DiggersList.com greens home improvement industry by promoting re-use
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The destination for most materials after a new floor is installed, a new deck constructed or a new bathroom is completed, is often the landfill — in 2009 the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency estimated that 160 million tons of construction and building material ends up in landfills each year — but now in 31 cities across the nation, DiggersList.com is giving these perfectly usable materials a second life. DiggersLists is a nationwide online home improvement classified listing that connects cost-conscious homeowners with discounted new and used home improvement necessities, and allows them to post their own excess material for sale. DiggersList Founder Matt Knox saw a pattern of waste in the building and home improvement industry — where easily re-usable items were dumped solely because there was no easy and efficient way to re-sell them. The disposal of functional building material not only clogs landfills, but re-starts a cycle of manufacturing and natural resource consumption to supply another contractor with new building material. In DiggersList, Knox created a site that breaks that pattern by tapping homeowners and contractors into an online marketplace that makes re-using home improvement material an efficient, environmentally friendly and cost-saving decision. “As DiggersList promotes the re-use of more and more home improvement materials we create this whole cycle where less has to be produced, less has to be trucked and less has to be packaged,” said Knox. Of the estimated 160 million tons of construction and building material that end up in landfills across the nation each year, 44 percent is created by home renovation projects, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. DiggersList’s popularity has grown as waste disposal rates climb, and homeowners realize that they can make money off of their surplus home improvement materials. Many of the items featured on DiggersList — sinks, countertops, entire bathroom sets, tile —are the same material you would see strolling through the aisles of Home Depot or Lowe’s — except at DiggersList the price is usually about half of what you would expect to pay at a home improvement emporium. “A lot of people think this is only lumber, nails and concrete, but it’s fit-and-finish products as well,” said Knox. DiggersList other service, a listing of contractors with detailed descriptions and photos of the work they have completed, also has an environmental bent. Contractors that take things apart for recycling, rather than build, are becoming a popular listing on the site, said Knox. “We are seeing more and more deconstruction contractors and salvage stores flock to the site,” said Knox. The popularity of DiggersList with homeowners and contractors translates into an exceptional inventory of building materials and services on the site. And with each listing that gives a sink, light fixture, or stack of tile a second life, DiggersList is carving out an environmentally friendly and cost-saving niche in the $272 billion home improvement industry.