Salvage and Building Material Reuse

Are we throwing away our heritage?

For most of Nantucket’s history, salvage was a way of life. Materials were scarce, buildings were moved and reused, and even shipwrecks were scavenged for reusable materials. Today, Nantucket sends more than 17,000 tons of building material waste to off-island landfills.

Communities across the country are exploring deconstruction as an alternative to mechanical demolition, salvaging what can’t be saved. Deconstruction diverts framing materials, fixtures, windows, doors and cabinets, and other building materials from the landfill and creates a circular economy.

In 2022, NPT commissioned a two-part feasibility study about salvage and reuse on Nantucket, completed by consultants EBP.

In September 2023, NPT hosted a salvage and reuse workshop, featuring keynote speaker Mae Bowley, Executive Director of Re:Purpose Savannah. Click here to view the recordings!

On June 26, 2023 NPT welcomed Stephanie Phillips, Deconstruction and Circular Economy Program Manager for the City of San Antonio, to the island for a presentation about her experiences planning an implementing San Antonio’s deconstruction ordinance.

With thanks to ReMain Nantucket for their generous support of Nantucket Preservation Trust.

Missed a Symposium? Videos from our 2020, 2021, and 2022 events are available to view on our YouTube channel.

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