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Best Recycled Building Materials 

Building REsources

As part of San Francisco Community Recyclers, Building REsources is under contract with the city to divert waste from the municipal landfill. Since 1994, the outfit estimates that it has done its job thoroughly, to the tune of about 1,000 tons per year. Managers Matthew Levesque and Andy Pugni run a salvage yard stuffed with building materials that have been donated instead of junked: Doors, sinks, windows, lumber, and hardware are arrayed in giant piles. They're sold at rock-bottom prices, mostly to contractors who -- yay! -- reuse them. For regular people who might otherwise frequent yard sales, flea markets, and the like, there are treasures untold: chrome fountain spouts, barber's chairs, steel-case everything, even a mysterious "densitometer." In spite of all this, Building REsources employee Ray Nayler says, "We really only receive about 1 percent of the reusable materials in the city." The company has a special project involving the almost-unusable, too: The Red Shovel Glass Co. piles broken glass into rock tumblers, converting it into smooth, pretty pebbles for use in landscaping. "Someone just ordered 60 cubic feet of it," says Nayler. "Which is good, because otherwise it just goes in the dump."

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