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Urban Miners Reduces Hamden's Waste with Environmental and Social Sustainability

By Elisha Neubauer

If you're reading this and wondering what an Urban Miner is, don't fret, you're not alone. I thought the same myself. Is it one of those hip clothing companies, an eatery, or even a new bar?

The reality of the company, however, is far more intriguing than any of those things. Urban Miners isn't a kitschy name thought up by some new 'it' place. It is legitimately what it says it is. They're Urban Miners; they mine the urban community to reduce waste, reuse materials, and lower costs.

At Urban Miners, their mission is simple: "To reduce waste by recovering usable materials through the deconstruction of buildings and other salvage work. And to provide those materials at reasonable prices to the local community." But what does that mean?

"We deconstruct buildings and keep a large portion of the materials for reuse that would normally be discarded, substantially reducing waste," explains Joe DiRisi, owner of Urban Miners. "The recovered materials also mean that there is less need to produce and transport new materials." In addition to lowering waste quantities and transportation, utilizing locally produced materials supports local manufacturing and retail jobs in the area, benefiting the community. "Keeping it local also reduces pollution from transportation," DiRisi adds.

DiRisi is no stranger to the industry. He currently holds a master's degree in resource management, a certificate in deconstruction, and quite an impressive resume; boasting job titles such as environmental analyst, conservationist, and building contractor. Upon launching Urban Miners, DiRisi handpicked his staff; ensuring he employed a talented staff with an equal passion for producing a sustainable future.

The company serves as an advocate for the deconstruction industry. Partnering with both the private and public sectors, Urban Miners strives to educate and promote the practice of deconstruction and material reuse. They have since been recognized by the Hamden Chamber of Commerce, being awarded the 2012 Green Business Advocate Award, and were also acknowledged as Business New Haven's Rising Star of 2010.

Several services are available to both the general public and the corporate sector to help propel the deconstruction/reuse industry in the Hamden area. These services include building material salvage and deconstruction, home/estate clean-outs, and more. They handle deconstruction and clean-out all in one easy swoop, salvaging every item possible to pass on a cost saving to the customer and to minimize waste. Do-it-yourself workshops are available, as well as training courses and programs for architects, contractors, educational institutions, neighborhood associations, and other public/private enterprises.

"Our goal is to have all usable materials recovered and reused," states DiRisi. "It requires many organizations working together including not for profit, government and businesses, as well as homeowners, contractors and designers. Deconstruction requires changing laws and procedures, developing new materials markets, and this depends on educating the public."

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About The Author

Elisha Neubauer is a freelance editor, ghostwriter, book reviewer, and author. She is...

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