Reclaiming, Repurposing and Reusing

Through an unassuming door and up a set of stairs in Calgary’s Manchester Industrial area, one can find barnboard, blue and white bowling chairs, an Elvis movie poster and more — pieces saved from the landfill to find a new lease on life with the Reclaimed Trading Company (RTC).

When contractor Kelly Kask started storing overflow construction pieces in his home garage five years ago, it was only a matter of time before that one garage turned into two, which turned into 10, which turned into the addition of three warehouses which turned into the reclamation company with both a Calgary location and a newly opened location in Vancouver.

“(With) a rebuild here in town they always have an extra tub or an extra sink or an extra box of tile and then of course like every builder ‘I’m gonna use that on the next job’ so you keep it,” explained Kask. “And then of course you keep a few more things, then you sell the house and you have to move it all out of this garage to this garage, and then all of a sudden you have to explain to your wife you’re not a hoarder.

“So needless to say 10 garages later and three warehouses later … to this day, my wife still can’t park in the garage.”

RTC sources material from across the country, saving as much construction waste as possible to see it repurposed in new builds or renovations. The company does construction audits, assessing salvageable materials that may be suitable for reuse; deconstruction, removing salvageable building components within a specific timeline so as not to impact scheduling with the ability to store products, and provides LEED® documentation.

RTC are members of the Canada Green Building Council and can provide documentation required for LEED® certification as well as an inventory of salvaged materials and their approximate weightage diverted from a landfill.

“It’s kind of a full revolution, recycling is great but recycling takes energy so our thought is if we can repurpose or reuse stuff, there’s the value,” said Kask. “I’m not creative but I’m fortunate that I surround myself with lots of creative environmentally cool people and next thing you know you see a use for a pallet and that pallet now becomes a printer station or it becomes a magazine rack or it becomes shelving units.”

RTC’s customers range from architects to designers to the general public — all in search of signature pieces for various projects. “There’s two different aspects,” explained Kendall Warnke, RTC operations co-ordinator. “The designers and the bigger industry that are using us for their plans and then the smaller residential scale that’s coming in for tin ceiling tiles to do a backsplash or something like that, so really what we’re trying to do is provide the material.”

For more information on the Reclaimed Trading Company, check out Reclaimedcanada.com.

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