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Deconstructing Detroit: Old materials will be used for new projects

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DETROIT (WJBK) -  The demolition of abandoned homes in Detroit will begin at a rapid pace in the coming weeks - but not everything will be thrown away. The city was just awarded a contract to ensure tons of materials are reused.

The contract was awarded to the nonprofit group Ser Metro to deconstruct several homes. The organization will use the reclaimed wood to build wheelchair ramps and make park benches. They also use the deconstruction process for job training.

Detroit has tens of thousands of vacant, burned-out homes which are a magnet for crime, drugs and arson. In a few weeks, the city will start demolishing about a thousand houses a month, but the idea is to rebuild.

The mayor's long-term goal is to create a hub where people can purchase materials to renovate Detroit homes. You could see that happening in the next six months.

"Deconstruction has a lot of value to the community and we're looking to create a market, create an industry, of deconstructed material here in Detroit," says Director of Special Projects for the Detroit Building Authority, Brian Farkas.

But that's already happening in other ways.

A number of businesses have popped up recently like Workshop in the Fisher Building, which makes modern furniture using reclaimed wood.
    
And, as we've reported, Cass Community Social Services also uses the wood to make holders for glass coasters.
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