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Recycling homes in Newhall

Dale KroopOn a showery day in June day in 2012, Dale Kroop, Executive Director of the Hamden Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) and Joseph DeRisi, of Urbanminers, stood before 1067 and 1071 Winchester Street to talk about a program that will give a second life to homes in the Newhall neighborhood that are slated for demolition.

Homes built over unstable soil with too much damage to fix and are being removed. Rather than call in a wrecking ball and hauling away the debris to a landfill, the Town of Hamden decided on "deconstruction."

Hand in wall crack
A crack in this home’s foundation was so large daylight could be seen through it while its floor sloped from settlement

It's the opposite of construction where a new home is built from the ground up. In deconstruction, the home is taken apart piece and piece and the salvage is re-used in other building projects.

Kroop said, "It's a great opportunity to do something good for the environment and keep people employed." Without deconstruction, the building materials from the homes would end up in the landfill.

The deconstruction is being overseen by the Hamden-based company Urbanminers. Materials taken from the two Winchester Street homes included cabinets, oak floors, lumber (framing and trim), wiring, stone, railing and shingles.

DeRisi has already identified a buyer for some of the recycled materials.

House being taken apart
Floor sloping
Framing materials have been removed and are carried away in a trailer to be used again.

On hand touring the Winchester Street site was Linda Cedarbaum, a new resident of Woodbridge. Linda and her husband Jesse will re-use the materials to build a shed at their home.

Joe DeRisi of Urbanminers is applying stain to the “reconstructed” garden shed. The front door, large window and lumber from 1067 Winchester Avenue are now in use at the home of Linda and Jesse Cedarbaum of Woodbridge.