TRK Design Company on the forefront of important ‘green kitchen design’ initiative: donating or reselling homeowners’ existing kitchens for re-use
Posted by Christina Jedra March 30, 2013 10:00 AM
The following was submitted by the TRK Design Co:
While most homeowners may think of “green kitchen design” only as selecting sustainable, eco-friendly materials or purchasing energy-efficient appliances, Thomas R. Kelly, founder and president of TRK Design Company (Today’s Real Kitchen Design Company), says there is much more to green kitchen design: donating or reselling the homeowner’s existing kitchen for re-use.
“Gently used existing cabinetry, countertops, appliances, windows, doors and fixtures can be re-used by direct donation to non-profit organizations or by working with non-profit kitchen and building re-use companies,” Kelly says. “These donations can yield significant advantages for the environment, for the homeowners, and for those whom the non-profits benefit.”
TRK Design Company’s General Manager Linda Doliber shares Kelly’s commitment and firmly believes “there’s a clear environmental advantage to saving perfectly good materials from going into landfills and conserving forest resources.” In fact, according to a 2005 study, construction debris accounts for as much as one-third of landfill waste, says Steve Feldman, president and founder of Green Demolitions in Connecticut, www.greendemolitions.com, which specializes in reselling high-end luxury kitchens.
During the remodeling of a customer’s kitchen, TRK Design asked the homeowners if they would like to donate the existing but still serviceable cabinets to the Marblehead Counseling Center. With their assent, these were moved to the Center for use in its building. “TRK Design’s intervention enabled us to redo our own kitchen for a minimal cost. Without the donated cabinets, a small non-profit agency such as ours could not have afforded such an improvement,” said Paul Crosby, the Center’s executive director. And the homeowners were able to take a tax deduction for their contribution.
Over the last several years, TRK Design Company has been instrumental in donating new and gently used kitchen components with an estimated value of over a quarter of a million dollars. Doliber says those donations included direct donations to public schools, vocational-technical schools and public health centers as well as coordinating the re-use of clients’ existing kitchens.
TRK Design Company works primarily with two non-profit re-use and re-sale companies whose work and programs offer meaningful homeowner and societal benefits.
In Massachusetts, TRK Design works with The Reuse Center at Boston Building Resources, www.bostonbuildingresources.com, a non-profit that makes gently used kitchen components available for re-sale to low- and middle-income customers. Paul Kiefer, The Reuse Center’s donations manager, says, “Being able to give a second life to reusable kitchen cabinets makes sense in so many ways: The environment benefits when we avoid needless waste; the donor benefits through a tax deduction; and hundreds of low- and moderate-income homeowners in Greater Boston benefit each year because they receive high-quality materials at affordable prices to repair, maintain, and improve their homes. And communities benefit because good housing quality lifts up the whole neighborhood.”
TRK Design also works with Green Demolitions. Green Demolitions’ business model is to donate the proceeds from its sales to charitable organizations including programs for recovering addicts and their families as well as other philanthropies. For qualified high-end kitchens, some of the proceeds can also benefit charities designated by the donors.
Feldman notes that following the economic crisis that so severely hit the home industry, the availability of gently used kitchens has made remodeling more affordable for some homeowners. That, in turn, has created more jobs for skilled craftspeople thereby helping the economy. Feldman also employs highly skilled craftspeople to handle the company’s “white glove” removal of the kitchen from the home. Green Demolition’s benefit to the donating homeowner can include significant tax advantages based on the documented final resale price.
The demand for previously-owned kitchens is real and increasing. TRK Design most recently helped a Marblehead family recycle a Plain & Fancy kitchen through Green Demolitions. Feldman reports that Green Demolitions recycled 600 kitchens last year and is hoping to increase that number to 1,000 in the next year.
“TRK Design is at the forefront of kitchen re-use and resale because the design firm is taking this idea and showing the incredible benefits of this process,” Feldman says. “It’s time for a culture change in America. It’s time for every homeowner to ask, ‘What are my options and what is my best value opportunity?’”
Kiefer notes, “TRK Design has helped spread the word among their clients about donating to Boston Building Resources rather than discarding their reusable cabinetry. This is extremely helpful. We receive an ongoing stream of donated materials, and the staff of TRK Design is great to work with, so the donation process goes smoothly. We have had a fruitful relationship for many years.”
“As a kitchen design company and as project managers, we believe in doing what is right for the environment and what can benefit others. We see it as our responsibility to engage our clients in thoughtful conversations about recycling and what will work best for them, whether it’s donation, consignment or sale of their existing kitchens,” Doliber said.
Thomas R. Kelly, CMKBD, and TRK Design Company, LLC’s General Manager Linda Doliber, the design staff and partnering contractors have been nationally recognized for setting trends and establishing new directions in kitchen and bath design. The Marblehead-based design firm also has locations in Nokomis, Florida, and Belgrade Lakes, Maine. For more information about TRK’s “green kitchen design,” design ideas, kitchen builds, remodeling and kitchen re-use and re-sale, call Linda Doliber at 781-631-9200 or visit www.trkdesigncompany.com.