ReSource lumber gets hammered, not wasted

For Immediate Release

BOULDER – August 17, 2016 – Nailed and unwanted, thousands of tons of framing lumber, planks, and studs collect in dusty woodpiles every year — until they are discarded in landfills, never to be heard from again.

But the Center for ReSource Conservation has launched a new effort to keep high-quality lumber from being dumped in the trash, and the approach appears to be working. Since the Boulder-based nonprofit launched its Denailing Initiative last year, it has seen a 41% increase in lumber donations and reuse, making lumber the fastest growing segment of waste diversion at ReSource, its building materials reuse center in east Boulder.

Removing nails from lumber is the key. Nails sticking out of boards and studs can provide a safety hazard. The Denailing Initiative brings community volunteers to ReSource to carefully extract the nails, converting tons of waste wood into reusable lumber, ready for use.

“Denailing lumber is the new front on the war to reduce waste,” said Neal Lurie, president of the Center for ReSource Conservation. “Volunteering at ReSource is an easy way for business and community groups to make a real difference, but we need more platoons of volunteers. We could easily double the amount of waste wood diverted from landfills through increased community awareness, lumber donations, and denailing assistance.”

Volunteers are needed in 2-3 hour shifts at ReSource and community groups are invited to volunteer as a group.

Last year ReSource diverted 3.8 million pounds of building materials from landfills, the most in the program’s twenty-year history, and the first half of this year is already ahead of last year’s record pace. ReSource is sponsored by the City of Boulder as part of its Zero Waste efforts. Community engagement is a growing part of the program’s success.

“Volunteering with ReSource was great. It helps the environment and literally builds local communities,” said Monica Chairez, a CU Boulder engineering student who recently volunteered at ReSource as part of a team from university.  “The experience brought my group closer together.”

Locally, the need to reduce waste is not insignificant. According to the most recent study, construction and demolition waste in Boulder County adds up to about 120,000 tons of materials added to landfills annually. While materials sent to landfills increase costs to contractors and homeowners, reusable materials donated to ReSource are eligible for a tax deduction.

“What a difference a hammer and little help can make,” added Brandon Hill, who manages ReSource. “Denailing is a high-growth, high-impact initiative for us. We’ve seen nearly insatiable demand for good lumber. The more nails we can remove the more lumber we can make available for reuse.”

To learn more about volunteer opportunities contact Donations of building materials are accepted at ReSource 9am-5pm Monday through Saturday at 6400 Arapahoe Ave in east Boulder.

About the Center for ReSource Conservation:

Founded in 1976, the Center for ReSource Conservation (CRC) is a 501c3 nonprofit dedicated to putting conservation into action. Its programs serve more than 70,000 community members each year and make it easy to conserve water, energy, and materials. Learn more at