BMRA NEWS   mid-November  2018

 - news from the BMRA on the deconstruction and reuse industry - 
Building Material Reuse Association - "working to create a vibrant building materials economy as part of a world without waste".

Invest in Reuse!

We in Reuse know well the benefits. Most of us spend a good portion of our time telling others about those benefits. So we know that its a very wise investment. Its an investment in the future of our communities, our resources, and our people.

Not everyone knows how wise and investment it is however, how much of a return on investment reuse can be. Whether its decon creating 7 jobs for every one in demo, further employment through reuse centers, or the ripple effect on our environment from helping to end the senseless cycle of materials waste, we have a tremendous impact. 

However, one of the thoughts I hear again and again in our industry is that it lacks investment, lacks the kind of funding that other industries have had to bring them into the mainstream. Our industry has been pioneered by individuals and small organizations [see below for one great example] but it will only be as we all pull together to find ways to scale up our impact and our "clout" that we will reach the tipping point. We at the BMRA are doing all we can to be the connector, the hub, and the spokes people for our industry. We need to be a strong national organization to continue to address our common interests and our common needs. And though we can't create the kind of national investments we may want for our industry today, we can tomorrow. We just have to get started.

That is why I am a part of the BMRA, and why I embraced the opportunity to lead this organization. Because I believe that we can build this industry far beyond anything we have dreamed of. The first step is to build the capacity of this organization to leverage more dramatic change, more funding opportunities, and more investment from governments, businesses, and people. And to take this next step the BMRA needs its own investors. 

So I am happy to announce that the BMRA has just launched its Year End Fundraising Campaign and is hoping to raise $20,000 by years end to so we go into our next year stronger then ever!

Check out our site here for more info, but for now here are some of our goals for this coming year!


Invest in Reuse:  Our Goals for 2019

  • Rebuild our certification program to allow dozens of cities to engage professionals they can trust.
  • Reframe our curriculum so our member organizations can use it to offer local workforce employment trainings to get more people into deconstruction.
  • Create a continuing Education program to make sure that our members are keeping up to date with the latest research and best practices.
  • Advocate in cities across the country for deconstruction and salvage goals, barrier removal, and funding opportunities.
  • Work with partners to introduce key legislative and ordinance opportunities that will encourage reuse and deconstruction nationally.

Please help us spread the word about our campaign by joining us on Facebook and reposting, or even better start a Facebook Fundraiser in our name! You can also invest is us through Amazon Smile as you do your holiday shopping, or of course, please give directly if you are able. 

 Invest! in the future of Reuse!


Honoring Dan Knapp

This year at Decon 18 the BMRA honored Dan Knapp with our first Lifetime Achievement Award.
We chose to create this award to start recognizing all of the amazing folks that imagined and have spent decades building [investing in] our industry. Dan was one of the first to pop into our heads as we thought about this award.
As many of you know Dan was co-founder of Urban Ore in Berkley California. He was also one of the founders of the Used Building Materials Association which morphed into the BMRA. So we owe a lot to Dan and the others, our org and the support we offer to our industry may not be here without him.

Dan has been a leader, teacher and guide to many of the folks that have followed in his footsteps. His motto "To end the age of Waste" has been a simple and clear message that has inspired us all; and though it is a monumental task he helped start a monumental movement. Its good to remember as we talk about Zero Waste, and Circular Economy, and LEED, that back in the day there were just folks like Dan making deals with the dump to divert whatever they could and dedicating their lives to making a difference. Dan was there before most of us, and we owe a lot to his vision. 
"Dan has set up a national archives project for founders of the recycling industry.; working with Neil Seldman of the Institute for Local Self-Reliance.  Recycling is the only industry we know of that began life as a social movement.  It was founded as a product of Earth Day 1970 based on environmental sustainability and social justice, and it turned into an industry.  So Urban Ore and ILSR set up an oral history project, the Old Guardeners, and Neil found a grant and other support that helped us convene a by-invitation oral history gathering of about 25 or so recyclers in upstate New York in 2007.  Dan developed a set of questions, and people interviewed each other.  It was filmed by Rick Anthony’s kids working with Neil’s kids.  Now those recordings are being transcribed by Wynne Coplea in Springfield, Illinois.  Wynne is the former recycling coordinator for Springfield and for several years was the president of the Illinois Recycling Association." - Mary Lou Van Deventer.
Nice to know he's is still at it and still inspiring folks. 

Thanks again Dan for the lifetime of investing in reuse!

BTW - the BMRA will now be giving the "Dan Knapp Lifetime Achievement Award" annually at our conference! 

(By the way, we'd love to include YOUR voice in future issues of this BMRA newsletter.  Let us know if you have ideas for topics, or if you'd like to contribute an article!)
Please keep the BMRA in mind during the holidays! AmazonSmile donates to Building Materials Reuse Association when you do your holiday shopping at Smile for BMRA.
Look for your local reuse center on Amazon Smile too!

Buzz-saw: news in & around our industry...

Six Ways to Certify your Green Building
Kim Slowey of reports on six green building certifications beyond LEED that can be of use for highlighting the environmentally friendly features of your building project.

BMRA Sponsor REDF Offers Cool Holiday Merchandise
REDF is a philanthropic venture funding organization, helping social enterprises get on their feet or take things to a new level.  They've even helped out BMRA this past year.  You can support them in their mission of supporting these social enterprises by buying gifts through their clients.  Take a look here.

Building Data Can Foster Reuse
Building information system platform Madaster believes that "waste is material without an identity". They offer services to individuals and companies to record, archive, organize and publicize information about materials in buildings. 

AIBD Invites Feedback on Building Codes
The American Institute of Building Design is currently working on revisions to the International Residential Code which ends up governing a lot of residential construction. They are inviting input by December 1, so get your code ideas together!

OSHA Offers Options for Safety Conversations
Safety is an important issue in any deconstruction or salvage business. Talking about safety is not always easy or fun, however. OSHA takes this into account in this document, called "Better Safety Conversations." Generate new ideas for how to approach safety in your organization.

Deconstructor Wanted in Bristol, Vermont
Check out this posting for a deconstruction job in Vermont.

Diversity as Part of a Sustainable Brand
Writer Shannon Valdes makes a persuasive pitch that strong communications and action around diversity in your organization can contribute to your sustainable brand, as well as help your business be a better business.


Send us a link, photo, or article about what you find that's relevant to our industry to You can also join our LinkedIn BMRA Group and post items there. 
Become a BMRA member!
Please remember, we depend on you to keep us going. Membership is the foundation of our organization; we can’t do what we do without our members financial support. Please renew or join today and help us to keep building a vibrant building materials reuse economy.
BMRA News is published monthly, typically in the first half of the month.  Submission deadline for articles and member notes is the 25th of the month preceding publication.  Submissions and commentary should be addressed to editor Dirk Wassink at
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