In fact, since its establishment in Traverse City in 1998, Odom has salvaged and sold three million pounds of recycled building materials -- everything from windows, doors, light fixtures and plumbing to entire walls.
Recycling gets in your blood and weve been very well received in this community, says Bruce Odom, who launched the business 10 years ago after having success with a similar outfit on the West Coast.
Things have gone so well that Odom is planning a 10th anniversary celebration on Saturday, April 19 at the store in Grawn, south of Traverse City, along with its Fifth Annual Used Materials Building Tour.
With a background in restoration carpentry, Bruce Odom got his start in the salvage business in 1993 in Bellingham, Washington, where he managed a non-profit building supplies recycling business called the ReStore.
The State of Washington had offered a proposal to create a non-profit organization that would serve as a building supplies exchange facility, he recalls. So, I was hired as manager and told that if I could figure out a way to make the business sustain itself, I could keep my job.
Odom mentored with Urban One in Berkeley, CA, a non-profit which had crafted a successful role model for salvaging and reusing building materials. Back in Washington State, the ReStore proved to be a hit; today it has 30 employees and has moved to bigger quarters to accommodate the demand for recycled materials.
Odom met his wife-to-be, Cathy Clark, in Seattle. A family crisis brought her home to Traverse City, where Odom decided to launch his own salvage store. That first effort was near the intersection of Garfield and South Airport Road, a business which quickly gained an enthusiastic following.
Everyone in the building line of work has leftover materials in their garage that they dont want to throw away, Odom says. As such, his business is often the recipient of perfectly good building supplies which can be reused on other projects.
Some customers take such care to bring stuff here, and we also have 6,000 sales per year.
Anything that is in good enough condition to be reused is fair game. Customers receive a credit of one-quarter of the resale value of their items, good for the purchase of other items in the store.
Speaking of which, Odom is a browsers paradise, chock full of kitchen cabinets, unusual fixtures, chandeliers, bath tubs, hardware, lumber, kitchen equipment and more. Sometimes youll even find antique items, such as clawfoot bathtubs or wood-burning stoves.
A recent acquisition was the salvage of Holy Childhood School in Harbor Springs. Some 30 maple doors were salvaged along with the school, with 100 head-casings for doors and mirrors and all of the schools maple flooring. We were there for five weeks, working all day and filling up a truck to bring all of the materials back to the store.
Check out this treasure trove for yourself at the upcoming event:
The main event will be from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. at the store located at 5555 Brentwood Avenue in Grawn, near the intersection of West Silver Lake Rd. and U.S. 31 south.
The celebration will include door prizes, the construction of a geodesic dome and a display of entries to our Used Material Design/Build contest. Also, table top displays from local businesses; a chance to help build a construction waste sculpture; and join in the debut of off-road bowling. Kids welcome.
5th Annual Used Materials
Includes a tour of a business in downtown Traverse City that has employed a majority of reused materials into its remodel, and then to The Village at the Grand Traverse Commons where builder Ray Minervini and crew will provide a tour of the old and the new at the former state hospital grounds. A reception will follow.
Call 231-276-6330 to register for the tour, or for more information.