The importance of sustainability has become extremely relevant in today’s world. Most of us already recycle, metals, plastics and cardboard but did you know that entire kitchens can be recycled too? Especially when dealing with luxury cabinetry brands and top-tier appliances and fixtures there is often a “second life” for these when they are new or gently used.
According to the NYC Department of Sanitation, facilities for processing construction and demolition debris handle over 2 million tons of waste per year, representing about 20 percent of all trash. Some environmentally minded homeowners, designers and contractors however choose to take things apart more carefully — a process known as deconstruction. They then may donate the materials to salvage operations, so they can be reused by others. For budget-conscious homeowners willing to do a little hunting, and to be flexible about design decisions, that means there’s a ready supply of high-quality building materials available for surprisingly low prices.
In NYC and CT we have worked with buyers of multimillion-dollar residences who are willing to do whatever it takes to create a home that reflects their personal taste so our organizing and moving coordinators at In Order to Succeed have seen brand-new or like-new kitchens and bathrooms removed. Unfortunately, the traditional way of dealing with unwanted appliances and materials is to demolish and dispose.
Fortunately, there are organizations that provide eco-friendly demolition and repurposing. A leader in the field since 2005 is Renovation Angel. Steve Feldman, a recovered addict of thirty-two years, came up with the idea for recycling kitchens and baths when he witnessed the demolition of the Queen of Iran’s 10,000 square foot residence in Greenwich, CT. He was fundraising at the time and thought “why not recycle the luxury kitchens, fixtures, and furniture from homes being demolished and earn the money rather than ask for it.” So, here is how their process works…Renovation Angel offers a free assessment so homeowners may determine their financial upside. If a kitchen is approved for donation, they provide white-glove removal, pack, and transport, free of charge for luxury kitchens, appliances, bath fixtures, furniture, home decor, and architectural elements. This turn-key process is completed most often in one day by insured, experienced professionals. The money saved on the demolition and disposal fees may go toward the remodeling project while the removal, transportation, and resale of these items creates construction, logistics, and retail jobs as these items are prepared for re-purposing. Steve says that this is how to “get rid of your kitchen for GOOD”.
Now located in Fairfield, NJ, Renovation Angel sells recovered kitchens, baths and furniture from their 43,000 square foot showroom as well as online at www.renovationangel.com. Proceeds go toward protecting the earth, creating jobs and supporting charitable programs that focus on addiction recovery, youth-at-risk, job training, and social entrepreneurship.
Since Renovation Angel is a 501(c)(3) organization, product donations are tax-deductible. Estimated donor savings range from $10,000 to $20,000 or more depending on the age, condition, and number of items. “We give people an estimate of the value of the items they donate,” explains Steve Feldman. The organization also has the names of appraisers, since the IRS requires that property donations valued at $5,000 or more be verified by an independent entity. Donated goods are charitable contributions homeowners get a full tax deduction for the fair market value. Restoration Angel recovers and sells some 600 kitchens per year from homes across the country and operates throughout the U.S and Canada.
Other companies in the New York area specializing in this field of repurposed kitchens are BIG Reuse and ReStore (a division of Habitat for Humanity New York City) Restore’s Queens location will pick up donations without charge, but don’t offer deconstruction. Even without the deconstruction option, homeowners may experience savings on removal and disposal fees that would otherwise be charged by their contractors.
George Oliphant, host of NBC Universal’s Home renovation series George to the Rescue teams up with top designers and contractors to help deserving families and communities with much needed home renovations. He says: “A big part of what makes a kitchen renovation so expensive is that high quality items come at a premium. Natural stone countertops, custom cabinetry & top of the line appliances are made to last and shouldn’t end up in a landfill just because they don’t meet the taste of the homeowner. The beautiful thing about recycling a high-end kitchen vs throwing it away, is you’re giving savvy consumers an opportunity to incorporate luxury elements in their kitchen that would normally be out of their budget. This is a win/win for all parties involved. The client/GC get a tax right off for recycling plus they are doing their part to protect our environment & the new owners get superior caliber materials at below market value”.
As part of our company’s commitment to sustainability, In Order to Succeed is offering Recycling Evaluations to homeowners who are renovating, remodeling, and relocating within the NYC tri-state area. We’ll source the best charities to receive contributions, outline the recycling process and whenever possible, provide estimated donation values.
Reusing and repurposing makes solid sense from an environmental perspective and many people wouldn’t be able to afford a lot of these products at retail prices. Remodeling in this sustainable manner requires some retro-fitting and compromise but it’s an option to seriously consider if a kitchen has not yet lived fully. A smart and socially responsible way to create new spaces with gently used high end products.
In the secondary market, consumers find that most items are priced at about half of what they would cost new. The trade-off is that there is more work involved in reuse, because you have to make what you find work rather than having new cabinets or floors built to your exact measurements. And the discards, however high-end, may not come with a warranty. Still many find the pros outweigh the cons. Reusing things just makes sense from an environmental perspective and many people wouldn’t be able to afford a lot of these products at retail prices. Remodeling in this sustainable manner requires some retro-fitting and compromise. It’s an option to seriously consider for kitchens that have not lived fully and a smart way to create new spaces with gently used high end products.