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City Council Approves Resolution to Study Options for Increasing Deconstruction and Salvage Work in Tacoma

City Council Approves Resolution to Study Options for Increasing Deconstruction and Salvage Work in Tacoma


March 19, 2024



Maria Lee, Media & Communications Office, maria.lee@cityoftacoma.org, (253) 591-2054

City Council Approves Resolution to Study
Options for Increasing Deconstruction and Salvage Work in Tacoma

TACOMA, Wash. – On Tuesday, March 19, the City Council approved a resolution directing the City Manager to create a set of options, including estimated costs, to help increase deconstruction and salvage efforts in Tacoma. Led by At-Large Council Member Kristina Walker, this work aims to help protect the environment and bolster green economic development. The proposed options will be reviewed by the Infrastructure, Planning and Sustainability Committee no later than May 22, 2024.


As Tacoma grows, it is of vital importance that we also talk about how our current structures are removed and what happens to the building materials. Continuing to demolish buildings and throw them into our landfill is simply not sustainable and it does not align with our Climate Action Plan goals. I brought forward this resolution because it is time to start working on a plan for how the City can help increase supply and demand for deconstruction and salvage work. There is so much of value that we are currently throwing away,” said Council Member Walker. “This is not a step we can take overnight but starting to move toward greater deconstruction and salvage is necessary. I am grateful for all the stakeholders and community members that have been sharing their ideas for how to help Tacoma create a more robust local circular economy for building materials. I look forward to advancing steps that move us in the direction of greater sustainability and reduced waste.”


Deconstruction refers to the systematic disassembly of buildings to maximize the reuse of materials, while salvage is the removal of valuable or useful surface level materials for reuse. When compared to the demolition of a building, deconstruction offers a wide range of benefits including lower greenhouse gas emissions, reduced waste disposal, greater job creation, less stormwater pollution, and enhanced reuse of valuable building materials. In addition, deconstruction can help minimize the adverse impacts associated with demolition by increasing the likelihood of discovering materials containing lead and asbestos, allowing for safe removal and disposal. Deconstruction also provides air quality benefits by limiting the air pollution and dust that occurs during demolition. Reusing materials from historic homes and buildings also enables neighborhoods to create visual continuity by facilitating the integration of reusable materials, such as architectural features and area-specific building materials, into new structures.


The resolution calls on the City Manager to provide options and the associated costs on five key topics, including formalizing credible salvage assessments; incentivizing deconstruction projects and material reuse; advancing deconstruction of City-owned buildings; driving workforce development for deconstruction; and providing City assistance with storage for salvaged and deconstructed materials.