Building the Future with Remnants of the Past: Stardust Building Supplies offers quality gently used building materials for reuse
Mar 31, 2015 08:13PM
● By By Eric Sells
Stardust Building Supplies provides quality salvaged and gently-used building materials for reuse. Executive Director Karen Jayne says, “Our vision is one without waste; sustainable communities where all resources are reused and redistributed back into the community. The focus is on reuse. Taking in donated building materials to be sold at our three home improvement thrift stores supports Gifts in Kind, which supplies essential items including toiletries, housewares and building supplies to nonprofits in Maricopa County.”
The stores are open to the general public, and the materials they sell are priced at about 50 to 80 percent lower than major home improvement retail stores. “We have a wide gamut of folks who shop with us: DIY, people committed to the environment and who want to keep things out of landfills, landlords, people who want to renovate and low-income folks, because our pricing is very low,” says Jayne.
Stardust Building Supplies began in 1996 when a group of contractors, including Jerry Bisgrove, noticed that lots of usable building materials ended up in landfills from remodeling projects. During a remodeling project, Bisgrove asked a friend to take whatever she wanted. When he returned, the friend had gutted the house. She put some materials in her home, sold some and gave some to people in need. Bisgrove was immediately inspired to start a nonprofit around this concept, and he provided the seed money.
Jayne says the organization has helped 120,000 people so far, delivering 4 million pounds of reused materials just last year. Even stores such as Walmart, Home Depot and Bed Bath and Beyond donated materials that are discontinued, out of style or have damaged packaging to Stardust, which distributes it to other organizations and purposes from homeless to housing at no cost.
She says, “We’ve helped veterans returning to work. If they are going into construction and need tools, we give it to them at no cost.” They even distribute toilet paper, towels and diapers to help other nonprofit organizations so they don’t have to use their limited resources to purchase those things.
The main source of Stardust’s material is the building and remodeling industry. “A deconstruction opportunity gives us a call and speaks with us. Most times, someone will go out and make a site visit to the home or business, because some materials are not reusable, such as kitchen cabinets made before 1980,” says Jayne. “We assess the material, and if we can deconstruct it, we set up a time to do the work. If it’s a kitchen, we will send one team, or we can do a full house deconstruction.”
A community donation drive is currently underway to make it easier for people to donate in close central locations where Stardust will pick up the materials. All donations are tax deductible. Jayne says, “We are also building relationships with local retailers that would probably throw these materials away so they donate them, instead.”
Anyone that makes a donation will receive a 10 percent off coupon on their next purchase. For more information, visit StardustBuilding.org.
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