A Detroit church finds new life in a post-recycled format

The St. Paul Lutheran Church in Detroit, Michigan, has been a beautiful place of worship for decades, but as the parishioners move into a new church across town, something has to be done with the current structure. In the past, an old building such as this would be torn down and simply hauled away to a landfill, but demolition companies are thinking twice about how some of these materials can be reused to build all sorts of consumer products, according to the Lakewood Patch.

Sean McDermott, the development manager for Zaremba Group who is heading up the recycling project, said that breaking down the building slowly takes "two to three times longer," but it will help divert tons of waste from local landfills.

A church like St. Paul Lutheran is loaded with reusable materials which can find a home in many new contexts. For instance, the old hardwood floor joists can be resold as rustic ceiling beams and some of the cinder blocks and old bricks can be used as accents for the community's gardens and parks. Furniture manufacturers have been particularly intrigued by the project, and one local company will take the church's old hardwood doors and remake them into tables. The same company will also use the floorboards and joists to create furniture and cabinets. Even the church's steeple is for sale to any interested buyers!

Projects such as this may take a bit longer to accomplish, but it is just the kind of sensible recycling initiative that can create a greener and more sustainable community. If a whole church can be recycled, just imagine how recycling rates can be improved if people take a minute and think about where their waste is headed.