A greener way to tear down Detroit's vacant homes - KMSP-TV

A greener way to tear down Detroit's vacant homes

Posted: Updated:
Workers outside a home being deconstructed  (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com) Workers outside a home being deconstructed (Credit: WJBK | myFOXDetroit.com)
DETROIT (WJBK) -

An old house comes down slowly but surely one piece at a time.  The opposite of construction, workers practice deconstruction, a more earth-friendly way to get rid of vacant homes.

"What we do is tear down houses and recycle and reuse all of the material," said Jasonn Parnell, a site supervisor with the non-profit group WARM.  "We can reuse or save all of the bricks, all of the wood, two-by-fours.  Any of the metal can be recycled."

This past year, WARM started Reclaim Detroit, a project meant to fight blight and create green jobs.  Now about 20 crew members are trained in the art of deconstruction, which saves tons of precious resources.

"There's no way to get this material commercially.  It's the old growth forest that covered Michigan.  It's something that we can't ever get back, and if we throw it away into the landfill it's gone forever," said Chris Rutherford with Reclaim Detroit.

$30,000 to $40,000 worth of materials are salvaged from a typical home.  The painstaking process takes six to ten days and requires quite a few workers.  It's better for the planet than a bulldozer demolition and the cost is the same.

All the raw materials come to a warehouse on the Focus: HOPE campus where they either sell the lumber or turn it into various products.

In the wood shop, we saw workers making butcher block cutting boards.  They also build countertops, recycled wood furniture, planters and more.  Contractors, developers and architects are among their customers.  You can also take home a piece of it and help Reclaim Detroit by purchasing products.  For more information, visit www.ReclaimDetroit.org.

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Former "Howard Stern Show" sidekick Artie Lange hospitalized in Royal Oak

    Former "Howard Stern Show" sidekick Artie Lange hospitalized in Royal Oak

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 9:07 PM EDT2014-04-17 01:07:22 GMT
    Former "Howard Stern Show" co-hostArtie Lange is in town for an extended stay, but the circumstances are a little puzzling.Lange posted on his Twitter page this week he's been hospitalized "outside Detroit" after going into diabetic shock. Several other Twitter posts were removed from his page Wednesday, including one that suggested he was being held against his willin thehospital's psychiatric ward.Lange was scheduled to perform last Saturday at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.Artie Lange has be...
    Former "Howard Stern Show" co-hostArtie Lange is in town for an extended stay, but the circumstances are a little puzzling.Lange posted on his Twitter page this week he's been hospitalized "outside Detroit" after going into diabetic shock. Several other Twitter posts were removed from his page Wednesday, including one that suggested he was being held against his willin thehospital's psychiatric ward.Lange was scheduled to perform last Saturday at the Royal Oak Music Theatre.Artie Lange has be...
  • Parents unhappy with how principal enforces junk food policy

    Parents unhappy with how principal enforces junk food policy

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 8:57 PM EDT2014-04-17 00:57:32 GMT
    Parents of students at T. Dale Cooke Elementary school in Detroit say the principal is enforcing students to eat healthy in the wrong way.
    Parents of students at T. Dale Cooke Elementary school in Detroit say the principal is enforcing students to eat healthy in the wrong way.
  • Freedom from Religion debate heats up at Warren City Hall

    Freedom from Religion debate heats up at Warren City Hall

    Wednesday, April 16 2014 7:12 PM EDT2014-04-16 23:12:16 GMT
    Is Freedom of Religion the same concept as Freedom from Religion? That's the debate one Warren resident is raising at City Hall.
    Is Freedom of Religion the same concept as Freedom from Religion? That's the debate one Warren resident is raising at City Hall.
Powered by WorldNow

KMSP-TV
11358 Viking Drive
Eden Prairie, MN 55344

Phone: (952) 944-9999
Fax: (952) 942-0455

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices