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Every year approximately 33,500 tons of waste is shipped off the island. Construction and demolition waste (39%) and mixed solid waste (48%) make up 87% of the Vineyard’s waste stream and are not recycled (Island Plan, 2009). A construction material recycling/reuse center may decrease waste shipped/burned off island and provide a means to reuse materials on the island.

Possible Roadblocks:

-    If the Eco Building Bargains is interested in operating such a facility, a structure needs to be designed and built to hold and sell reusable construction material. They have the necessary certificates to deconstruct buildings.

-    The MV Refuse District seems to be the best location, although other locations may be feasible. 

-    The MV Refuse District will be redesigning their lay-out soon, so there is an opportunity to create a space for a reuse sale and storage facility, however, a plan would need to be developed soon (summer/fall 2019). 

-    An incentive is needed for home owners to spend more time and money to have homes deconstructed allowing building materials can be salvaged. 

-    Working with the MV Builders Association can help build support with contractors and create a system and plan that is feasible. 


Qualifications & Characteristics: What qualifications and characteristics does your organization deem necessary for a Fellow to have to pursue this concept?

- The candidate for this position will need to be highly driven and excited to deal with one of the Island’s leading challenges. An island candidate is very desirable.

- The candidate does not need to have the technical knowledge base around construction waste, but they do need to be systems thinkers that recognize and understand interconnectedness, causality, feedback loops, mental models, and leverage points. Most importantly, the candidate will need to be able to bring together diverse stakeholders to create a working group and build consensus among them. Other possible qualifications and skills include public relations experience, ability to research, and ability to communicate well in writing.  

- The candidate will be responsible for conducting a feasibility study and developing a business plan in collaboration with the working group. 

- The ideal candidate will be able to put all of this together to create a new construction waste system for the Island.

Candidate Proposal: Does your organization have connections with a possible candidate for this Fellowship?

South Mountain Company suggested current fellow and former SMC intern Eli Hanschka. The other organizations we spoke with did not have any specific candidates in mind.

Mentorship Opportunity: Would your organization be interested in working with or mentoring a Fellow as they pursue this concept?

Habitat for Humanity Martha’s Vineyard expressed interest in mentoring a fellow working on this concept. The project may be best managed by a board set up like the food waste pilot project. An oversight committee for the fellow in charge of this project could consist of representatives of the MV Builder's Association, South Mountain, Habitat for Humanity, MV Refuse District, Carrolls, etc.

Current Progress: Are you aware of any current progress being made towards this concept?

There is an enormous amount of current progress on this issue. Several different organizations are working in some degree to divert and reuse construction waste from the waste stream.

Habitat for Humanity is currently working with the Center for Eco Technologies EcoBuilding Bargains division to divert reusable materials such as windows, doors, and the like from the waste stream. Habitat For humanity currently takes the lead by serving as the point of contact on Island for those who want to have a building soft-stripped before complete demolition. When provided enough lead time, Habitat assembles a crew of volunteers to complete the soft-strip. They then partner with Carrolls Trucking to remove the material from the jobsite and store it. Approximately 15% of the material goes into new Habitat home construction. The rest is either sold on the Island’s informal market or trucked off to EcoBuilding Bargains.

Suggestions: Does your organization have any suggestions or changes to this concept? Do you see any additional barriers?

Carrolls Trucking (Bruno’s Roll-off) is currently shipping construction waste to Albany New York area. Carrolls handles far more construction waste then the Martha’s Vineyard Refuse District (MVRD so it would be important to have them at the table).

The MVRD is currently in the process of redesigning and expanding their transfer station. There is very limited space and it does not seem feasible to store construction waste, rescued material there. It may be worth looking toward the Airport Business Park or other town transfer stations such as West Tisbury.

Home owners and DIY people would be most of the Island market for reclaimed material. Very little would be used by builders because of the clientele. Most material would still need to be taken off Island for reuse and repurposing. It is still important to give Islanders the first chance at the material.


© 2019 Martha's Vineyard Builders Association

MV Builders Association

PO Box 290

Vineyard Haven, MA 02568

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