Attempting to Live a Sustainable Lifestyle in St. Louis

Environmentally friendly decisions are tough

Sustainable Demolition Meltdown July 9, 2007

Filed under: Green Rehab — budint @ 12:32 am

Through this building (and demolition) process we’ve been trying to make ever decision with sustainability in mind. A couple weeks ago I posted that we were starting demolition and I was taking many measures to insure that landfills weren’t being filled and what could be reused would be. Then reality set in.

Pile of Demo’d Materials

The original plan was to keep all of the newer lumber for potential reuse. The reality was that it took me 5 minutes to pull out the 8 nails and numerous screws from each 2×4 (also 95% humidity and 96 degrees). After the first couple of boards, I designed a new system: 2 nails or less and I would keep the wood, otherwise it went into the dumpster. The bright side is that wood is biodegradable and I potentially wouldn’t have used it.  Plus, I saved all the vinyl siding for potential recycling.

The downside is that trees will need to be cut for the construction and I was unable to save them. 😦

Oh well, I knew I’d suffer some defeats in trying to stay sustainable during this project.

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2 Responses to “Sustainable Demolition Meltdown”

  1. Susan Budin Says:

    that is why you have kids. you assign them to the nail pulling. you never had a very high heat/humidity tolerance. how long will it take for that wood in a landfill to degrade?

  2. Sarah Kim Says:

    Actually, we’ve gotten much better at managing our landfills. Granted, we should continue to abuse and overfill, but science does help us manage our waste better.


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