Support Sustainable Reuse

$3,255 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 37 months
6-17 update. Urbanminers salvages building materials and household goods in order to keep them out of landfills and give them renewed life. Since 2007, we have grown to become the forerunner and regional leader in a expanding economy of retail reuse centers and salvage service industries. Formed out of a commitment to environmental and social sustainability, we've diverted over $1.5 million of valuable materials from the waste stream over the course of seven years. Recognized by the Hamden Regional Chamber of Commerce as recipient of the 2012 Green Business Advocate Award and designated as Business New Haven’s Rising Star of 2010, Urban Miners also works with the public/private sector to educate and advocate for deconstruction and materials reuse. Hamden Economic Development Corporation supported a multi building deconstruction project with Urbanminers as a pilot for deconstruction and job training, the first of its kind in Connecticut.We have fully deconstructed 8 buildings and partially deconstructed over 100. We have created a retail operation that many see as a community necessity.
Recently, we have shifted away from a full scale retail store. We now sell selective materials from our gallery space in New Haven ,and plan on having a second outlet in Bridgeport soon. We now have our customers donate much of the salvaged material to local not for profit reuse stores. So we sell more materials directly off the job sites through our website ,facebook and instagram accounts. This allows us to handle less material but to actually save even more materials and goods from each deconstruction or salvage job. 

Our Web Site                     Our Facebook page  
Our Youtube Channel             Our Online Shopping 
                                Latest Newsletter  

Tobacco barn press release 

More Relevant Details for Those That Appreciate Novellas 

It has become apparent that the longterm goal of deconstructing buildings in Connecticut needs to include saving every building possible now and stockpiling those materials for the future, even if there is not an immediate use for them, because they are irreplaceable. And in the future good quality locally produced building materials are going to be necessary to maintain the existing housing stock, and repair structures after natural disasters. We are the first to use a demolition license for deconstruction, an alternative to demolition, in Connecticut. This means we can now actually get permits to do what we’ve wanted to to all along: deconstruct entire buildings in order to save all the materials.

This is a huge undertaking, conceived by a stubborn desire to fill an urgent environmental need. It now calls for more public involvement and your participation. We were launched with the generous support of a few individuals, but now require the support of the larger community. There is much salavaging of  materials that needs to take place now, whether or not the current market supports such recovery 100%, becuase we will no longer have the opportunity later, once the materials are destroyed and in a landfill.
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Help us Launch Our New Retail Outlets. Contribute
$ 50.00 or more now ( deadline July 28th) and Receive:
1) Urbanminers Tee Shirt ( mailed or pick up in store location)
2) $ 50.00 in store credit for either location ( Receipt via e-mail).
Total Value $ 70.00 !
Note: Store credit does not expire. We will honor store credit for direct purchases from job sites as well.

Our store hours are limited right now as we set up these spaces and wait for the official opening of Mongers Market in Bridgeport and renovations to be completed at Fairhaven Furniture.
Expanded hours will be posted in August.

Bridgeport location: Monger's Market ,1155 Railroad Avenue, Bridgeport. Summer hours 10-4 Sundays

Fairhaven Location Fairhaven Furniture, 72 Blatchley Avenue, Fairhaven . Summer hours 10-1 Saturdays

Or by Appointment.

Note that we also sell directly from our project sites so check our Facebook and Instagram accounts, as well as our website shopping page, to see our inventory as it comes out from our deconstruction and salvage projects.

Check out our Services Section on our website: Deconstruction, clean outs, estates, moving and hauling, construction waste management and more.

Call us anytime for more information: 203-287-0852

( Photos from our Bridgeport Location)
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C. 1883 Gothic church building to salvage from.....requires committed buyers or folks willing to sponsor the recovery and get something back later. If we find interested buyers or funders for specific items we will put together recovery budgets, estimated return on sales and a site implementation plan. There are some amazing elements in this building, so feel free to contact us about participating. ! If you are inclined to sponsor the recovery of a specific item or set of items , let us know and we will work on a recovery budget on any item you choose ! See our Facebook post for more photos. Contact us if you would like to assist in other than monetary ways. If we garner some initial interest we will proceed with a more complete inventory and post all of it on our web page with sizes and prices...
Stained Glass Windows
Pews and other antique content
Doors, woodwork and stonework
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Now is a ridiculous time to fund raise for saving buildings from the landfill. After all, we have a mess from hurricanes , among other problems at hand. But to a certain extent, weird weather is a symptom of our unsustainable habits, of which one is throwing away parts of or entire buildings, or in some cases entire city blocks of buildings.

Urbanminers has been working on deconstructing buildings and saving the resultant materials for about ten years. Yet deconstruction and the reuse of the materials thus obtained is still not really supported by the free market. In order for us to be competitive with the crush and disposal method of removing a building ,we have to utilize working in conjunction with not for profit organizations, utilize tax incentives for owners, wholesale materials at discount prices, bid at little to no margin, rely in donated storage space, pay bills late, cajole property owners, and other subsidizing schemes. Yet we still cannot make most of potential deconstruction projects work economically and so the houses get destroyed, even those built before the revolutionary war.

We continue because we are attempting to make a point through action: We should not be throwing away thousands of buildings per year. And we cannot decide to change that habit " some time in the future". Once the house is demolished and put in a landfill, we cannot get it back. The huge volume of resources are lost. We need ordinances that compel the recovery of materials ( for example a recent ordinance passed in Portland Oregon ( but sadly it is the only city in the entire United States that has one)) , but until we have the political will to make major changes, we have to rely on other means to make up the difference between what the market supports and what we need to do to move towards sustainability now. Not when the resources run out because we have thrown out tens of thousands of tons of materials.

We have to spend money on crisis like floods and wind damage .But we also have to invest in activities that prevent crisis. We cannot throw away materials that represent thousands of trees worth of lumber, while harvesting trees to produce new lumber. It is not sustainable. It cost us in the long run . Because we refuse to pay for sustainable activity such as deconstruction at the job level because it is "too expensive" ,we are just deferring a much larger cost: running out of resources, adding carbon dioxide to the air and keeping people unemployed.

Unfortunately ,even though our bad habits have caught up with us, we still continue to throw away entire buildings every single day, while Urbanminers spends too much time having to theorize about deconstruction rather than engaging in it.

We are also aware that Urbanminers itself need s to be sustainable if we are going to carry on the mission. And to do that we need to change our structure and internal functioning. This is not easy to do because we have considerable momentum doing things the way we have - similar to us all collectively having a habit of removing buildings by crushing them and throwing them away. We continue to do it because it is easier than changing the paradigm. Even if it means working at a loss.

We have discussed morphing into a "B Corp" and other means of making a working management model with sufficient broad public support, rather than relying on and unfortunately over stressing in some cases ,a small circle of supporters, sometimes unwittingly. Urbanminers has been an experiment and it is time to shift the model.

We are hoping now for two things. One is that we have some economically viable deconstruction projects come our way ( soon !). The other is that we can add enough revenue to pay for a shift in direction. Perhaps the development of a b corporation or some other restructuring that will create a viable management structure with enough common support so that many more buildings can be saved than we can currently attempt with our limited resources.

Beside actually taking buildings apart and then selling or otherwise distributing the materials, there needs to be resources devoted to advocacy. In order to start saving more buildings and creating jobs, there really needs to be more effort towards finding that work, educating those involved and funding the required infrastructure. That in itself is a full time job.
We can envision an intern just working on advocacy and education about deconstruction, one on marketing materials, and one on restructuring.

We have internal infrastructure that, if changed, will support us advocating for the infrastructure needed statewide, that will then support the recovery of the 3,000 or so building we demolish in Connecticut each year. The means to that end requires, perhaps, a committee of individuals working outside the existing structure of Urbanminers.

Meanwhile we continue to struggle with bidding deconstruction jobs so that it is not only an affordable option for the property owner, but that also generates a margin that supports Urbanminers continuation.

The 30k goal here makes up just a small portion of subsidy we have relied on - friends time and money , extreme patience with family members, vendors, landlords and sub contractor payments , and deferred maintenance on vehicles, and overly long hours.

No, the way we have gone about establishing deconstruction has not been anywhere near flawless. it has been experimental and subsidized, but it has over the last 10 years saved thousands of tons of reusable materials from the landfill. And we hope , educated some of us just a little bit about the need to be sustainable. We would like to continue to do that only in a way that supports our financial supporters, employees and customers for the long term. We desire a broad spectrum of support from those that are able and not just from those that have already gone way beyond the call of duty supporting us. Including our customers.Deconstruction should really be publicly supported and than means everyone, not just Urbanminers supporters per se nor just the property owners removing a building.

We have recently recovered three barns and saved almost all of the material from them . We are beginning to work with local shops to directly produce finished products out of materials we recover. But we now have potential projects of houses in Greenwich, West Hartford, Baltic, Union, Whethersfield, Hamden and Branford. We do not want to see all of these house get landfilled.

For more information about helping us to restructure or about our upcoming deconstruction projects, please contact us.
Most recent barn recovered, Hamden, Ct.
two tobacco barns recently recovered
using recovered materials for furniture
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Mission: recycle & reuse goods & used building materials to minimize waste to sustain the local community.”

Buy in advance, get double the value in goods.
Fall Fund Raising Deal. We have alot of material we need to move fast. We are reconfiguring both our New Haven and Bridgeport spaces ,and we have a long list of expenses to stimulate sales and cash flow we are offering a two for one deal. ( or you can just contribute, please specify)
For every donation amount for this campaign update, you will receive double that amount for any purchase between now and until whenever you use up your double value. Does not apply to direct online sales, but does apply to anything purchased from a job site as we announce ,or the New Haven location or any of our upcoming events ( Outerspace Fleamarket this coming Saturday and Whitneyville Festival on the 16th and a possible Bridgport storage sale on September 23rd. Donate and we will reply with an e-mail and confirmation that you are able to purchase double the value in materials at the locations mentioned above. Any amount. The double value deal is good for any purchase for any amount until your double value credit is used, no time limit.
Another way to look at it is: pay now and you get anything you buy up to that amount for half price. The $ 150.00 pine table tops shown below ? Come to one of our sites and pick one up for $ 75.00 !
Need 200 square feet of yellow pine ? On our website for $ 2.75 square foot or $ 550.00. But come to our location and pick it up for $ 225.00 !
Check our Instagram, Facebook and Website shopping pages to see what we have and for event updates. And if you do not see what you want contact us as we may have it in an upcoming job.....
Reminder: Nope, these contributions are not tax deductible. For one thing you are getting goods at 100% off so it is a discount, not a gift. And we are not a 501c3 tax exempt organization. We just have a community based mission. We do by the way have customers directly donate to local not for profit reuse organizations that does give them tax breaks and support these local not for profits. Contact us if you have any questions. Check our "services" page on our website for more details about what we do.

Upcoming projects:
Converting our Bridgeport storage into retail space'
Truck - long over due overhaul
Reconfiguring our New Haven space
Setting up our furniture making operation
Increasing capacity to deconstruct buildings
table tops we made from barn wood.
Framing and 1x6
Barn Doors and More
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$3,255 of $30,000 goal

Raised by 35 people in 37 months
Created July 31, 2015
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Cynthia Rubin
14 months ago

Thanks for all that you do to keep usable materials out of our landfills.

16 months ago
Cindy Arndt
19 months ago

Joe - Thank you for the passion you have for saving these treasures from the landfill. Keep up the good work!

20 months ago
Jeff Roller
20 months ago

Love the Oregon ordinance! I'm forwarding to West Hartford Town Planner and others!

Leah Glaser
20 months ago

Hi Joe-- hoping to get some reclaimed wood from you that I cam use as a island countertop-- 4 x 6 feet or so...hope to give more one holiday budget under control.

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