Lamenting the Lack of Reuse Stores

The ReUse PeopleBy Ted Reiff

As many readers of this blog know, TRP originated in the San Diego area. A transplanted mid-westerner, I lived in that city for some 30 years before moving the company to the Bay Area, and myself along with it. When I was ready to purchase a home, it made sense to start my search in various East Bay communities. However, after two frustrating years and more than a dozen losing offers, I somewhat reluctantly shifted my focus back to San Diego.
To make a long story short (real estate not being the subject of this post), in 2013 I purchased a refurbished 1950s house in the San Diego suburb of La Mesa. It's a perfect home for me and my partner, Dianne, who was still living in La Mesa and considered my decision a huge win.

Despite our new home's numerous upgrades, Dianne and I quickly identified three or four things that we wanted to change. Being in the reuse business, I looked forward to searching out deals on needed doors, flooring material, cabinets and lighting. We also wanted to replace the cheap kitchen sink and find a glass door for our new walk-in shower. Not much, right? We weren't trying to supply a whole-house makeover.

I thought it would be fairly easy to find most, if not all, of the needed materials at local architectural salvage and reuse stores. I checked out the Habitat for Humanity ReStore, an architectural salvage store and a couple of builder closeouts, among others. Regrettably, several weeks of searching garnered absolutely nothing that was suitable.

I regularly perused the TRP stores and Oakland and Los Angeles as well. Both locations carried needed six-panel doors, but they were never the right combination of size and swing. Oakland got in the perfect refrigerator — too late. We'd already purchased a new one just like it.

I suspect that California has more reuse stores than most other states. There are at least 10 such stores that I know of in the Bay Area. Los Angeles County has at least six. Further north, Seattle has four thriving reuse facilities.

But what about Omaha, Cleveland, Louisville, Syracuse, Detroit, Minneapolis, Oklahoma City. Tallahassee, Nashville, Albuquerque and dozens of other cities where reuse outlets range from none to one or two? Homeowners in those places, and probably in most other U.S. cities, have little choice but to buy new.

In the meantime, local, regional and national studies show that construction-demolition debris represents 45 to 50 percent of the municipal solid waste stream. The business opportunity is obvious. A wealth of good materials is currently going into landfills that could quite easily be diverted back into people's homes — and the economy. 


Special Event Reminders

October 23 – 25, 2014 Reuse Alliance’s Reuse Conex Conference and Expo, Austin, TX. For more information, visit

Specials of the Month

At the Oakland warehouse we are featuring appliances. Receive 25% off the price of any appliances through July 31.
The ReUse People Specials
The Los Angeles warehouse is featuring doors. Receive 25% off the price of any door through July 31.
The ReUse People Specials

New Inventory

The Oakland warehouse warehouse has received numerous kitchen cabinets from a deconstructed apartment complex. Ready for a budget-wise kitchen redo? Stop by and check these out.

New inventory at the Los Angeles warehouse includes a solid, single door with decorative curved panels, Spanish wall sconces in many styles, and a complete maple kitchen with Shaker-style doors.

The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials The ReUse People Specials

Deconstruction & New Materials Update

Visit the TRP website for a complete list of current deconstruction projects and inventories. Just click on “Retail Sales” and scroll to the bottom of the page.

Location and Contact Information

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Oakland
9235 San Leandro Street
Oakland, CA  94603
(510) 383-1983; toll-free 888-588-9490
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00-6:00 Closed Sunday

TRP ReUse Warehouse - Los Angeles
3015 Dolores Avenue, Los Angeles, CA 90065
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00; Sat 10:00-4:00

Please visit our partnering warehouses:
Habitat for Humanity ReStores, Orange County (two convenient locations)
The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1656 West Katella Avenue, Anaheim, CA 92802
(Euclid and Katella Avenue)
(714) 434-6266
Mon-Fri 9:00 am- 8:00 pm;
Sat 9:00 am- 6:00pm;
Sun 11:00 am- 5:00 pm

The Home Improvement Store That Builds Homes
1400 Village Way, Santa Ana, CA 92705
(McFadden Place Shopping Center, exit 55 Freeway at McFadden)
(714) 434-6266
Mon- Sat 9:00 am- 6:00 pm;
Sun 10:00 am- 5:00 pm

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Kansas City
4701 Deramus, Kansas City MO 64120
(816) 231-6889
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-6:00; Sat 9:00-4:00; closed Sunday

The ReUse Warehouse
1400 East Geer Street
Durham, NC 27704
(919) 219-4913
Hours: Mon-Fri, 2:00-6:00; Sat, 9:30-5:00

Second Chance Building Materials Center
1423 West Grove Street
Boise, ID 83702
(208) 331-2707
Hours: Mon-Sat, 9:00-6:00; Sun, 12:00-5:00

Roaring Fork Valley Habitat for Humanity
7025 Hwy 82
Glenwood Springs, CO 81601
(970) 945-7733
Hours: Mon-Fri, 10:00-5:30; Sat, 10:00-5:00; Sun, 11:00-4:00

Stardust Building Supply
3901 E. Thunderbird Road
Phoenix, AZ 85032
(602) 459-9803
Hours: Mon-Sat, 8:00-6:00; Sun, 10:00-4:00

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Salt Lake Valley,
1276 South 500 West
Salt Lake City, UT 84101
(801) 263-0136
Hours: Mon-Sat 9:00am-6:00pm; closed Sunday

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Summit & Wasatch Counties
6280 N. Silver Creek Drive, Silver Summit, UT
(435) 487-9015
Hours: Wed-Sat 10:00-6:00; closed Sunday

Recycle Utah
1951 Woodbine Way Park City, UT 84060
(435) 649-9698
Hours: Mon-Sat 8:00-5:30; Sun 10:00-4:00

Reuse Depot
2711 Washington Blvd, Unit E
Bellwood, IL 60104
(708) 240-4910
Hours: Mon-Fri 10:00-5:00p; Sat 10:00-4:00

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