Learn by Undoing

LEARN BY UNDOING Bellaire City Council voted today to spend an extra $8,000 to allow Habitat for Humanity to practice “whole house recycling” and, in lieu of the usual one-fell-swoop, whiz-bang demolition, “deconstruct” over a 14-day span this home at 5119 Jessamine, reports Robin Foster; the ayes argued that deconstruction can reduce the amount of wasted reusable material — but there remained at least one unconvinced nay: “‘Demolition is recycling, recycling is demolition,’ said [Bellaire mayor Phil] Nauert.” [West U Examiner] Photo: West U Examiner

8 Comment

  • Why is it that hipster ideas always cost “somebody else” money?

  • Why are they spending any money?

  • I liked it better when it was “one shot, one kill”

  • No matter who you pay, it still costs money to tear down a home and at some point we can’t keep just throwing stuff into landfills. There’s plenty of items from an older structure that can be used to build new homes: bricks, windows, ironwork, bath fixtures, etc., even old paver stones from the yard. Hopefully, the Habitat people would demolish a home enough to make the final cleanup much cheaper.

  • August: You’re right. No matter how you demo, there is a cost. The issue is, for whatever reason, those useful items you mention don’t have a value that makes a ‘recycle demo’ net out to cost less. It should — lots can be used and sold — so why does it cost MORE?
    If it costs $5k to knock down a house and haul it to the dump, I’d understand if it might cost $9k to take it down piece by piece to reuse. However, for that extra $4k in cost you’d need to pull out $4k of value (since the landfill cost is already built into the competing method). And if they could sell the items for $4k, their bid to demo would be about equal (or less, seeing as they don’t have as high of disposal costs)
    PERSONALLY I’d pay a bit more to have my house demoed in a way where the resulting items were going to be sold as I hate tossing stuff in landfill (I’ve tried, unsuccessfully most of the time, to have old items taken for free before I finally end up tossing them). But for it to be something that’s done on a large scale, we’re going to have to find a better way to make the number work.
    If the value of what’s being recycled can’t even equal the cost of getting those items, then that (sadly) says all you need to know about the value of those items.
    Even with an assumed cost of liability insurance, you’d THINK if you send some recyclers in they could pull out everything useful for free (since the value of items would exceed the cost of labor), then the owner is left with a house that should cost less to demo because there is less left.

  • the most valuable thing in that house is the commode. It’s not a water saver bowl that has to be flushed twice. “One flush, one kill”

  • It would make more sense to just tear down the house as usual and just give Habitat for Humanity $3,000 every time they tear down a house. I’m with you commonsense, these touchy feely good ideas always cost somebody else money. Normally, the people with these good ideas don’t have any money.

  • I shopped at HFH on Loop 610 about a month ago and found the stuff is just as expensive as Lowes or Home Depot. You’d think if the stuff is donated to them the items would be cheap.