The Waterbury Municipla Building has sat vacant since Tropical Storm Irene, but crews have begun deconstructing the 200-year-old building piece by piece to salvage reusable material.
“It’s been like watching a building being built backwards,” said Bill Woodruff, director of Waterbury Public Works.
The village commissioned a company called Deconstruction Works to handle the $46,000 project.
“There is drywall, lath and then plaster and then all the walls that had been blown in cellulose,” explained Tom Shea of Deconstruction Works. “We’ll be taking down the chimneys brick by brick. We’ll hand pick apart the roof, the frame and as we do that we remove every single nail.”
Deconstruction Works sells most of its salvageable material on Craigslist or Facebook. Shea says it will take some thawing out before they can get to the outside work including the roof. He says the project should be complete come spring.
According to Vermont’s Solid Waste Management program, about 25% of the state’s waste consists of construction and demolition debris.
“We’re always looking for ways to divert waste to some beneficial re-use, salvage or recycling into some new product or even taking the wood and turning it into energy,” said Buzz Surwilo, Vermont Solid Waste Management.
Once the building is gone, the site will be used for parking as part of a Main Street revival project.
“I think the goal after that would perhaps be some sort commercial development on the site, it’s a beautiful downtown area,” said Woodruff.
“You know it’s a little costly taking it down this way but piece by piece the greatest benefit is to the environment.”
Material that would otherwise wind up in the states only landfill.
Waterbury’s Main Street will soon be receiving a makeover.