Firm demonstrating recycled building materials are greener and cheaper

Quinn Vittum
Quinn Vittum
Cathy Payne
Cathy Payne

By Paul Drewes - bio | email

KAKAAKO (KHNL) - Kakaako has become a bit greener. Not because of new plants or parks, but because of an industrial building. As one Oahu organization has found a way to help the planet, one home improvement project at a time.

Flagstone pieces are more than just stone tiles for another home project, they are also stepping stones of a greener way to re-use unwanted home materials in Hawaii.

"What we're trying to do is recover that useable material. Bring it to the warehouse and make it available to community as affordable green material," said Quinn Vittum, with Re-Use Hawaii.

Useable lumber is salvaged from homes, then the nails removed at the warehouse. And its ready to be used again, at a substantial savings for builders.

"With our lumber, its about 1/2 of what you would pay for new material," added Vittum.

Old fixtures and windows can also re-used.

Almost everything comes from deconstructed homes and businesses, from doors to bath fixtures. Even the old kitchen sink.

There are even new products, like extra tiles left over from home construction projects.

All items that normally would end up in the landfall, end up in Kakaako.

Re-using materials is nothing new to Cathy Payne.

"We like to make new things out of recycled things, we've been doing that for a long time," said Cathy Payne, of Manoa.

She and her husband look through the lumber and spot just what they need. The wood used to be part of someone's home, but the Payne's see the perfect fence from this recycled material.

They're saving the environment, even saving some money. And getting a lot of enjoyment out of their green ideas.

"It is just fun to make something out of something else," said Cathy.

The Re-Use warehouse is found behind the UH Medical School in Kakaako.

While it has been open for returning customers, there will be a grand opening celebration on Wednesday April 22nd, Earth Day.