According to the National Association of Homebuilders, “If all the dimensional lumber used to build the 1.2 million new homes constructed in the United States each year were laid end to end, it would extend 2 million miles, the equivalent of going to the moon and back six and a half times”—a sobering statistic that doesn’t include other building materials.
Dutifully sorting waste, separating the metal and plastic from the paper for different recycling streams is part of modern life. Some areas even have food waste collection for community compost.
Architects and designers are taking notice of the opportunities offered by recycling and reuse. Using salvaged materials not only has a positive environmental impact by reducing waste, it also offers architects materials typically unavailable, such as old growth lumber.
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