Build It Green! NYC
Build It Green! NYC joined the Community Environmental Center family in 2005. Better known as BIG!NYC, it is New York City’s only not-for-profit retail outlet for salvaged and surplus building materials. Its mission is to keep these materials out of the landfill, while offering deep discounts on their resale. BIG!NYC’s Astoria warehouse opened in February of 2005; a second reuse center is now open in Gowanus, Brooklyn.
The salvaged materials come from New York City buildings that are about to be demolished or are being remodeled. Surplus materials are usually donated by building suppliers and contractors interested in protecting the environment and reducing their waste – or are donated by New York residents and small business owners renovating their spaces.
Consider the situation: over 38,000 tons of building material are thrown out every day in New York City, according to PlaNYC’s 2011 chapter “Solid Waste.” These materials clog our landfills, releasing carbon into the atmosphere and creating a need for more materials to be manufactured. Reuse is a logical and environmentally friendly alternative to discarding durable materials. Reuse makes sense, economically and environmentally.
All the proceeds that come to BIG!NYC help support CEC’s environmental initiatives around the city, including the Western Queens Compost Initiative, BIG!Blooms scaffolding program for raised garden beds at community gardens, the BIG!NYC Gives Back donation program for not-for-profits and community groups, and much more. Previous programs have included NYC Cool Roofs, Film Biz Recycling and education programs at Solar One.