Mat-Su Valley Rebuild - Building sustainability in the Mat-Su Valley

Contributed by Christopher Anderson

Sometimes building materials have life left in them when they are no longer needed by their owner. They might be cabinets that have been replaced but are still in good shape. It could be extra flooring or tile that was left over after a job but could be reused in another home. Perhaps it is a door that might find a new life as a shelf or a room divider. Mat-Su Valley Rebuild has come onto the valley scene to ensure there is a place for these materials to find new life. 

Mat-Su Valley Rebuild (MVR) is a 501 (c) 3 non-profit with the mission of diverting useful goods from the landfill and making affordable used and surplus goods available to the community.  Through its mission, MVR aims to strengthen the environmental, economic and community fabric in the Mat-Su Valley. A major concern in the valley is the amount of materials pouring into the landfill, eating up resources and space at an alarming rate. It’s estimated that 30-40% of the construction and demolition waste could be reduced by keeping reusable goods in circulation and out of the landfill. This slows down how often the cells fill, reducing the cost of building new cells and keeping the costs you pay at the landfill down.

A recent walkthrough of the expanding collection of materials at the store highlights the versatile inventory available. The lighting room contains a varied collection from vintage to contemporary. Need plumbing, counters, or fixtures? MVR has you covered; with various sizes and the pieces, parts and hoses to help you get them installed.  A new tub/shower set with grab bars and a built-in shower chair will provide safety and comfort in the bathroom for a fraction of the retail price. Did a family pet recently damage the floor in a room – but you don’t want to replace everything? An assortment of flooring is available that will help you cover a room, shed, closet, or new workspace.

MVR holds fundraisers each quarter to help support the cause and provide an avenue to showcase new uses for upcycled materials. At the most recent fundraiser, local artists turned hollow, bi-fold closet doors into new, beautiful works of arts. Instead of used doors slowly rotting in the landfill, they’re now brightening up a space in someone’s home with new life.  They also continue to inspire how other parts and pieces might be used in your next craft idea or upcycled furniture project. If only I could find such a reason to clear out the box of electronic cables that sits on my shelf for that ‘What if?’ moment.

There are many reasons for a new project or renovation at your home. Time for a style refresh in your home? Tired of not having room in your garage to park your toys because you’ve been storing that extra sink or ducting in case you needed it? Earthquake damage causing you to switch out all your matching cabinets due a few damaged ones? Consider donating items that are still in good shape so that you can save yourself money and allow a valley neighbor to instill new life into them for less than buying new. This resource can also keep your shed, basement or even garage clean so unused materials don’t keep your car out in the snow during winter!

 MVR is conveniently located on the Palmer-Wasilla Highway, next to RW’s Hamburger House inside the Trinity Lutheran Barn. The store is open on Thursday through Sunday from 10:00 AM to 6:00 PM. As MVR grows, they will expand the services available to the community.  Workshops, project education, a pickup service, bicycles, and large appliances are all targeted as future goals – but we need your support!

Interested in learning more or curious about what types of items are accepted? Follow Mat-Su Valley Rebuild on Facebook, email or best – drop by the store to find inspiration for your next project!