New York

Build It Green! Opens New Space in Gowanus

People in Gowanus are certainly thinking of creative ways to recycle and to save others money. Build It Green!, a non-profit organization that recycles building materials and sells it at dramatically reduced proces, how has a warehouse in Gowanus, Brooklyn.

The Build It Green! Idea

It’s a brilliant idea. People can get a tax write off for donating materials while others can save a heap of money purchasing doors, sinks, cabinets and other items this way. As director Justin Green explains it,

“There are a lot of environmental implications of wasting all that wood, plumbing fixtures, the cabinets. All this stuff that gets thrown out, a lot of it is really perfectly fit.”

Build It Green! has been a huge success in Astoria; enough so that organizers were excited at the chance to build a second facility in Brooklyn. Items at their facility include everything from stainless steel appliances and solid wood mantels to custom kitchen cabinets.

Something New Each Day

Those who work for Build It Green!, such as manager Karen Overton, said that part of the fun of the work is in seeing what exciting items will come through the door next. As Overton said, ”

Any given day is a different treasure trove of inventory coming into this store. My favorite was the zinc top industrial art school desk. It’s huge and it has such charm.”

A Bit of Background

Started in 2005, the Community Environmental Center (which is in partnership with Build It Green) secured a grant to open Build It Green! NYC. It included a temporary storage space and a contract for deconstruction services. They deconstructed five buildings in midtown Manhattan and CEC was able to get over 70 tons of materials for reuse and recycling that would otherwise have become landfill. Eventually, they relocated to Astoria, New York and then, to the most recent location in Gowanus.

Learn about the many amazing projects that Build It Green! does, and see more about their latest location here.


James Allenby is the editor of Gowanus Lounge, bringing to his position a vast background on New York, and especially Brooklyn history, culture and lifestyle. Born and bred in the heart of "the County of Kings" James Allenby knows what it means to be a Brooklynite, and imparts this meaning at all times to his readers. Contact James at info(at)