CLEVELAND - A group of Cleveland companies have banned together to find new uses for the thousands of northeast Ohio homes that are awaiting demolition.
James Lincoln and his company Cleveland Woodworks, have forged a relationship with a series of demolition companies, to extract precious wood resources from condemned homes before they are taken down and their remains are hauled to a landfill.
"It shows the greater commercial viability for selling up-cycled materials," said Lincoln. "We've got 15 employees that are taking condemned homes and making them into something, which is really exciting for us."
Krug Demolition and Recycling is one company that allows Cleveland Woodworks and Reclaimed Cleveland to go into homes days before they're set to be torn down and remove precious wood resources.
"It reduces the amount of waste I have to take out these houses," said Matthew Krug. "It gives companies like Reclaimed Cleveland free material to work with, and it saves the environment."
Wood products taken from condemned homes are then taken to Cleveland Woodworks' 15,000 square foot facility. Once the wood is stripped and sanded, craftsman with Reclaimed Cleveland turn the refurbished lumber into furniture and other high end household items.
Products created from vacant homes are then sold at a limited number of retail outlets, and on the Reclaimed Cleveland website .
The group is also working with job placement agency Towards Employment . Les Walker is now working with the team to carefully remove assests from dozens of Cleveland area vacant homes.
"What Towards Employment does is check your background, " said Walker. "They match you up with jobs that you can be associated with, this is a perfect fit for me."
Cleveland Woodworks contacted NewsChannel5 just hours after the launch of the Building Better Neighborhoods initiative on Tuesday.
Building Better Neighborhoods is a NewsChannel5 year-long initiative to empower residents with information and a stronger voice when dealing with the problems caused by a growing number of condemned northeast Ohio homes.
5 On Your Side invites residents to report vacant/condemned homes in their neighborhood, by sending pictures and information on distressed properties to our Troubleshooter Facebook or Twitter account @joeonyourside.
Report a home using your smartphone and our free NewsChannel5 newsnet5.com app .
If you're dealing with a vacant home in your neighborhood, use the Cleveland Housing Court Vacant Home Toolkit, it will guide you through the process of moving a vacant home to progress step-by-step.
NewsChannel5 will bring you a series of reports and updates on the progress made through the Building Better Neighborhoods initiative throughout 2012.