Re-using kitchen cabinetry

August 30, 2008

Hello, I am a kitchen and bath designer primarily focused on renovations. Often, the kitchen cabinetry being replaced are in decent condition but just not the owner’s taste — this cabinetry is just thrown in the dump. Is there an organization who may be able to re-use or re-sell kitchen cabinetry? Thanks for your help. G. Watanabe This is another great question. Thanks for asking! There are a number of organizations in New York that facilitate reuse of construction materials. Wastematch is a website that includes listings of available materials and people who want different materials. You can post that cabinetry will be available at a certain time in a certain neighborhood for free or for a price. People can also post that they need kitchen cabinetry and you could contact them and set up an exchange. I just checked and there is a listing for “1950s metal kitchen cabinets” on there right now. There is also an organization called the Green Worker’s Collaborative based in the south Bronx, which is advocating for the creation of a recycling industrial park in Hunt’s Point. The idea would be to create a central location for a materials exchange so that people could drop materials off and not have to coordinate with people who want their stuff. Lastly, and perhaps best, Build It Green, in Queens, collects salvaged materials for resale. I might personally suggest that you try to form relationships with some of the used furniture stores in areas you work. I see lots of places that sell used furniture, and while cabinetry is a bit more complicated a sale for them, if the material is in good shape, you may find a seller who is willing to stock some of the choicer pieces. If you find anything else in your travels, please let us know about it so we can spread the word! These types of architectural materials exchanges are popping up all over the country (especially in places that require sorting and recycling of C+D waste) and the main ingredient they need for success if volume. Thanks again for the great question and good luck.