There's new life for old window sashes in Atlanta--and new hope as well for old cabinets, appliances, flooring materials, and myriad other items that are typically discarded during the course of remodeling projects.

In the "Circle of Good Deconstruction and Recycling Program," recently launched by the Atlanta chapter of the National Association of the Remodeling Industry (NARI), three local remodeling companies are piloting methods of salvaging valuable materials from jobsites and finding appropriate ways to recycle them--typically either through re-use on site, sale for profit, or donation to a nonprofit organization.

Information gathered during the pilot will be used to develop a "toolkit" to help other NARI members incorporate recycling into their operations, according to program manager Carl Seville, a former remodeler and green building consultant.

"The whole key is to get people to think differently," says Seville. "Historically, remodelers pulled the Dumpster to the jobsite, filled it up, and hauled it off again," he says. Some parts of the country have placed restrictions on dumping, to encourage recycling and limit landfill growth, "but in Atlanta, it's still pretty cheap to dump," says Seville. "Recycling is not considered particularly cost-effective."

The "Circle of Good" may change that perception. The three companies involved in the pilot have been trained in matters such as how to identify and separate valuable materials from other construction debris. "We've also created a list of people who will take things," says Seville. These range from nonprofits that actually live up to their promise of selling or donating materials for charitable use to more unusual end users, including a woman who paints old window sashes, selling them at craft shows. "She loves it," says Seville. "She's got a source of materials for life."

Stay tuned to REMODELING to learn more about the Circle of Good.