Environmental Coalition Plans to Salvage Materials From Vacant North St. Louis Buildings

By on August 9, 2018

From KBIA:  As more vacant buildings come down in north St. Louis next year, workers will be taking some of them apart to salvage and resell valuable architectural materials.

The Green City Coalition, a collaboration of government and nonprofit groups that aims to build green spaces in north St. Louis, plans to deconstruct 30 houses owned by the city’s Land Reutilization Authority.

The coalition recently received $40,000 from the Environmental Protection Agency and the Missouri Environmental Improvement and Energy Resources Authority. Some of the money will be used to determine how much the coalition can sell the salvaged materials for, what buildings are suitable for deconstruction and how many jobs the effort could create.

Deconstruction requires more labor and time than demolition, but it can create more jobs and is more environmentally friendly, said Laura Ginn, program manager for the Green City Coalition and the St. Louis Development Corporation.

“When you strategically disassemble a structure, there’s more opportunities to find and remediate environmental hazards,” Ginn said. “It would allow us to reduce the amount of waste we’re sending to landfills and you don’t have as much dust spreading through neighborhoods.”

Many buildings in north St. Louis contain distinct fixtures and materials that aren’t found in other cities, added Ginn.

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