The Green Project moves huge quantities of building materials through our warehouse store each day. Our goal is to keep as much of these building materials out of landfills as we can. We estimate that we divert over 6 tons a day in materials.
But that is just the beginning estimate and we are currently working with Tulane Professor of Environmental Economics, Jay Shimshack, to create a scientifically based system to accurately measure the tonnage the Green Project diverts from area landfills.
At this time we have only investigated 2 categories of Green Project materials: lumber and doors.
Based on Dr. Shimshack’s calculations we have diverted 280 tons of materials just in the category of doors in the last year.
In the category of lumber products we have diverted 150 tons this past year.
This coming fall we will be looking carefully at the iron work and paint that we process to determine the tonnage we are diverting in those categories. And we will be tackling the study of other materials we handle which are more complex in their effect on landfills and the environment.
Some materials we bring in do not have value as usable building materials. For these we make every effort to find ways to “dispose” of them in the most environmentally appropriate ways that we can. For instance, waste paint which cannot be recycled is converted into an alternative fuel to be used in cement plants. The metal cans in which paint is packaged, and all other metal, is sent to a metal scrap dealer for recycling. We are currently working on recycling methods for wood products and for plastic paint cans. We will continue to work toward a goal of zero waste.
Please also see our page on carbon to learn about the life-cycle greenhouse gas emissions represented by the materials Green Project diverts and helps put back to use in our community.