Letters

Letters 08-03-2015

Real Brownfields Deserve Dollars I read with interest the story on Brownfield development dollars in the July 20 issue. I applaud Dan Lathrop and other county commissioners who voted “No” on the Randolph Street project...

Hopping Mad Carlin Smith is hopping mad (“Will You Get Mad With Me?” 7-20-15). Somebody filed a fraudulent return using his identity, and he’s not alone. The AP estimates the government “pays more than $5 billion annually in fraudulent tax refunds.” Well, many of us have been hopping mad for years. This is because the number one tool Congress has used to fix this problem has been to cut the IRS budget –by $1.2 billion in the last 5 years...

Just Grumbling, No Solutions Mark Pontoni’s grumblings [recent Northern Express column] tell us much about him and virtually nothing about those he chooses to denigrate. We do learn that Pontoni may be the perfect political candidate. He’s arrogant, opinionated and obviously dimwitted...

A Racist Symbol I have to respond to Gordon Lee Dean’s letter claiming that the confederate battle flag is just a symbol of southern heritage and should not be banned from state displays. The heritage it represents was the treasonous effort to continue slavery by seceding from a democratic nation unwilling to maintain such a consummate evil...

Not So Thanks I would like to thank the individual who ran into and knocked over my Triumph motorcycle while it was parked at Lowe’s in TC on Friday the 24th. The $3,000 worth of damage was greatly appreciated. The big dent in the gas tank under the completely destroyed chrome badge was an especially nice touch...

Home · Articles · News · Features · Odom‘s salvage...
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Odom‘s salvage celebration

Robert Downes - March 31st, 2008
In a world that is increasingly looking for ‘green’ solutions, the recyclers of Odom Reusable Building Materials provide a great role model.
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 we’ve 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.

MOVING ON
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 don’t 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 browser’s paradise, chock full of kitchen cabinets, unusual fixtures, chandeliers, bath tubs, hardware, lumber, kitchen equipment and more. Sometimes you’ll 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 school’s 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:

10th Anniversary
Celebration
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
Building Tour

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.



 
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