Building material salvage, reuse, and recycling for homeowners

Many building materials have the potential to be salvaged and reused or recycled. In fact, about 85 percent of the materials in a typical demolition project could be salvaged and kept out of landfills. But currently, only about 30 percent of building materials are reused or recycled.

Hennepin County provides resources and incentives to homeowners and developers to deconstruct structures rather than demolish them and to salvage building materials. Deconstruction involves carefully dismantling buildings to salvage materials for reuse. Commonly salvaged building materials include old growth lumber, doors, flooring, cabinets, and fixtures.

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Deconstruction

How deconstruction works

In a deconstruction project, a building is taken apart mostly by hand, and materials are sorted into categories for efficient recycling and reuse.

Deconstruction prevents usable materials from going to the landfill, makes used building materials available to the community, provides additional jobs, and supports local reuse retailers.

It is important to plan ahead when considering deconstruction because the project could take longer to complete and could have increased labor costs. Ask your contractor if they can incorporate deconstruction into their projects. Contact olivia.cashman@hennepin.us if you have questions about deconstruction.

Deconstruction incentive program

Hennepin County has funding available for the complete removal or major renovation of residential properties that use deconstruction techniques to remove reusable building materials. Homeowners and developers can receive up to $5,000 to help offset the additional time and labor costs associated with deconstruction.

To be eligible:

  • Applicants must be a homeowner or developer in Bloomington, Brooklyn Center, Brooklyn Park, Crystal, Deephaven, Edina, Excelsior, Greenfield, Greenwood, Hopkins, Minneapolis, Minnetonka, Maple Grove, Mound, Orono, St. Louis Park, and Woodland (additional cities will be considered for participation as the program expands).
  • Projects must be for residential properties, including houses and apartment buildings up to four units.
  • Projects must meet the reuse and disposal criteria.
  • The structure being demolished or renovated must have been built prior to 1970.
  • The size of structure or area of renovation must be 250 square feet or larger.
  • Deconstruction must take place after the agreement to issue grant funds is established. Grant funding cannot be used for deconstruction work that has already been completed.

Learn more and apply.

Salvage reusable building materials

Many building materials can be salvaged

Many household building materials can be salvaged for reuse. Reuse is environmentally preferred over recycling or trash disposal because it avoids energy use and costs associated with manufacturing new products and diverts materials from landfills.

There are several for-profit and nonprofit companies that accept usable household materials, including:

  • Appliances
  • Cabinets
  • Doors
  • Hot water radiators
  • Light fixtures
  • Windows
  • Wood flooring and trim

There are also some companies that will come to your home to remove building materials, and some of these companies will pay for your building materials.

Salvage businesses

The following organizations and businesses offer salvage opportunities for building materials. Contact the retailer directly to check for materials accepted, drop-off hours, and other considerations such as material pick-up. This list does not constitute approval of any of the firms identified nor do we claim the list is complete.

A Plus Appliances

Accent Store Fixtures

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-379-2788, asfmn.com
  • Accepts: shelving and storage units, gridwall, slatwall

Architectural Antiques

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-332-8344, archantiques.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Art & Architecture

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-904-1776, artandarc.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Bauer Brothers Salvage, Inc.

  • Location:Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-521-9492, bauerbrotherssalvage.com
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Better Futures Minnesota

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-351-8659, betterfuturesminnesota.com
  • Accepts: appliances, cabinets, doors, lighting, lumber, plumbing, tile

Bridging 

  • Location: Bloomington  
  • Contact: 952-888-1105, bridging.org
  • Accepts: Furniture and household items 

City Salvage

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-627-9107, citysalvage.com
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Furnish Office & Home 

Guilded Salvage

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 612-789-1680, guildedsalvage.com
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts, hardware, lighting

Habitat for Humanity ReStore

  • Location: Minneapolis and New Brighton
  • Contact: 612-588-3820, restore.tchabitat.org
  • Accepts: building materials including: cabinets, commercial items, doors, lighting, plumbing, windows

Historic Stone Company

  • Location: Minneapolis
  • Contact: 651-641-1234, historicstone.com
  • Accepts: various stones

Northwest Architectural Salvage

  • Location: St. Paul
  • Contact: 651-644-9270
  • Accepts: building materials, unique/historical artifacts

Second Chance Recycling

Recycle construction and demolition materials

Construction and demolition recycling businesses

Some buildings materials that can’t be salvaged for reuse can be recycled. There are several construction and demolition waste processing facilities in the Twin Cities that recycle materials such as asphalt, metals, and wood.

The companies listed below accept loads of construction and demolition materials from residents. They can also provide roll-off boxes to keep onsite to collect materials throughout the project at a comparable price of sending these materials to a landfill. Plan ahead to coordinate recycling.

Atomic Recycling

Dem-Con

  • Location: Shakopee
  • Contact: 952-445-5755, dem-con.com

Get your contractor on board

Communicate your reuse and recycling plans

It is important to communicate your building material salvage and recycling plans with your contractor when planning a home remodeling, construction, or demolition project. Use the tips below to get started.

Set clear goals

Decide on salvage and recycling goals from the start of the project to help you chose the right contractor to meet your needs.

Ask contractors how they manage waste

When searching for a contractor, inquire about how the company manages waste.

Do they incorporate salvage or deconstruction into their projects? Do they bring debris to a construction and demolition recycling processing facility? If not, are they willing to try it out for your project?

Communicate throughout the project

Discussing your salvage and recycling plans throughout the entire project can help ensure materials are handled properly. Consider writing a contract describing your waste management goals and requirements. Routine check-ins may also help confirm the project is going as planned.

Follow up

After project completion, ask the contractor for documentation verifying salvage and recycling goals were met. Documentation may include scale tickets from recycling processors or receipts from building material salvage organizations.

Contact us for help

Contact olivia.cashman@hennepin.us if you have questions about talking to your contractor about salvage and recycling.

Bring hazardous waste to a drop-off facility

Common household hazardous waste from construction projects

Oftentimes, unintended household hazardous waste is discovered during home construction projects. Household hazardous waste such as paint, fluorescent bulbs, mercury thermostats, and lawn, garden and automotive materials should be taken to a Hennepin County drop-off facility for proper disposal.

PaintCare sites accept waste architectural paints, primers, sealers and clear-coats from households free of charge, with some restrictions. For eligibility and restrictions, and participating collection sites, visit paintcare.org.

Find disposal options on the Green Disposal Guide

Before you visit, check the Green Disposal Guide to verify that your items are accepted and see if there are limits or fees.

Hennepin County drop-off facility locations

Bloomington

1400 – 96th Street West, Bloomington 55431

Brooklyn Park

8100 Jefferson Highway, Brooklyn Park, MN 55445

Learn more about visiting the drop-off facilities.

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