By Ted Reiff

Another successful National Reuse Contest has come to a close. Hundreds of entries were submitted to participating stores. Each store selected local winners and forwarded those to The ReUse People for final judging. National winners were chosen in late December.

The complexity and uniqueness of projects increased again this year, in keeping with a trend that has been building since the contest’s inception.

The ReUse People SpecialsTRP began 2014 in a decidedly lackluster manner. The slump could be felt in every aspect of the business and, quite frankly, I was concerned. Happily (and largely inexplicably), the outlook began to change in early July. In the final analysis, TRP's 21st year proved to be the most successful in the company's history.

The ReUse People SpecialsAfter devoting more than 20 years to the marketing and sales of used building materials, I still encounter people, organizations and government agencies that don't have a clue how extensive the demand is for salvaged materials. I'm talking about a world of unrecognized and underserved consumers.

The ReUse People SpecialsIn September a reader sent me an article from The New York Times. “After 55 Years in Vaunted Spot, a Picasso Is Persuaded to Curl,” by Benjamin Mueller, describes the delicate, nail-biting process of removing a 95 year-old stage curtain painted by Pablo Picasso, which had been attached to a wall in the Four Seasons restaurant since 1959. Once removed, "Le Tricorne," became the property of the New York Historical Society.

By Ted Reiff

The ReUse People

Calling all artists, furniture makers, DIY remodelers and builders of greenhouses, tool sheds, chickens coops, container houses and other habitats, whole or partial. We have reached the homestretch of the 2014 National Reuse Contest. To compete in this year's contest, entries must be received at local participating stores by midnight Friday, October 31.

The ReUse People

By Ted Reiff

In mid August TRP enjoyed a rare visit from one of its European counterparts. Visiting from Finland was Kati Hinkkanen, Development Manager with Helsinki Metropolitan Area Reuse Centre, a nonprofit social enterprise organization whose mission is “to improve the state of the environment by reducing the amount of waste and by offering an alternative to single-use culture.”

The ReUse PeopleBy Ted Reiff

In the spring of 2013, TRP signed an agreement with the Housing Authority of the County of San Bernardino (HACSB) to conduct training programs in both deconstruction and retailing, and to open and manage a used building-materials retail store in the county.

All of the training programs were completed several months ago. The much anticipated retail operation will be ready to open later this month.

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.

The ReUse People We often feature creative ideas on The Velvet Crowbar to show how materials can be reused, and there seems to be no limit to the creativity and cleverness that abounds when people decide to make reuse their goal. From creating something incredibly functional, such as boxed toilet paper rolls used to organize cables and electrical cords, to something incredibly artistic, such as an old bike reused as a sink stand, it seems there isn't anything that CAN'T be done with used materials.

The ReUse PeopleBy Ted Reiff

In the February 12, 2014, edition of his blog, Building Blocks, which appears regularly in the New York Times, David W. Dunlap describes the imminent demolition of the American Folk Art Museum on West 53rd Street, New York, noting that the new owner, the Museum of Modern Art (MOMA) plans to salvage the 63 metal panels that comprise the facade of the building.

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