Tearing out or putting in, ReUse Center serves remodelers

If you are embarking on a remodeling project and need to get rid of old cabinets, doors or windows, the ReUse Center would like to talk to you.

If you are looking for some inexpensive doors or cabinets, or even a light fixture, heating grate, sink, paint, carpet, or an old-fashioned stairway post or escutcheon (that ornamental plate behind the door knob) you might find the ReUse Center, 2216 E. Lake St., helpful.

"We are trying to keep stuff out of the landfill," said Joe Knaeble, the Center's assistant director in charge of procurement.

The ReUse Center is a non-profit organization now in its seventh year, and is the first project of the Minneapolis-based Green Institute. It is nearing $1 million in annual sales.

The biggest volume items in the store are doors and cabinets, he said. The Center has more than 1,000 doors, organized by size. Some sell for as little as $20 to $40. More ornamental and architecturally significant doors may cost $175.

It has hundreds of cabinets, ranging from the acquisition of more modern surplus cabinets to a recent donation of built-in cabinets that sold for well over $1,000.

The store also has a substantial collection of windows, ranging from an aluminum storm combination for as little as $10, to more expensive prime windows with divided light.

The center is looking for architecturally significant and/or quality building materials. (It does not want incomplete items, like cabinets without their doors, Knaeble said)

Those interested in donating materials can drop them off (11 a.m.-3 p.m. Wednesday to Saturday) but staff recommends calling ahead to make sure the item is appropriate. To schedule a pick-up, call 724-2608.

The center also has bonded and insured deconstruction crews insured who will come to a site and remove old cabinets and other reusable building materials. The cost of deconstruction varies, depending on the time to do the project and the value of the donation. For more information, call 728-9388.

To reduce transportation costs, the center lets people purchase items right at the deconstruction job site. The center often posts in-store photos of items for sale at the job sites, but the list is incomplete. For a complete list, call the on-site sales coordinator at 221- 9428.

The ReUse Center and deconstruction crews also keep a wish list for people looking for a particular item. When employees find one, they will call the customer. To register an item on the wish list, call 221-9428.

The material the center cannot sell, it recycles -- and what it cannot recycle it throws away. Currently, it empties its two cubic yard dumpster once a week, Knaeble said.

The ReUse Center is open M-Th 9 a.m.-7p.m.; F-Sa 10 a.m.-6 p.m.; and Su 11 a.m.-4 p.m. Donations are tax deductible.

Other sales and service include: A 4,000 square-foot warehouse, 3502 E. 28th St. It sells lumber, including redwood and cedar, oak and fir flooring and other bulk building materials. It is open Tu-W 10 a.m.-4 p.m. and Sa 9 a.m.-2 p.m. For more information call 221-9429.

Hepa Vacs are available to loan for lead abatement projects. The vacuum is used for cleaning lead paint chips and dust, staff said. Patrons leave a refundable $25 deposit and get to keep the vacuum for 24 hours. For more information call 724-2608.