The Library Springfield-Greene County Library District Springfield, Missouri
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Partners Team Up To Reduce, Reuse, Recycle Home for Library Project

 Just days after the nation celebrates Earth Day 2013, three area organizations will embark on a major project to reduce, reuse and recycle – with a twist.

In a first-ever partnership, the Springfield-Greene County Library District, Ozarks Green Building Coalition and Habitat for Humanity will coordinate deconstruction of a house at 1911 E. Wayland Drive  to make way for the future Brentwood Branch Library renovation. Several private businesses are also donating services for the demolition project.

The twist: Volunteers will disassemble the house in two stages – interior and exterior – and after each stage the reclaimed items will be sold in a yard sale open to the public on April 27 and May 4 on the lawn of the Wayland property. Ozarks Green Building Coalition and Habitat for Humanity will split the proceeds, the Library will arrange for hauling out any non-recyclable landfill material.

The yard sales will be a do-it-yourselfer’s dream.

Habitat for Humanity has scheduled and will oversee the volunteers, who will deconstruct the 1,300-square-foot house in two stages, followed by yard sales at:

·         10 a.m. Saturday, April 27, for interior items including cabinets, plumbing and light fixtures, interior trim, doors, storm windows, hot water heater, carpet, fireplace brick and paneling. 

·         10 a.m. Saturday, May 4, for exterior items including windows and exterior doors, framing lumber, garage door, chain link fencing and landscaping items.

Items that will be reclaimed but not included in the sales are some plumbing, electrical wiring, duct work, attic material, shingles, metal siding and metal duct work, which will be recycled or sold to recycling centers. Concrete will be ground up later and repurposed for construction fill. Any unfinished/untreated wood can be recycled as mulch.

“The Library is committed to taking every opportunity to reduce consumption and decrease our ecological footprint, especially with our pending renovation of the Brentwood Branch Library,” said Library District Associate Director Jim Schmidt. “Using the synergy created by multiple organizations enables the Library to be much more ecologically conscientious with the deconstruction of the home on Wayland Drive.”

The all-volunteer project will save taxpayer dollars in demolition costs, since the library is funded largely by Greene County citizens’ property taxes, Schmidt said. The recycling effort could also strengthen the Library’s application if it decides to pursue LEED building certification in the renovation project. 

“This is still a livable house that doesn’t need to be taken down, so reusing and reclaiming it wisely is the more responsible thing to do,” said Korina Branson, Ozarks Green Building Coalition vice president. Her group will calculate the amount of materials reused or recycled and saved from the landfill after the Wayland project is complete, she said.

Ozarks Green Building President Zack Miller added, “From a public point of view, what else would make sense? We can do it for less than the cost of demolishing it and throwing it in the landfill. It’s a win-win. There is a social responsibility.”

The Library acquired the property adjacent to the Brentwood Branch Library on  Aug. 27, 2012, with the City of Springfield through friendly condemnation. The Library is pursuing rezoning of the property for government use, or G1. The property will allow for additional parking for the renovated Brentwood Branch and a buffer for adjacent homes. No timeline has been set for the project. The Library Foundation will manage a capital campaign for the estimated $2.1 million renovation of the 1971 library building.

Habitat for Humanity deconstructs the interiors of eight to 12 commercial and residential properties annually, said Chris Houghton, director of operations. Habitat welcomes additional opportunities to expand the number of projects. Those also interested in volunteering for future projects can contact the Habitat offices at 417-829-4001.

Habitat volunteers are currently reclaiming materials from the historic Vandivort building in downtown Springfield, where owner Billy McQueary plans to build a 50-room hotel. He is working toward a LEED-certified development.  LEED, or Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, is a voluntary, consensus-based, market­-driven program that provides third-party verification of green buildings. Habitat’s ability to salvage usable materials will help toward McQueary’s LEED application. McQueary will receive a tax-deductible receipt for those items he provided to Habitat. 

Habitat volunteers also deconstructed a home on property where Matt O’Reilly planned to build a new house. A contractor estimated it would cost about $8,000 to demolish the home. Instead, a Habitat crew removed all the reusable light fixtures, carpet, insulation, door jams and cabinets. Afterwards, an Amish family reclaimed most of the building materials. O’Reilly’s total cost was $3,000, and only one dumpster of non-recyclable materials went to the landfill, O’Reilly said.



The Ozarks Green Building Coalition is a nonprofit organization incorporated in 2007. The mission is to promote green building by increasing public and professional knowledge and awareness of the benefits of green building. Members include building, engineering and design trades professionals and their organizations, local governments and environmental and conservation groups.

 Habitat for Humanity is a nonprofit, ecumenical Christian ministry that has helped to build or repair more than 600,000 affordable houses, serving more than 3 million people worldwide through volunteer labor and donations of money and materials.  

The Springfield-Greene County Library District includes 10 library branches and a bookmobile, the Mobile Library, serving all residents of Greene County.  

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