Don’t Demolish! Deconstruct Instead

A Minneapolis startup is raising awareness about all the building materials that can be salvaged instead of sent to landfills.

Petrina Rhines with the Birch Group crew. (Photo courtesy of Birch Group)

When a home or commercial building gets flattened and the rubble is carted to landfills, by the end of any given year in the United States, we’ve piled up roughly 600 million tons of debris.

In this episode of the podcast, Next City Executive Director Lucas Grindley talks with journalist Cinnamon Janzer about her reporting on the ways city and county governments are incentivizing the construction industry to deconstruct, not demolish. 

We also meet Petrina Rhines, the founder of The Birch Group deconstruction company and Scrapbox Salvage reuse store in Minneapolis. 

“I think we're wasteful, unfortunately,” says Rhines. “What we need to do is to get a sustainability mindset first.” Rhines encourages designers, architects and planners to instill sustainability in their work by “looking to the reuse sector first before going out and buying new.”

To learn more about how homeowners, real estate developers, and city leaders in several Minnesota counties are relying on deconstruction, listen to this episode below or subscribe to Next City’s podcast on Apple, Spotify or Goodpods.

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