Last weekend I visited a place that I had been meaning to visit for quite a while now. Rebuilding Exchange (Rx) is a huge retail warehouse located in Chicago by the river on the very edge of Bucktown. It is home to building materials and furniture salvaged from old properties before they hit the landfill. I found myself at Rx because I plan to build a shelving/storage unit to house my stereo, records, and assorted TV related boxes. The building is such a treasure trove that I kind of got carried away…
Rx was started in 2009 by the Delta Institute, an organization that promotes sustainability in the Great Lakes region as well as green technology, green jobs, and innovation. Since then Rx has prevented thousands of tons of building materials from reaching the landfill while at the same time offering over $2 million worth of quality reuse materials for sale to the public. According their website, Rx’s mission is:
to create a market for reclaimed building materials. We do this by diverting materials from landfills and making them accessible for reuse through our retail warehouse, by promoting sustainable deconstruction practices, by providing education and job training programs, and by creating innovative models for sustainable reuse.
They also offer classes on how to make a whole range of items, including awesome tables and beautiful wooden housewares. Rx has a great business model, and what they do is such a great way to repurpose and save some amazing pieces of history.