvage...
Many materials do get salvaged:
- The most utilitarian - concrete, steel,
- The structural - columns, beams, trusses, lumber, bricks,
- The commonplace - doors, windows, lighting, siding, cabinets,
- The sublimely beautiful - architectural ornamentation, stained glass, formed metalwork, carved stone, terra cotta, fine woodwork.
There is so much value embodied in these things. Yet, with outdated retailing models, lack of use of technology, along with entrenched systems, processes, companies and industries, only a small percentage is being salvaged now. All have to be inspired and empowered to bring a renaissance to the world of building material salvage and reuse.
Landfills have enough waste. Wood reused keeps carbon in a stable state and not in the atmosphere. There is beauty and history and quality in what once was new. We can restore these things. The planet will be better for it.
YOU can help! YOU can benefit! YOU can be the front of the line!