QUESTION: I am remodeling my house and have a lot of building materials and appliances that can be reused and would like to keep them out of the landfill. Where can I take them so someone else can use them?
ANSWER: Habitat for Humanity and Re-use Hawai’i are two possible resources.
Habitat for Humanity welcomes "usable" appliances and furnishings, such as washers and dryers, sofas, dining room tables, etc., but generally wants new building materials.
The organization is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian housing ministry that builds and rehabilitates homes through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.
In Hawaii there are seven Habitat for Humanity affiliates, including two on Oahu — in Honolulu and Leeward Oahu.
It all depends on the building materials, but lumber and things "on the construction end, we don’t take" unless they’re new, said John Ayat, manager of ReStore for the Leeward Oahu affiliate.
Habitat’s ReStores resell new and used tools, furniture, household items, etc., as well as building materials, at discount prices. Donated materials are either used in projects or resold, with proceeds used to help build homes, Ayat said.
Call the Leeward Oahu Habitat’s office at 696-7882. For more information and names of other local affiliates, see hawaiihabitatforhumanity.wordpress.com.
The only ReStore outlet on Oahu is the Leeward one in Campbell Industrial Park, at 91-220 Kalaeola Blvd., Warehouse 1-A. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays. Call 682-8411.
Re-use Hawai’i, described as "a vibrant nonprofit organization working to reduce waste through building material reuse and recycling," generally "deconstructs" structures to reclaim usable materials.
"Sometimes general contractors salvage materials and donate it to us," said Quinn Vittum, co-founder and Re-use Hawai’i’s deconstruction projects manager. "But more often than not, it makes more sense for our deconstruction crews" to do the actual demolition work.
However, the organization also has a pickup program where it will pick up leftover building materials from job sites.
Salvaged materials are sold at a retail warehouse at 30 Forrest Ave. in Kakaako. It is open to the public from 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. weekdays and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturdays. Call 953-5538 or go to reusehawaii.org.
Proceeds are poured back into the mission of keeping building materials out of the landfill, Vittum said.
Q: Is there any organization that collects used athletic shoes for recycling?
A: Not since Nike closed its only store in Hawaii and stopped accepting nonwearable athletic shoes in Hawaii for its Reuse-a-Shoe Campaign (see "Kokua Line," Nov. 3, 2009).
You can ship nonwearable shoes to Nike’s Tennessee processing plant (see www.nikereuseashoe.com) at your own cost or, if they’re wearable, donate them to charity.
To Felisa Lizado, an employee of Burger King Beretania near Thomas Square, who found my mom’s purse and immediately turned it in to her manager, Anne. An hour later, when we returned thinking the worst had happened, Felisa and Anne very humbly put us at ease. It was an experience we’ll both never forget, thanks to these two "angels." — Audrey