Building REsources

Primary Source

--excerpted from the SF Independent


BuildingREsources on 3rd Street is a unique nonprofit center that recycles used building materials.

photo: Chris Carlsson

Building REsources is the first and only nonprofit used building material center in San Francisco. A unique mixture of old-fashioned "junkyard," building-supply warehouse, and educational facility, Building REsources offers a huge selection of material at prices well below those found anywhere else. Hundreds of doors and windows, bathtubs, sinks, and lighting fixtures, as well as a huge assortment of random and unusual "stuff" can be found any given day at the store. B/R also stocks a large selection of hardware, lumber, brick, tile and stone.

The materials at Building REsources are constantly changing, with new arrivals coming in every day from throughout the city. This is due to the fact that everything in the 1 1/2 acre yard is donated by you, the people of San Francisco. Program manager Matthew Levesque describes the facility as "a temporary home for wayward materials." Much of the material collected comes in from residential and commercial remodeling and building jobs. "There is a tremendous amount of good quality materials being discarded every day in this city. Almost every construction site has leftover or reusable materials that go straight to the dump. We try to intercept as much of it as possible and make it available to the community at very low cost," says Levesque.

The goal of the Building REsources program is to find practical ways to recycle materials and save the community money in the process. Diverting material from the landfill saves expensive disposal costs for the city, and the material recovered goes right back out to help rebuild neighborhoods. Support for the program has been enthusiastic from both customers and donors. The City of San Francisco Office of Recycling has given Building REsources assistance since its inception in 1994, as have a number of community-based foundations.

For more information, call 285-7814. Building REsources

To learn more about recycling in San Francisco and the Bay Area, check out Jeremy Kaller's film The Recyclergy

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