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Reusing building materials and appliances

Many of you in Chicagoland are wanting to find new uses for your building materials, appliances, and equipment. Here’s where to start.

Whether it’s a small stack of nice, straight lumber or that extra freezer that needs a little work, someone out there wants your stuff. You can also find their stuff if you’re looking for quality materials that are cheaper than new.

Below are links to organizations near Chicagoland that accept (or sell) used materials, appliances, and equipment. If you’re outside Chicagoland, search for links similar to these. Believe it or not, a network of places across the country is growing that wants your stuff!


My stuff still has some life left - I’d like to donate. Or, I’m looking to buy someone else’s stuff:

Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Elgin, IL
Habitat for Humanity ReStore, Lake County, IL
Resource Center, Creative Reuse Warehouse, Chicago, IL

My stuff still has some life left - I’d like to get a little money for it. Or, I’m also looking to buy someone else’s stuff:

Murco Recycling, Chicago, IL

My stuff might be ready for the landfill, but I’m too smart to send it there:

Household Chemical and Computer Recycling Center, Chicago, IL

Related links

The Brown Elephant - revenue generated by donations and purchases at the Brown Elephants goes directly to help fund the more than 50% of clients who are uninsured or underinsured.

Building Materials Reuse Association - non-profit educational organization whose mission is to facilitate building deconstruction and the reuse/recycling of recovered building materials.

Construction and Demolition Recycling - City of Chicago ordinance which promotes the responsible separation and recycling of construction and demolition (C&D) debris to help contractors and individuals save on costly disposal fees.

Freecycle - a grassroots and entirely nonprofit movement of people who are giving (& getting) stuff for free in their own towns. It’s all about reuse and keeping good stuff out of landfills.

Salvation Army

Not in our backyard (but check next door)

While we strongly encourage and promote material reuse, Urban Habitat Chicago is a small nonprofit with no paid staff. Unfortunately, we cannot accept building materials, appliances, or equipment - please see above for new homes for your items.


If you’re a frequent visitor to our site, you know all about building deconstruction, right?
If not, learn more, because it is an excellent alternative to demolition if you are adding on to your home, building a new one to replace an existing one, or simply planning to demolish a building.

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