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Friday, April 16, 2021

Stardust: Building a Cleaner World One Recycled Item at a Time

Stardust currently operates two reuse centers in the Valley, each of which sells building materials and appliances that have been gently used, salvaged, and/or obtained from a surplus on a construction job.

Changing the world always starts with a question: “What can I do?” And, after having seen the green potential in reusing building materials, this was likely the question that propelled one of Stardust’s co-founders, Jerry Bisgrove, to help create this nonprofit organization in 1997. Because changing the world is exactly what Stardust is doing.

Stardust currently operates two reuse centers in the Valley, each of which sells building materials and appliances that have been gently used, salvaged, and/or obtained from a surplus on a construction job. The materials are then sold at a price that is anywhere from 50%-80% cheaper than retail stores.

Stardust also provides deconstruction services in order to salvage materials and recycle them. This preempts their harmful disposal, which could result in full landfills that contaminate the planet.

The interior of Stardust.

All these services are in line with the organization’s purpose and mission, which, as the organization’s CEO, Karen Jayne, emphasizes, are: “[To] provide quality reclaimed materials for reuse. We envision a future without waste; a sustainable community where resources are reused for redistribution.”

So purchasing these affordable materials is not only really good for our wallets, but also for the environment.

“Reuse has many benefits for both the environment and the community: it reduces the amount of usable materials that end up in our landfills; it provides a resource for quality materials so that individuals may maintain their homes creating a safe, secure and healthy place to live;  it [also] reduces [our] carbon footprint and it uses significantly less energy than a manufacturing a new item,” Jayne says.

Stardust has saved the planet from over 80 million pounds of materials that could have otherwise ended up in landfills. These environmental benefits have come through the organization’s belief that economic growth and prosperity can still be driven by policies and practices that help reduce waste and protect the planet.

The interior of Stardust.

Stardust is working harder than ever to make this thought a green reality in the coming years. And the organization offers several ways for the public to help it come to fruition.

“There are several ways to get involved,” Jayne shares. “[You can] use Stardust deconstruction services when you are remodeling your home, donate your gently used building materials to Stardust, shop in one of our Reuse Centers, volunteer at our Gifts In Kind program, or explore board service with Stardust.”

Stardust’s commitment to the environment does not end there. In order to keep reducing the environmental problems generated by construction waste, Stardust is hard at work to expand its work and reach.

“Stardust is exploring several opportunities for the future,” explains Jayne. “[These include] deepening our deconstruction services; increasing and expanding our advocacy work to help develop incentives and ordinances related to deconstruction; and exploring additional opportunities for building material resale, such as examining raw material resale and commercial building material reuse.”

For more information, visit www.stardustbuilding.org.

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