WNY's Largest Supplier of Reclaimed and Surplus Building Material

Net+Positive Education: Landscaping for Roofs, July 7 & 8

From NET+POSITIVE Education, a hands-on opportunity to learn how to make a GREEN ROOF!


Green Roof
Taught by industry-professional Atom Cianfarani, Co-Author of DIY Guide to Green Roofing
  • Hands-on installation of green roof on a commercial structure
  • Economic and resource benefits of green roofs
  • Integrating native/drought-resistant planting techniques
  • Incorporating reclaimed materials as growing media
  • Comprehensive introduction to green roof components

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February workshops!

Announcing TWO workshops for the month of February… Make a Picture Frame Tuesday February 7th 6-9pm Rusted Grain, 1212 Jefferson Ave Bring a picture and build a frame for it using all reclaimed wood! Suggested donation. Making Birdhouses for Gilda’s Club Monday February 20th 6-9pm Rusted Grain, 1212 Jefferson Avenue Every year Gilda’s Club has a spring fundraiser in which they auction off birdhouses which are decorated by club members as well as local artists.  This year Rusted Grain has committed to building several birdhouses in addition to teaching a workshop for anyone who wants to donate time to a … Read more

People ask us . . . Why Do You Do What You Do?

From our About page: Question: People ask us . . . Why Do You Do What You Do? (WDYDWYD?) Answer 1: Jobs! We’re committed to creating local and green jobs for the Buffalo community. More importantly, we feel these jobs should leverage the waste in our society to create opportunity. We’re interested in a critical analysis of our economy to identify wasteful business practices that damage our communities and our environment, and opportunities that exist for new ventures. We’re determined to find solutions and to implement alternatives that put people to work. Answer 2: Innovation! As we look at the … Read more

Wood Sash Windows – Why Rebuild? Why Not Buy Vinyl?

ReUse Action is now repairing and rebuilding wooden sash windows. We offer services from re-glazing, glass replacement to full reconstruction from scratch. Give us a call if you’d like to know more. Why not simply replace with vinyl windows? Most energy research shows that leaky windows are responsible for most of the heat loss in our houses. This is a difficult subject to find objective facts about because the replacement window industry overwhelmingly dominates the discussion. A typical vinyl window advertisement highlights the following: 1. Low-U (or high-R) value of the gas-filled double pane glass 2. Low-E glass 3. Maintenance-free, … Read more

Don’t Buy New, ReDo!

With this article, we’re announcing the latest ReUse Action service: Wood Window Rehabilitation. We can give free estimates and do whole house restoration of wood windows. Before you buy new, give ReUse Action a try. Call us today for an evaluation of your project. Stay tuned for more articles on energy-saving renovations. ReUse Action can help you make your home warmer this winter, while still retaining all the character of the “old-fashioned” double hung sashes that came with your house when it was built. Most Buffalo homes were equipped with wooden (usually pine) double hung sash windows. These can be … Read more

What a Successful Organizer-making Workshop!

Last Tuesday night we had 12 people attend the How to Make Your Own Organizer workshop at Action HQ in the Rusted Grain woodshop.  Each participant made an “organizer” out of wood scraps and old dresser drawers that we taken from trash piles at the side of the road.  It amazed us how varied and creative each organizer turned out.  Take a look at the example below! Jeanenne made a spice rack for her kitchen.  Ikea made a knick-knack holder.  Cayla and Emmanuel made a small bookshelf.  To see more pictures of the workshop, click here.  If you like what … Read more

Tuesday 12/13: Make Your Own Organizer

Using old dresser drawers, plywood and wood scraps, the ladies in the woodshop will be conducting a class on how to make your own storage unit/organizer.  A perfect holiday gift or to help aid in your New Year’s resolution of being neat and tidy.  There will be a few designs to choose from.  Workshop is free, donations accepted.  RSVP is greatly appreciated as we will be pre-cutting some pieces in preparation for the workshop.  Full details: Action HQ (1212 Jefferson) 6pm-9pm Note: The woodshop is NOT HEATED (yet).  Please bring extra layers. We will provide the tea and hot chocolate! … Read more

Harvesting Our City

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the way ReUse Action acquires materials in Buffalo through green demos and salvage jobs and have come to the conclusion that what we are doing is much like mining for coal, only better.  What we are essentially doing is a more sustainable form of mining, in cities.  We are learning to use our city as an incredible and harvestable resource!  Harvesting material that is destined for a landfill, learning how to process it, reuse it and resell it.   We are “a community of tradesmen and women, artists, designers, and community members…” changing the … Read more

Urban Café Style Gardening

Coffee Beans BagsWith more than 17,000 vacant properties in the City of Buffalo, one would hope we could transform a larger percentage of those lots into productive space, even if only for a few growing seasons. Other cities, like Detroit, are figuring out ways to turn formerly residential land into small farms or large gardens that grow food for their soup kitchens, congregations or the needy.  The problem is that dirt you put a house on isn’t the same kind of dirt you grow tomatoes in.

What are some solutions? Most urban gardeners don’t have the patience to remediate soil over several years, so we either have to dig out the dirt and replace it with truckloads of soil OR truck in lots of soil to fill raised beds.  Another way is to make your own dirt.

I’m trying a combination of strategies with The Garden of Stewardship over on East Eagle. The garden is on the property of Sheehan Health Network.  It was a big fenced-in grassy area. We cannot dig into the ground because it’s a very thin layer of dirt covering an awful lot of clay.  The grass/weeds are using what little dirt there is.  So, I decided to smother the grass and build our soil on top of it.  I am calling the strategy, the Urban Café Gardening Method to acknowledge the fact that all the materials we’ll use are found readily in cities–cities with coffee drinkers anyway!  Here’s how you can replicate it in your space.

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Caring for your Strawberry Plants

There’s a rumor going around, “that Caesandra is stealing plants from the ReUse Gardens.” Well, that’s only partially true. Friday morning, I ran into board member, Keith James, as I was removing runners from the overgrown strawberry mound in the Children’s Vinery. I explained to Keith that the original strawberry plants–known as “mother plants” were in their 3rd year of growth. This means, their strawberry yield will start to diminish. The plants suffered a lot of trauma over the winter by not being mulched with straw or leaves.  The runners also taxed the mother plants to the point where there … Read more