ReStore recovering materials from Fort Riley homes
James Stowe from ReStore, prepares to remove carpet from a Fort Riley home that is scheduled for demolition. The carpet will be reused and sold through the Manhattan ReStore site located at 2711 Amherst Ave.

FORT RILEY, Kan. - "It's better than a win-win situation. It is a win-win-win-win situation," said Gary Stowe, ReStore director, in reference to the effort currently underway on Fort Riley to reclaim building material and supplies from homes slated for demolition.

"It's good for the environment to divert materials from the landfill. It is good for Picerne Military Housing to find a partner in the demolition process. It is good for Habitat for Humanity to have such a large donation. And it is good for consumers who want low cost building supplies," said Stowe.

Stowe and his seven-member crew began working with Picerne Military Housing in the McClellan Place neighborhood the last week of February. They are removing multiple items such as carpet, windows, metal doors, cabinets and bathroom fixtures from 28 homes that are slated for demolition in order to make room for a neighborhood center in the area.

"We are excited about the possibilities that can come from this partnership with ReStore," said Scott Kotwas, director of construction for Picerne at Fort Riley. "I think we are just scratching the surface of what can be accomplished with this effort."

Kot was said the scope of material recovery from homes slated for demolition could increase over time. Additionally the number of homes being demolished per year on post will continue to increase over the next few years.

According to Jill Dalton, Recycle and Solid Waste program coordinator at Fort Riley, it is the Army's goal to divert 50 percent of construction and demolition debris from landfill disposal by 2010 through reuse and recycling.

"This is good for the environment," said Dalton. "Many of the materials that go to landfills are valuable resources. Landfill diversion can easily be defined as resource recovery."

The recovered materials will be sold at a reduced cost at the Manhattan ReStore site at 2711 Amherst Avenue. ReStore is the nation-wide outlet for selling used building materials and a fundraising mechanism for Habitat for Humanity.

"We have a great selection of building materials and wood furniture at our Manhattan location," said Stowe.

"Most people can find what they need and at an affordable rate. All the money goes directly to Habitat for Humanity projects in Riley and Pottawatomie counties."

"We are reclaiming appliances, cabinets, doors, windows and carpet from the McClellan homes," said Stowe. "We hope to have time to reclaim mirrors, vanities, toilets, shower surrounds and breakers as well."

"I estimate that we have already diverted 10 tons of waste from the landfill just by reclaiming the windows from this project," said Stowe. "I think we will divert 15 tons as a minimum with this project."

In addition to household materials like those being recovered by ReStore, various other construction materials can be reused such as concrete, drywall, pallets, shingles, copper, steel and aluminum, according to Dalton.

Stowe said this is the first of three possible projects with Picerne. They have 100 homes slated for demolition later this spring and 1,700 during the course of their initial development period. Stowe hopes to work out a long term partnership with the program.

"It's just such a great opportunity to be here and to be able to get this size of donation in one location," said Stowe.Stowe said the ReStore outlet is open the first Saturday of each month 9 a.m. to 2 p.m., with March 7 being the next open date. He hopes to have the store open three days a week by this summer. Once the store is up and running proceeds could fund as many as 10 homes a year in the area, he said.

The local Habitat for Humanity project has built 19 homes over the past 13 years. They are preparing to build the first of four homes in Ogden this year.

Stowe said that the ReStore outlet is open to everyone. They take cash or checks for purchases. In addition to the purchases which help Habitat for Humanity, they are always looking for volunteers to work at the outlet.

Page last updated Tue March 10th, 2009 at 09:57